Dennis Anderson, Journal Star, Peoria, Illinois

About this entry: “As a publisher, I place a great deal of trust in the day to day decisions Dennis makes, as do all publishers of their editors. I can say that in this instance that trust is not misplaced. This is evident by Dennis’s involvement in our community on behalf of the Journal Star over the past year and before that. He has built relationships that are even more critical in today’s journalistic environment that lend additional authenticity and credibility to our reporting, both investigative and the ‘regular’ coverage expected by our audience, while maintaining strong journalistic independence.” — Ken Mauser, Journal Star publisher.

Anderson demonstrated high-level community engagement by nurturing relationships with his readers and doing important journalism, including uncovering how local law enforcement officials were doing personal business on the taxpayer’s clock.

Read more online: Brothers arrested, City of Disparity:
Can Peoria close the gap when it comes to neighborhoods, race and opportunity?
, What’s the next step in addressing disparity in Peoria?

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This editor has demonstrated high-level community engagement by nurturing relationships with his readers; he is active in the community serving in key leadership roles including one with the local school system that is focused on academic and personal potential attainment; he’s been a Big Brother for 15 years and his paper did important journalism, including uncovering how local law enforcement were doing personal business including going home and playing golf when they were on the taxpayer’s clock. The publisher says he ‘trusts his editor implicitly.’ Clearly, Anderson’s consistently high caliber of work has led to that kind of trust from the boss.”

Honorable Mention

Mike Smith, Spartanburg Herald-Journal

About this entry: “One of Mike’s many strengths is the passionate curiosity he has for our business. His groundbreaking work in the Carolinas to regionalize the editor’s role has potential to shape the newsroom of the future. Mike has pooled resources to utilize the strengths of each newsroom to put out stronger content that engages our readers. While a byproduct of Mike’s work is efficiency, the real value is in better products to serve our readers.” — Lucy Talley, Regional Vice President, South Atlantic Publishing Group

Read online: Editor: Heartbreaking stories at forum
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This editor took on important, collaborative work in 2016, advancing a new combined regional coverage emphasis; he reorganized multiple newsrooms and led coverage of an investigatory story that led to significant attention and real change. Nice work.”