Press Association, IASB Announce Cole Awards 

  • Date Posted
    August 11, 2022
  • Category
The Illinois Association of School Boards and the Illinois Press Association have announced the recipients of the 2022 Cole Awards. The awards were presented August 11 at the Press Association’s annual meeting in Springfield.  

Taking top honors in the weekly newspaper category was Janice Hunt and the Oakland Independent for coverage of Oakland CUSD 5 and the Coles County Health Department and issues with coronavirus quarantine and mitigations. The review stated the submission, “Does a great job of showing how the board operates with the community and ensures each story has proper context available to the reader.” 

Also in the running in the weekly category were the Tuscola Review and The Hinsdalean

First prize for daily newspapers in Illinois went to Megan Valley and the Belleville News-Democrat, for coverage of a variety of topics, including school closures and coronavirus pandemic response in several school districts in the Metro East. The review noted the “Great explanations of school board elections and coverage of local issues.” 

Competing for the top spot in the daily newspaper category were the Quincy Herald-Whig and the Kankakee Daily Journal.  
The Robert M. Cole Award for Best School Board Coverage, named for the first full-time executive director of the Illinois Association of School Boards, recognizes outstanding coverage of education issues that emphasize the community’s connection with its local public school district. Judges evaluate entries for contribution to public understanding of local school governance and support for effective dialogue that helps the community and school board define major public policy issues. Judging criteria also includes enterprise, depth of reporting, and clarity of writing. 

Sponsored by IASB, the Cole Award is part of the Illinois Press Association’s annual “Best of the Press” competition.