The Milwaukee Independent earned ten distinctions on May 19 from the Milwaukee Press Club for Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism, during the virtual ceremony of its 2021 Gridiron Awards.
The journalism honors follow the third year in a row of double digit recognition for the daily news magazine, in competition against all major media outlets in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin. Competition was more notable this year as traditional broadcast media organizations partnered to combine resources, and used online platforms to offset the pandemic’s impact.
Founded in 1885, the Milwaukee Press Club is the oldest continuously operating press club in North America. In the context of this competition a “Finalist” has already won an award, but the level of recognition – Gold, Silver, or Bronze – will not be announced until May at the Gridiron Awards event. Traditional that has been an awards dinner, but it will be a virtual ceremony for the second year.
The 10 awards for Milwaukee Independent were split over 3 main categories this year, Writing, Visual Journalism, and Online. The work of 8 staff members was recognized in 6 categories. In the “Online: Best Blog” category, all three entries are from Milwaukee Independent, so the writers are competing against each other for the top honor.
It was also an incredible year for documenting news with visual media. Milwaukee Independent was the only Finalist for the “Best Sports Photograph,” and also earning top honors for the third consecutive year in the “Best News Photograph” category. Half of the total number of Finalist spots in the four image categories went to the Milwaukee Independent team of photojournalists: Lee Matz, Joe Brusky, Claudio Martinez, Rich Zimmermann, Dominic Inouye, and Dan Barrett.
Under the rules, news organizations could only enter work from last year in the Milwaukee Press Club’s competition. The 2021 awards, therefore, reflect editorial produced in 2020. Milwaukee Independent has earned a total of 40 awards for work since 2016. The winners for the 91st Annual Gridiron Awards for Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism are: