SPJ Kunkel Awards’ Michael Koretzky Steps Down, New Director Appointed
SPJ Kunkel Awards
(Last Updated On: April 11, 2017)

One of the judges for the 2016 SPJ Kunkel Awards, Brittany Ferrendi – a reporter for the South Florida Gay News outlet – has been appointed as the new director for the SPJ Kunkel Awards moving forward. Former director of the Kunkels, Michael Koretzky, has stepped down.

The wry sense of humor and self-deprecating candor of Koretzky will no longer headline, outline or organize the SPJ Kunkel Awards. Ferrendi will be taking his place.

The news was posted up over on the SPJ blog, where there’s a brief introduction to Ferrendi, who is currently playing and enjoying Killing Floor 2 and Mass Effect: Andromeda.

Ferrendi will have a large set of shoes to fill for next years awards for 2017’s journalistic entries. According to the blog, her duties will include…

  • “Consult gaming journalists, readers, and developers to determine how many (and what kind of) categories the Kunkels will offer.


  • “Recruit judges and sets deadlines for their wise decisions and nasty comments.


  • “Writes up those comments in blog posts and winner remarks that are intended to both teach and encourage quality journalism.


  • “Act as spokesperson to anyone who wants to talk or complain about the Kunkels.”

This year’s Kunkel’s saw Brad Glasgow step away with the top honors in news reporting at AllThink.

Some people thought the right people were awarded the proper recognition, others weren’t pleased with some of the same anti-gamer sites like Polygon and Kotkau making the cut. Over on Kotaku in Action some of them don’t seem particularly pleased with how Ferrendi seems to be a supporter of the kind of journalism that led to #GamerGate blowing up.

Others are willing to give Ferrendi a chance and have extended an olive branch in the form of an AMA on Kotaku in Action so they can better understand where she’s coming from. She also mentions on Twitter that she trusts the team to do the right thing when it comes to quality reporting over reputations.

You’ll have to wait until 2018 to see how well Ferrendi handles the unpaid duties of wading through all the entries for the Kunkel Awards.

Meanwhile, Koretzky is hoping in some way to get a booth setup at E3 in hopes of helping video game journalists learn a bit more about proper journalism in the field of interactive entertainment. One thing is for sure… Koretzky actually seems dedicated to pursuing the topic of ethics in media journalism.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • ArsVampyre

    I’m still pretty concerned that she seems to thing gaming news means Polygon, Kotaku, and IGN. She can claim otherwise, but that’s all that she follows, and that makes me suspicious. Combine that with her timeline, and frankly I don’t see any reason to think that the next Kunkels will be anything more than a way for the same corruption that destroyed the Hugos and caused GamerGate to flourish with SPJ legitimacy.

    Not a whole lot I can do about it anyway, but I bet next year’s awards have more to do with identity politics than facts.

    • I’ll wait to see what she has to say in the KIA AMA. It’s an honest sounding board where people can ask questions and get honest responses.

      Koretzky may have been old (school) but at least he was willing to listen and learn, and as others have mentioned, he seemed genuine when it came to wanting more and better ethics in journalism.

      We’ll see if this new blood carries the same principles as the old blood.

  • Mr.Towel

    This doesn’t smell good…

    I know that the gay community isn’t so far left these days, they’re finally figuring out they’re just tools. But still… regressive ideas are still big in the LGBT talking points. Have you seen the stuff at South Florida Gay News? It’s the same shit, like “How becoming a man made me a Feminist?”

    I think Koretzky was better, at least she seemed to genuinely care about ethics standards in this industry.

  • So basically, we now have an SJW as director for the SPJ Kunkel Awards?

    The SPJ has fallen so far since that Airplay event (you know the one that got the bomb threat).

    • lucben999

      I remember towards the beginning of the bomb-tastic SPJ saga Koretzky mentioned everyone else was advising him to ignore GamerGate, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the SPJ is mostly aGGro. Also remember that guy from the Poynter Institute who went to Airplay and chuckled at everything? He had been tweeting aGGro crap too, if I remember correctly he had retweeted the Dan Olson video on GG or something along those lines.