The 2016 Kunkel winners were awarded over on the Society of Professional Journalists website. SPJ regional director, Michael Koretzky, outlined the winners and the runner-ups who were not winners.
In the news reporting category, first place went to Brad Glasgow for a piece published on Allthink.com titled “A Gamer’s Guide to the 2016 Presidential Election: Video Game Violence”.
Infrequent contributor to One Angry Gamer, and regular at The Escapist and GameRanx, Nick Monroe, managed to edge out a second place victory with “The Reality of the SAG-AFTRA Voice Actors Strike” published on GameRanx.
In the topic of feature writing, Polygon’s “Imposter Syndrome: Game Developers Who Feel Like Frauds” and Kill Screen’s “Punktendo: The 8-Bit punk games you didn’t play” both tied for first place. It seems weird that out of everything published in 2016 the only two winners in feature writing were from two anti-gamer sites, the second of which has been rumored to be be shut down, as chronicled by Kotaku In Action. The significance of this is that some of Kill Screen’s former writers have been complaining about not being paid.
Kill Screen doesn’t pay its writers and contributors. pic.twitter.com/FAEjSFM5f4
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 11, 2017
Anyway, second and third place in the feature writing category went to Gamasutra’s “The state of game development in Africa”, along with “The Untold Story of the Ghostbusters Video Game that was Almost a Masterpiece” by Playboy.
In the news video and streaming category, Kotaku etched out a first-place win with “The NSFW World of Skyrim and Fallout Nudity Mods”. There were no second or third place winners. I’m shocked nothing from SuperBunnyHop was nominated, and absolutely appalled that H3H3 Productions’ dig into the illegal gambling rings in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community wasn’t brought up.
Let’s not forget that after H3H3’s video was published it triggered a ripple effect that not only resulted in a class action lawsuit against YouTubers, but also resulted in an FTC investigation, had the Washington State Gambling Commission coming down on Valve, along with Valve issuing cease and desist letters to all the CS:GO gambling sites out there, and even triggered Australia to amend their laws to prohibit e-sports betting and gambling.
It’s safe to say that the CS:GO underground gambling rings being busted thanks to the work of some YouTubers, including H3H3 Productions, was probably one of the biggest video stories out there. That’s not to mention that it was journalism that had real world ramifications that completely changed the entire economic market for skin betting for all of Valve’s games. It was industry-altering.
Anyway, last but not least on the SPJ’s awards was the feature video/streaming, which went to Danny O’Dwyer’s “Doom Resurrected” series. Mark Brown’s “Morality in the Mechanics” won second place, and third place went to “A Day With Keiichiro Toyama” from toco toco tv.
You can check out all the entries and why they won by visiting the SPJ website.