GAYS MILLS - The work of reporter Gillian Pomplun in the Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout received a first place award for environmental reporting in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
It is the second time that Pomplun has won a first place award for environmental reporting. It’s the fifth time in the last six years that the local newspaper has won the first place award for environmental reporting.
Pomplun accepted the award at the WNA Convention held at the Concourse Hotel in Madison on March 7. The Independent-Scout competes in WNA’s Division F among the state’s smallest weeklies.
In addition to winning first place for her environmental reporting, Pomplun also received a second place award for community service for her reporting on a U.S. Fish Wildlife sponsored program that is designed to help farmers in the Midwest reduce nutrient and chemical runoff into the Mississippi River, thereby improving water quality in the Gulf of Mexico. The improvements help the overall environment and specifically benefit the commercial fishing industry there.
The stories that won the environmental reporting award were: ‘Rural LaCrosse residents seek well water answers,’ ‘Local government is exploring a way to protect groundwater,’ and ‘Natural capital–is it time to inventory?’
In explaining the award, the judge noted the excellence of the work.
“As one of our most important natural resources, water is a fitting focus of the excellent environmental reporting here,” wrote the judge from the State of Washington Press Association.
“I’m pretty proud of Gillian’s work,” said Independent-Scout editor Charley Preusser. “She’s carrying on an environmental reporting tradition that has been a focus of this newspaper for the last six or seven years.”
Reporter Emily Schendel received an Honorable Mention for the Best Localized National Story for ‘Sex trafficking and social media.’
“This story provides information on a topic not well understood by many,” the judge wrote of Schendel’s story.