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Kansas News Service earns 3 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence

The collaborative Kansas News Service has been recognized by its peers in three categories for reporting on the environment, politics and diversity. The annual competition recognizes outstanding work by Kansas media outlets.

The Kansas News Service has received awards in three categories from the Kansas Press Association's 2024 Awards of Excellence contest.

The contest includes content from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2023.

The annual competition recognizes outstanding work by Kansas media with contest categories focusing on writing, photography, design, web sites and more.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen’s reporting on the Keystone pipeline won second place in the Series category. The eruption of the pipeline is the largest in the company's history.

Llopis-Jepsen has followed the oil spill and its aftermath for more than a year, with two dozen stories and features providing comprehensive coverage of its impact.

Dylan Lysen took third place in the Government/Political category for his story about election officials leaving amid ongoing harassment and conspiracy theories.

His reporting found that this huge turnover occurred in both small and large communities amid unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and personal threats and scrutiny.

And the Kansas News Service was recognized with a second place award for Best Coverage of Diversity.

"I’m extremely proud of the work of our reporters and their continued focus on underrepresented people and marginalized communities," said KNS managing editor Stephen Koranda said.

Examples include:

Kansas Press Association

  • Rose Conlon’s reporting on a strict new Kansas law that regulates where transgender people can go and the ability to change the gender marker on state documents.
  • Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga’s story on how mothers of color experience higher rates of pregnancy complications and how a new Medicaid program to pay for doulas could help combat that.
  • Dylan Lysen’s piece about how elderly Kansas retirees who spent their career working for the government are having their pension eaten away by inflation. That’s because Kansas doesn’t adjust their pension payments as living costs rise. 
  • Suzanne Perez’s reporting showing that school lunch programs across Kansas vary wildly on how they treat kids who can’t afford to pay for school lunch. Some even bar kids from activities if their parents are behind on lunch bills. 

Reviewers noted that, “Kansas News Service has high quality work on a variety of subjects important to many groups within Kansas.” The awards will be presented at the Kansas Press Convention June 6-7, 2024 in Lawrence.

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy. Support for the Kansas News Service comes from the Kansas Health Foundation.

Karen Campbell is the Director of Institutional Giving & Communications for KCUR 89.3. You can reach her at karen@kcur.org.
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