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We don’t like to brag, but The Reader has a long history of recognition. From leading national associations to earning local credibility, especially around hard news and rich cultural coverage.

But did you know we won an award last year for our business writing?

Out of hundreds of news outlets across an eight-state region, The Great Plains Journalism Awards recognized The Omaha Reader for writing the best business feature earlier this year. It’s our first time entering the competition and we were surprised to see our name in first place in a category we don’t cover often. 

But it just goes to show that all stories are really just about people.

In “Uncertainty, Fear, Hope: One Small Business District’s Pandemic Survival,” reporter Chris Bowling wanted to understand the big picture by narrowing down to the specific. Over the course of a few weeks in March and April of 2020, he talked to nearly every business owner in Dundee to understand how the pandemic was affecting them.

What he found was fear and anxiety, but also hope and resilience. It was one of our favorite stories from the past year and we’re so excited the people who make up one of our favorite business districts were recognized.

We also won an award with the Local Independent Online News Publishers association for having the best solutions journalism story of the past year. “The Fight to Change Social Studies in Nebraska,” by reporter Leah Cates, followed students and educators trying to address inequities and falsehoods in the history Nebraskans are taught. We faced so many obstacles along the way, from schools refusing to make teachers available for interviews to combing through pages and pages of textbooks, but the result was a well researched, thought provoking piece that beat out competitors from across the country.

We want to earn Omaha more recognition by building a stronger journalism community. And we want you to be a part of it by becoming a member today.


John Heaston

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