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Record wins investigative reporting award

Marion County Record will add a prestigious Kansas Press Association honor to accolades it has received after August’s police raid on newspaper operations.

At a convention this week in Lawrence, the Record will receive the association’s Victor Murdock Award.

The award, named for a late editor of the Wichita Eagle, recognizes outstanding journalistic standards as exhibited through a story or series of stories published in a Kansas newspaper.

The winner is chosen from Awards of Excellence winners in investigative reporting.

In announcing the award, the association wrote:

“Since the police raid, the Marion County Record has lived up to its headline ‘SEIZED ... but not silenced.’

“The case that’s drawn international attention unfolded when local law enforcement, troubled by ongoing coverage and inquiries by the newspaper, executed a search warrant at the newspaper office; editor and publisher Eric Meyer’s home; and a councilwoman’s home. Meyer’s 98-year-old mother, Joan, died soon after due to anguish over the raid.

“The Record pressed on with its coverage of the ensuing fallout and investigation, including a series of articles that detailed the incident and subsequent developments.

“In August, 2023, Marion police teamed with sheriff’s detectives and Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents to launch a criminal investigation into Meyer and Record reporter Phyllis Zorn.

“The probe centered on the Record looking up public records on the Kansas Department of Revenue website.

“Then, in spite of federal and state law that prohibited such an act, local law enforcement officers executed the newsroom raid and seized equipment and other evidence beyond the scope of their search warrant.

“Since the raid and due to an outpouring of support, the newspaper has won numerous awards and has seen subscription sales soar.”

At the press association’s convention Friday and Saturday, the Record also will receive 24 other statewide Awards of Excellence for news stories and advertisements it designed.

Other major awards the Record has received this year include:

  • The Maria Ressa Prize for Courage in Local or Independent Journalism from the University of Maryland.
  • A Citation of Courage from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association Foundation.
  • The William Allen White Foundation National Citation from the University of Kansas.
  • The Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, integrity, and tenacity in rural journalism, presented by the Institute for Rural Journalism at the University of Kentucky.

Another major award will be announced later this month.

Last modified June 5, 2024

 

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