WNIJ news reporter wins two AP awards

Susan Stephens

Susan Stephens

The Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association recently announced winners in the 2011 Journalism Excellence Contest.

WNIJ (89.5-FM) reporter Susan Stephens was named “Best Newswriter” and took first place in the “Hard News Feature” category in the downstate radio division of the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association 2011 Journalism Excellence contest.

Judges evaluated a variety of Stephens’ scripts and audio reports in the news writing category, including stories about a former pilot’s last wish to fly again, Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday and a visit with a couple giving up their Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home to enter assisted living.

It was “Nurse-In in DeKalb,” the story of breastfeeding mothers rallying outside a thrift store, that captured the “best hard news feature” category. All of these stories aired on WNIJ in 2011.

The awards will be presented Saturday, April 28, at the Illinois News Broadcasters Association convention in Macomb.

WNIJ is the NPR News station within Northern Public Radio, the broadcast service of Northern Illinois University.

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