CONTACT: Christi Powers
State Bar of Wisconsin
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
Milwaukee, Racine reporters receive Golden Gavel Awards
MADISON, June 23, 2003 - The State Bar of Wisconsin
recognized Mark Hertzberg of The Journal Times (Racine)
and Dan Jones of Milwaukee Public Television for
winning 2002 Golden Gavel Awards presented at the Wisconsin Broadcaster
Association's summer conference in Spring Green last week.
The Wisconsin Gavel Awards competition was established in 1985 as an
annual event to recognize outstanding public service messages by
newspapers, television/radio stations and other media outlets. Michelle
Behnke, State Bar president-elect, presented the two awards for
electronic submissions that were selected by members of the State Bar's
Media Law Relations committee.
"The State Bar was pleased with the caliber of submissions in this
year's competition," said Behnke. "Whether it was a public radio
broadcast featuring a judicial review on statewide court cases, or a
news cast on a local legal issue, all of the entrants did a nice job of
accurately portraying aspects of the judicial system. This is so
important in educating the public about our legal system. We encourage
the broadcast media to compete again next year."
Hertzberg was selected for his photographic submission entitled:
"Cameras in Court." As head photographer at The Journal Times,
Hertzberg has covered the court system for more than two decades. The
anthology of court room photos covered a gamut of scenes including
defendants, victims, and court officials. Hertzberg is also researching
and authoring a book on Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural designs in
and around the Racine area.
Jones' winning entry, "Don't Kill Me: Teens Against Guns,"
is a one-hour documentary that follows a group of 15 Milwaukee public
high school students as they write, rehearse and perform a play about
the dangers of gun violence. He A former television reporter and news
anchor, Jones has recently produced several other documentaries
featuring local Milwaukee history including "A Day in the Life of
Milwaukee," and "Lisbon Avenue: A Neighborhood on the
Three other entries were awarded certificates of commendation by
State Bar volunteer committee members.
Benson Gardner, legal affairs reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio
(WPR), was recognized for his Wisconsin Supreme Court coverage. A
previous Golden Gavel winner, he has also garnered awards for feature
stories on child abuse, rave parties and pet care. A Wisconsin native,
Gardner grew up in Menomonie and graduated with an anthropology degree
from the University of Chicago in 1995.
Cindy Van Vreede and Mark Siegrist received certificates of
commendation for "Inside View:Judicial Report," a segment that
aired earlier this year on Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV). The
documentary summarized focus group discussion of Wisconsin's legal
system. Overseen by a State Bar committee, the in-depth findings were
published in a report entitled: "Public
Trust and Confidence in the Justice System - The Wisconsin
Initiative." Van Vreede and Siegrist collaborated on the segment that
also featured interviews with Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine
Geske and Milwaukee Municipal Court Judge Derek Mosely.
Having also produced the Emmy award-winning "Smith &
Company" show, Van Vreede has been with MPTV for 23 years and
oversees election coverage results. A radio and television journalist of
more than 30 years, Siegrist is the host of "Inside View." He has
produced numerous documentaries ranging from Milwaukee church
architecture to the juvenile justice system, and was previously a talk
show host in Iowa.
Kris Schuller, a Green Bay reporter from WFRV-TV, was awarded a
certificate of commendation for "Depicting Nudity," a news
report on a mother who discovered her ex-husband's videotape of her
underage daughter undressing. The district attorney was unable able to
prosecute the case since charges were based on a statute that was ruled
A graduate of UW-Milwaukee, Kris has garnered numerous awards for his
investigative coverage of local news and previously worked at television
stations in Eau Claire and Michigan. He was honored by the Associated
Press, Milwaukee Press Club and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
for his in-depth coverage of the Thomas Monfils murder case.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association,
created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a law
license in Wisconsin. With more than 20,000 members, the State Bar aids
the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides
continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their
expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community
service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the
value of lawyers.