Why you should subscribe: IndyStar Sports wins top national award in APSE contest

·3 min read
IndyStar sports staff.
IndyStar sports staff.

Columnist Gregg Doyel immediately saw the thread that was running through the IndyStar Sports department's success in the 2021 Associated Press Sports Editors national contest.

“Our section will win all the team awards.”

IndyStar placed in the top 10 in nine categories — two photo categories have not been announced -- in the second-largest division of the awards. We’re very proud of our individual winners – Dana Hunsinger Benbow may be the best sportswriter in the country – but it’s the work we do as a team that defines us.

IndyStar was one of four sites to win an APSE Grand Slam -- finishing in the top 10 of Daily or Sunday, Digital, Long Features and Projects -- joining the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Raleigh News and Observer. For the sixth consecutive year, IndyStar earned top 10 honors for our Daily and Sunday sections, and website; the only media organization in the country that can say that.

IndyStar also earned top 10s in Event Coverage for the Indianapolis 500 – Doyel, Hunsinger Benbow, Nathan Brown, Clark Wade and Scott Horner get their names on the plaque but only because the entry was limited to five pieces of content – and in Projects for our work on the NCAA Tournament being held entirely in Indiana – and, again, Doyel, Hunsinger Benbow, Brown, Zach Osterman and Shari Rudavsky will be on the plaque but only because we had to pare down a list of more than 25 possible stories to the 10 the contest allows.

Five awards that only happen with teamwork, and IndyStar was top 10 in all five.

And we can do this work only if you, our readers, subscribe and continue to support our work.

SUBSCRIBE: Please subscribe and support our journalism

There may be no better place in the country to cover sports – and everything that surrounds them – than Indianapolis and Indiana. From high school sports to Purdue and IU to the Indianapolis 500, Pacers and Colts, there’s an unmatched passion for athletics at every level in this state.

Our award-winning work covered Helio Castroneves’ historic fourth Indy 500 win, how the city’s first Final Four led to it’s current position as one of the country’s premier sites for hosting major sports events and even the absurd battle between Illinois and Indiana over the invention of the phrase “March Madness.” But it also included exposing abusive coaches, examining the two COVID deaths surrounding the NCAA Tournament and the city’s homelessness problems.

In addition to our team wins, Hunsinger Benbow won in Breaking News for her investigation into the abusive behavior of Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball coach Niecee Nelson and in the Explanatory category for the piece that examined the NCAA Tournament’s role in the deaths of two people due to COVID; Matthew VanTryon also placed in the top 10 in Breaking News for his story on the abusive behavior of Avon High School girls basketball coach Corrie West. Jim Ayello was honored in Long Features for his personality profile on Marco Andretti.

Over the past six years, IndyStar has won 60 APSE awards; only the Washington Post, New York Times and Los Angeles Times have won more. We don’t do it for the awards; we give up our nights and weekends to make the Indiana sports scene a safer place for athletes, to explain what you’re seeing on the courts, fields and tracks — even if you might not want to hear about the failures of your favorite players and teams sometimes — to examine the intersection of sports, our community and culture, and to capture the thrill of every exciting moment for our readers.

So please subscribe and the next time you’re at a sporting event enjoying yourself, remember we’re there, too, working … and having just as much fun as you are (when we’re not on deadline).

SUBSCRIBE: Please subscribe and support our journalism

Contact IndyStar Deputy Sports Editor Nat Newell at (317) 444-6182 or nat.newell@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NatJNewell.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Why you should subscribe: IndyStar wins top national award in APSE