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Michigan Public is proud of its legacy of excellence in reporting. The Michigan Public news team has been recognized with more than 45 awards from numerous organizations including the award for General Excellence from the Michigan Associated Press, and Station of the Year Award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters. Michigan Public has also received national awards from the Public Radio News Directors, Inc., Radio Television Digital News Association, UNITY: Journalists of Color, and the Association for Women in Communications.

Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek wins Advancement of Justice Award for investigative story

Michigan Radio reporter Sarah Cwiek has been selected as a winner of a 2020 Wade H. McCree Award for the Advancement of Justice by the Michigan Press Association Foundation.  Cwiek was recognized for her story, “They say their son needs to be in a psychiatric hospital. He went to jail instead” from February, 2019. 

This story highlights the impossible situation in which some families with autistic children find themselves: stuck in a loop of emergency rooms and police encounters, in a state that makes it all but impossible to get a child admitted to inpatient psychiatric medical care.

The McCree Awards recognize journalism that examines, explains, exposes and details important issues in law and government.  The award is named after distinguished Michigan attorney Wade H. McCree, who served as judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals and Solicitor General of the United States.

The Advancement of Justice awards were established in 1974 in a collaborative effort between the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan Press Association.  The Michigan Press Association Foundation was created in 1980 to further the interests of journalism in Michigan.

Other winners of a 2020 McCree Award were Reporter Karen Bouffard of the Detroit News for an in-depth investigation “Healing Justice” which showed America’s underinvestment in mental health services, and the enormous expense of incarceration; and Reporter Heather Catallo of WXYZ for an in-depth investigation “Guardianship Epidemic: I just want my parents back.”  Her reporting showed that as baby boomers age, guardianship abuse is increasingly becoming a bigger problem across the country.

The awards are presented annually to the winners at the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame ceremony, held each spring, but which has been moved to a later date to be determined.

Michigan Radio listeners, readers, and reporters are rising to the challenge every day. If you can, please support essential journalism during this crisis.

Suzanne Belanger is a Marketing Associate at Michigan Public, coordinating community and media partnerships, public relations, special events, and more. She started working in radio when she was 14 years old at her hometown station in Delphos, Ohio. Throughout her radio career, she’s worked at a number of stations in Ohio, Florida and Michigan.
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