June 3, 2023

INBA honors winners of student journalism awards

Student journalists from Western Illinois University pose with their SINBA Award on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at the Wyndham City Centre Hotel in Springfield. Photo credit: @InsiderWIU

Students from four state universities took home awards in the 2023 Student INBA (SINBA) journalism competition.

The awards were handed out Saturday, April 29 during the INBA’s Spring Convention, held at the Wyndham City Centre Hotel in Springfield.

Here’s a list of the winners.


Outstanding Hard Radio Program

> First place: Bird’s-I-View: The Underrepresented – WZND (Illinois State University)

Outstanding Soft Radio Program

> First place: The RedZone – WZND

Outstanding Radio Newscast

> First place: Blake Borgardt, WZND

Outstanding Radio Sports Reporting

> Braden Fogerson, WZND
> Mikey Fornelli, WZND

Outstanding Radio Sports Play-by-Play

> First place: Mikey Fornelli, WZND
> Second place: Tim Zalabak, WZND


Outstanding Hard Television Program

> First place: UI7 Special Report: Decision 2022 (University of Illinois Urbana Champaign)
> Second place: NEWS3 Live at Four: March 30, 2023 (Western Illinois University)

Outstanding Soft Television Program

> First place: Ten on 10: March 22, 2023 – TV-10 (Illinois State University)

Outstanding Sports Television Program

> First place: Illini Sports Night’s Women’s Basketball Pregame Special – UI7
> Second place: Leatherneck Insider, Western Illinois University

Outstanding Television Newscast

> First place: News Watch – WEIU (Eastern Illinois University)
> Second place: Ten on 10: March 3, 2023 – TV-10

Outstanding Television News Reporting

> First place: Mikey Fornelli, TV-10
> Second place: Braden Fogerson, TV-10

Outstanding Television Sports Reporting

> First place: Mikey Fornelli, TV-10
> Second place: Jenna Minor, WEIU

Outstanding Television News Photography

> First place: Jenna Minor, WEIU
> Second place: Matthew Merritt, TV-10

Alexis McAdams

INBA played a huge part in preparing me for my broadcasting career. The INBA conventions connect students with on-air talent and news directors who give feedback on now to improve your work. Through relationships I made at those conventions, I was able to obtain my first on air reporting job.

Ryan Denham

I recently attended my first INBA conference—and it won’t be my last. The combination of professional and student journalists learning together is electric. Everyone learns from each other and walks away with new friends (and LinkedIn connections). I know I did.

Mike Miletich

Joining the INBA was one of my best life decisions. I met some of the best broadcast journalists while I was still a college student. Plus, I ended up getting a job through the connections I made!

Molly Jirasek

One of my top goals in my career was to get to Chicago. Thanks to INBA I met Margaret Larkin. She remembered our great conversations about Chicago and first alerted me to a job opening in the city I might be interested in. Lo and behold, I got that job! INBA helped me reach my dream.

Jeff Bossert

When I was working in radio for the first time, I had no idea whether I could truly handle the demands. But INBA made me curious and want to improve. Even now, when I’ve maybe worked a lot of hours or planned some stories that didn’t come together for one reason or another, what I learn from an INBA conference gets me re-invigorated about the business.

Jennifer Fuller

INBA is not only a great networking tool, it also provides advocacy and support for journalists in an ever-changing world.

Andrew Tanielian

INBA taught me how to network in a meaningful way. The scholarship process taught me how to endure a hard job interview and thrive.

Nora Baldner

The support INBA gives to student journalists is vitally important as we all discover how technology is changing news dissemination, INBA monitors and actively encourages truth, transparency and accountability from students and their universities.

Michelle Eccles McLaughlin

INBA is an organization that really caters to continuing education for professionals. It offers a relatively inexpensive way to learn new things, reinforce best practices and network.

Bob Roberts

INBA is as much about friendship and as it is about achieving common goals. It provides two things individual newsrooms cannot: in-service training, and the ability to speak out on issues affecting the profession. But most of all, it brings newspeople together.

Brian O'Keefe

One of the greatest benefits for me has been getting to see and know other parts of the state. I’m not from Illinois and traveling to spring and fall conventions over the years has transformed dots on a map to memories of places that enhance my story telling process.

Aaron Eades

As a student, it's often difficult to picture what working in the real world will be like. For me, the INBA bridged that gap by giving me the chance to talk to professionals who used to be in the same shoes I'm in now.

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