Press Release: News Release June 2003: Milwaukee, Racine reporters receive Golden Gavel Awards:

State Bar of Wisconsin

Sign In

Top Link Bar may be unavailable on December 13 between 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. for system maintenance.​​​​​​

News & Pubs Search

  • Press Release

    News Release June 2003: Milwaukee, Racine reporters receive Golden Gavel Awards

    Share This:

    For Immediate Release

    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 Edge."

    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 overly broad.

    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.