Indianapolis Star reporters, Ball State student win top contest honors

Three reporters from The Indianapolis Star and a Ball State University student are the top winners in the chapter’s 2017 Best in Indiana contest, while students from Indiana University and Ball State received the chapter’s college scholarships.

Indianapolis Star reporter Mark Alesia was selected as the Indiana Journalist of the Year for work including investigations into how USA Gymnastics responded to reports of sexual abuse by coaches and doctors and the state’s financial troubles surrounding the Interstate 69 extension project between Bloomington and Martinsville.

Tim Evans and Ryan Martin of The Indianapolis Star won the Story of the Year award for their series of stories investigating how an Indianapolis drug gang was able to intimidate witnesses and how little the city spent on protecting witnesses.

Casey Smith of Ball State University was named Student Journalist of the Year in recognition of her work at The Ball State Daily News, National Geographic and USA Today.

Other top winners include Malcolm Abrams of Bloom Magazine receiving the Slaymaker Service to Journalism Award and Tony Cook of The Indianapolis Star receiving the First Amendment Award.

Congratulations to all the winners from across the state for their outstanding broadcast, print and online journalism. You can download the entire winner's list here and share it.

Proceeds from the Best in Indiana contest help fund the chapter’s college scholarship program. The two winners of $2,500 scholarships for the 2018-19 school year are Emily Abshire of Indiana University and Esther Bower of Ball State University.

The awards were presented April 27 during the chapter’s annual awards banquet.