Monday, April 03, 2006
Here's a photo of the two awards KFIZ News won from the Associated Press of Wisconsin. One was for the Best Feature Story: "The Pope Did His Job," and the other for Best Hard News Story Non-Spot: "Andrew's Star." We won in Division Two.
The Way AP divides the state up is Madison and Milwaukee are Division One and the rest of the cities in the state are in Division Two. So actually there's more competition in Division Two. A spot news story is one told from the scene, such as a plane crash. A Non-Spot story pretty much covers the rest.
So how do you win two such awards? Talent, luck, bribery? To be honest it's all about the people and the story you cover. "Andrew's Star" was about the funeral of Ripon native Andrew Wallace who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq last fall. You might think that was a depressing story to tell, but actually it was a tribute. It fused two communities together, Ripon and Oshkosh. Ripon of course was Sergeant Wallace's hometown, but before being deployed he taught in Oshkosh and made his mark on his students. For Ripon Andrew was the first soldier they'd lost in a war since 1968. It was moving seeing the students and residents who lined the streets to get a glimpse of his procession to the cemetery, many waving flags.
"The Pope Did His Job" was another story that touched lives or rather the lives that Pope John Paul II touched. For that it required attending a mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fond du Lac in the days following the Pope's death. We talked with Father Patrick Heppe and Holy Family Parish members about the Pope. Sure they were sad about his passing, but also happy to know that someone who served the church so well in his time on earth would now be reaping his heavenly reward.
Award-winning journalism isn't about telling a story from the head, it's about telling it from the heart.
Thanks AP and thanks KFIZ listeners. It's your story we're telling.