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Lincoln Journal Star awarded MOEy Best in Show


Christine Cordial, SPJ Program Coordinator, 317-920-4788, ccordial@spj.org
Anna Gutierrez, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, agutierrez@spj.org

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Marcella Mercer and Calla Kessler of the Lincoln Journal Star received the MOEy Best in Show award for their story "A mom for all ages: Hours from Whiteclay, caring for kids with fetal alcohol disorders."

Each year, student journalists compete regionally in print, TV, radio and online categories. Mercer and Kessler are the regional winners in Feature Writing, Large School Division.

First-place winners advance to compete nationally and are eligible for the MOEy. The best in show award is chosen from more than 4,000 entries in the Society of Professional Journalists 2016 Mark of Excellence Awards competition.

The story and photos by Mercer and Kessler profile a South Dakota mother who adopted nine Native American children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

The judges said, “This story is a masterpiece. I see evidence of in-depth reporting. It takes time to get this sort of detail. Lead choice is perfect.”

At the national level, judges said, “Beautifully written narrative about a complex topic. You can tell the reporter spent time with the family to understand the ‘day in the life.’ This story kept my interest from beginning to end.”

The award was announced during the Student Union at Excellence in Journalism 2017 in Anaheim, California.

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