Otwell, Contreras Bring Home AP Awards

Apr 25, 2018

NPR Illinois had been recognized for excellence in reporting during the recent Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Awards. 

Reporter Rachel Otwell took home a first place award for Best Hard News Feature.  Her report “Shootings in Springfield Leave Many Seeking Solutions” was done after the death of 19 year old Andres Booker III in a city park.  The community was seeing an uptick in violence at the time.

Judges were impressed with Rachel’s work.  “Great use of sound.  The reporter really took listeners to Comer Cox Park in this story,” they wrote.

Rachel, a Rochester native, has been with NPR Illinois since 2011.  Her work focuses primarily on equity and the arts.  She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she interned with NPR Illinois.   

Daisy Contreras was also honored with a second place award in the Best Investigative category.  Daisy produced a feature story titled “The Trouble with Temp Work.”  The Illinois Issues piece looked at working conditions for those with temporary employment and problems that include wage theft.

Daisy accompanied a group of these employees in Elgin on their way to work.  She found Illinois, because of transportation advantages, is home to many warehouses which employ temporary workers.   

Daisy is from Chicago.  She graduated from the Public Affairs Reporting program at UIS in 2017.  She produced her winning feature while an intern with NPR Illinois, where she is now a full time reporter covering state government.

Congratulations to both!