Kentucky Kernel Brings Home Multiple Awards From Metro Journalism Contest

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 28, 2017) — The Kentucky Kernel, the independent student-run newspaper at the University of Kentucky, took home 11 awards at the 2017 Metro Journalism Awards hosted by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Louisville Pro Chapter. 

Louisville’s SPJ Pro Chapter annually judges work submitted by college and professional journalists in Kentucky in the print, online and broadcast categories.

The Kernel’s honors covered an array of categories from best feature story to best news story and all three places in the in-depth reporting category. The entry period included portions of the 2016 and 2017 school semesters.

“On the heels of their prestigious Pacemaker Award, the staff of the Kernel was able to produce another outstanding year of coverage of what happens on our campus,” said Mike Farrell, interim director of the UK School of Journalism and Media. “Under the leadership of editors Will Wright and Marjorie Kirk and media advisers Chris Poore, David Stephenson and May May Barton, they demonstrated their skills in writing and reporting, even cartooning. The faculty is extremely proud of the work our students have done, and we congratulate these award-winners.”

Below is a complete list of awards received by the Kernel:

First place - Editorial

Winner: Kentucky Kernel Staff

Entry title: "UK’s fight for secrecy leaves truth behind"

Judge’s comments: Student newspaper taking on an important fight for public transparency and against university controls on student media. Timely and important case. Very contentious. Good for this publication for engaging in the fight and not wilting from the pressure.

First place - Editorial Cartoon

Winner: Ben Wade

Entry title: "Rand Paul left out in the cold; exposing Trump’s fears; Carson’s campaign flatlines"

Judge’s comments: Sharp humor and excellent technical skills with the illustrations.

First place - Feature Story

Winner: Marjorie Kirk

Entry title: "Local Congolese community welcomes refugee"

Judge’s comments: This story takes what could be a pretty ordinary piece about an immigrant/refugee student and really brings the narrative to life with rich details and interesting insights about the process behind the person being in the U.S.

Third place - Feature Story

Winner: Lexington Souers

Entry title: "From seeing blue, to crying blue"

First place - In-Depth Reporting

Winner: Marjorie Kirk

Entry title: "Kernel obtains withheld records; victims say UK trying to protect professor in sexual assault case"

Judge’s comments: Excellent effort to put important public information in the hands of the public; this professor was given an opportunity to respond, but the really interesting aspect of this was the response of the university, putting into question who the institution ultimately serves. Well done, Kernel staff!

Second place - In-Depth Reporting

Winner: Will Wright

Entry title: "The woman behind the mask"

Third place - In-Depth Reporting

Winner: Patrick Brennan

Entry title: "Observing UK’s gender pay gap"

First place - News Story

Winner: Cheyene Miller

Entry title: "Smoke fills Southern sky"

Judge’s comments: The reporter reached many sources and was able to provide a complete picture of the event. The story is well organized, with a strong lead.

Second place - News Story

Winner: Katherine Manouchehri

Entry title: "Students march to protest sexual assault at UK"

Second place - Sports Feature Story

Winner: Anthony Crawford

Entry title: "From Chicago’s blacktop courts to Rupp Arena, Ulis has always exceeded expectations"

Second place - Sports News Story

Winner: Anthony Crawford

Entry title: "UK Football honors SEC trailblazers in unveiling of new statue"

All information on the awards and judges’ comments can be found at the SPJ Louisville Pro Chapter’s website:

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue