Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service reporter Edgar Mendez took home the gold for his two-part special report titled “Last Call: Milwaukee’s South Side taverns,” at the Milwaukee Press Club’s annual Awards for Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism on Friday, May 11.
The series on the demise of South Side taverns won in the “Online: Best Hard Feature Story” category. The series, which was published on Dec. 11, 2017, detailed how the corner bar, once a staple on the South Side, is becoming a relic in some neighborhoods as a result of the steady decline of industry, changing social patterns and the perception that such taverns are a magnet for crime. Mendez looked at city licensing data and found that many old-time bars are now closed, along with the way of life they represented.
The package also won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television and Digital News Association (RTDNA) for feature reporting in the Small Digital News Organization category, defined as fewer than 5 million unique visitors per month.
Former NNS reporter Naomi Waxman won the bronze award from the Milwaukee Press Club in the “Online: Best Hard Feature Story” category for her special report, “Teetering on the brink: Barriers to reproductive health care access.” Waxman was a Diederich College of Communication graduate student and Public Policy Forum Fellow at NNS when the article was published. She is currently in the graduate journalism program at Northwestern University.