SPRINGFIELD – Amanda Vinicky, Statehouse reporter for public radio WUIS 91.9FM, recently won first-place honors in the annual competition sponsored by Capitolbeat, the national organization of journalists covering state and local governments.
The award, in the radio in-depth reporting category, recognized "Electric Rate Shock," Vinicky's series focusing on how Illinois fared after electric utility deregulation. In her reports, Vinicky detailed the surge in power bills, how it affected people and social service agencies, what it meant for electric supply companies competing in Illinois, and what options the General Assembly was pursuing to rectify the situation.
"This is a complicated and complex issue and Amanda succeeded in explaining all the elements," said WUIS News Director Rich Bradley. "I am pleased her effort has been recognized by a distinguished panel of her peers in the radio, television, and print journalism arena."
"The award shows pubic radio's commitment to serious issues and quality state government coverage. We are very proud of Amanda," said station General Manager Bill Wheelhouse.
Vinicky has served in WUIS' Statehouse bureau since spring 2006 and, as a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield, completed an internship with the bureau in 2005. She has previously worked at a National Public Radio affiliate in Iowa City, Iowa, as well as for newspapers and television stations in the Chicago area. She received bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science from the U of I at Chicago in 2003.
When the winners of this year's Capitolbeat awards were announced, the association noted that news outlets from Illinois – represented by six PAR alumni – received a combined 10 awards across seven categories. In addition, PAR director Charles N. Wheeler III received top honors for magazine commentary.
WUIS is listener-supported public radio for central and west central Illinois and is part of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS. More information about the station's news coverage and programming is available at www.wuis.org.