ORLANDO, Fla. – News4Jax was honored Saturday night with seven first-place awards at the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters gala in Orlando. In addition, WJXT's news team received five honorable mention trophies for coverage during 2018.
The Morning Show won both best morning newscast (for Hurricane Michael) and the category's runner-up award (for the broadcast the morning after the Parkland school shooting). News4Jax.com won best website. Both our midterm election newscast and election digital coverage won first-place awards.
Joy Purdy was chosen best news anchor. Mary Bear won for a feature about a veteran who credited a Bible with saving his life. And Scott Johnson won the historic feature category for a report about a World War II spy who became community activist.
News4Jax received honorable mentions for an evening newscast covering the Jacksonville Landing mass shooting. Our Hurricane Irma documentary, produced by Staci Spanos, David Mott and Jason Folk, was honored. Vic Micolucci, Joe Drumm and Jodi Mohrmann received a trophy for their I-TEAM report "Hide and Seek." A Joy Purdy feature, produced with Chris O'Rourke and Jodi Mohrmann, about Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark inspiring others by learning to swim also received a runner-up trophy.
According to AP, there were 581 televisoin and radio entries in the 2018 contest.
Jacksonville television stations compete in the Associated Press' medium market category. Our sister station in Orlando, WKMG, won the most awards of any broadcast station in the large market category.
In addition to handing out awards, the broadcast journalists heard inspiring messages from Barbara Peterson of the First Amendment Foundation and Kimberly Godwin-Manning, senior vice president of CBS News, who is also an alumnus of Florida A&M University.
The day began with a seminar for college students and the awarding of AP's college broadcast journalism awards.