The Omaha Reader took home top prizes in the Great Plains Journalism Awards competition which includes entries from eight states across the midwest.

Chris Bowling’s story “Grainolia’s Journey, One Step at a Time” won the award for the Great Plains Journalism Award’s top business feature of 2022. The story follows baker, chef and artist Obed Sanchez-Liborio story of struggle and perseverance to make some of the city’s most unique cuisine through his business Grainolia. It is the second year in a row Bowling has won the award.

Obed Sanchez-Liborio sits in the dining room of his former Grainolia restaurant. Photo by Chris bowling.

Ryan Syrek, The Reader’s film editor, also won the competition’s top review award. Judges analyzed three works by Syrek: “I Explain and Complain About the Bourdain Refrain,” “Who Gives a Rat’s Asteroid” and “Twitterpated.” The reviews covered Roadrunner, a misguided Anthony Bourdain documentary; Don’t Look Up, a naval-gazing take on climate change; and Zola, a Twitter thread turned feature film with surprising depth.

Anthony Bourdain in Roadrunner.

The Reader’s former music editor Sam Crisler was also a finalist for his story “Pagan Athletes and the Mastery of Controlled Chaos,” which follows two Omaha brothers with a penchant for jazz, punk and noise rock.

The Great Plains Journalism Awards, hosted annually by the Tulsa Press Club and Benevolent Association, honors the best journalism in the midwest. It includes entries from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

See the full list of winners.

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