WVIK newsroom is a dominant presence in the Illinois and Iowa Quad Cities. In 2017 the WVIK newsroom took top honors from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association (IAPBA) and the Iowa Broadcast News Association (IBNA), winning a dozen awards between the two organizations.
In the Iowa large market division, the WVIK newsroom won 1st Place for Overall Excellence, as well as 1st Place in Farm and Agribusiness. Additionally, News Director Herb Trix won 1st Place in Overall Excellence in Reporting. This is the second consecutive year WVIK has brought home this particular honor with Michelle O'neill winning it last year.
In the Illinois small market division, News Editor Michelle O'Neill won 2nd Place for Best Series or Documentary in the Local Radio division for her series "The Connection Between Oral Car and Health Care." This follows on the heels of four consecutive years winning First Place in other small market categories: Overall Excellence in 2015; the Best Hard News Feature for "Illinois Victims' Rights Proposal" in 2014; Best Series for "Immigrants and Driving" in 2013; and Best Investigative Report for "Cameras and Mics in Iowa Courts" in 2012. Michelle also takes a certain pride in the fact that Jenna Dooley of Northern Public Radio, who took 1st Place in Best Series or Documentary, is an Orion native and worked in the WVIK newsroom as she was beginning her career.
Of note among the many other awards, was Lacy Scarmana's 2nd and 3rd Place from IBNA for Best Use of Online Media for her stories "Honor Flight" and "Solidarity Marchers Demand Change." WVIK also took 2nd place from IAPBA for Best Digital Presence. Lacy Scarmana, Morning Edition producer and Digital Curator, was responsible for launching multiple new podcasts recently: Margins with Dr. Christopher Whitt; The Gallery Gap in partnership with the Augustana Teaching Museum of Art and the Figge Art Museum; and Suspect Convictions, a podcast covering the Stanley Liggins murder trial that has received over 2 million downloads this year. Web traffic at WVIK.org has more than tripled since March of 2015.
WVIK also takes great pride that Augustana College student and WVIK intern Sam Dunklau took 2nd Place from the IBNA for his story "Don't Die Going to Prom." It is a great accomplishment for a student to win a professional award before he even begins his professional career. It is also an important part of public radio's mission to develop the great reporters of the future.