The awards, which were presented Oct. 25 at Little Rock’s Flying Saucer, recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering media markets in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. The awards honor work published or broadcast between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.
Judge Ginny Frizzi described the story as one that needed to be told and will hopefully be heard by many people.
“This expose of a physician who easily prescribes opioids — and in large quantities — is a story that needs to be told … and fortunately this entry tells it well,” Frizzi said. “Solid reporting explores the current situation completely … from his prescription practices to how the state medical board ineffectively deals with it.”
Reporters from Arkansas Public Media also won four Diamond Journalism Awards. Bobby Ampezzan, former managing editor for Arkansas Public Media, won two awards. First, he received third place in the radio/podcasts documentary/investigative reporting category for his story on the state’s medical marijuana standstill.
The judges described the story as an “informative look at the medical marijuana situation in Arkansas and how people are traveling to nearby states for their medical marijuana because it is not available at home.”