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Illinois AP Awards Honor GLT's Website, Reporters

Carleigh Gray
From left, GLT News Director Charlie Schlenker, Digital Content Director Ryan Denham, Student Reporter Baylee Steelman, and Reporter Judith Valente at the at the Illinois News Broadcasters Association spring convention in East Peoria.

The Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association has honored GLT for journalistic excellence with four awards, including individual staff honors and stationwide recognition for Best Digital Presence.

The awards were announced Saturday at the Illinois News Broadcasters Association spring convention in East Peoria. The four awards tie GLT (with Northern Public Radio in DeKalb) for the most in radio outside Chicago and St. Louis.

GLT’s four awards include: 

  • Best Digital Presence (first place) – Recognizing overall excellence in online content, including reporting, writing, and photography, at WGLT.org, and on social media.
  • Best Reporter (first place) – Ryan Denham, GLT digital content director
  • Best Reporter (second place) – Judith Valente, GLT reporter
  • Best Light Feature (first place) – Jon Norton, GLT music director and Morning Edition host, for “After Quiet Stretch, Thriving Bloomington-Normal Music Scene Makes Some Noise

GLT, a public service of Illinois State University, has received 96 Illinois AP journalism awards since 1997.  Twenty-seven broadcasters submitted 268 entries in the contest, which featured news, sports and investigative reporting as well as features, documentaries and newswriting from 2017. The AP is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,400 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States. 
“These peer reviews of our work from journalists in other states show GLT News remains on the right track in trying to chronicle the life of our community and reflect on the issues facing society today,” said GLT News Director Charlie Schlenker. “We’re happy to have this snapshot. And it’s a challenge for us to keep our standards high as we continue our public service.”

Also honored Saturday were student journalists from Illinois State’s School of Communication and its TV-10 and WZND radio station. Student winners included Baylee Steelman, who won Outstanding Radio News Reporting (first place) for her GLT story, “Eastern Illinois Foodbank Distribution Relieves Holiday Stress.”

WGLT public radio is an NPR member station licensed to Illinois State and has been a part of the School of Communication since 1997. The station has been honored with scores of regional and national awards for excellence by the AP, Kaleidoscope, Public Radio News Directors, Inc. and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association. Over the decades, support from the University and the community has allowed GLT to become a full service public radio station, serving a central Illinois audience approaching 30,000 listeners a week at 89.1 FM, as well as a growing digital presence with users all over the world via WGLT.org, social media channels and NPR One app.

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