Jim Piwowarczyk and Jessica McBride Milwaukee Press Club Awards 2021

Jim Piwowarczyk and Jessica McBride won two Milwaukee Press Club awards for their Wisconsin Right Now coverage of the Water Street shooting/chaos and the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

The awards came in the video and column writing categories.

The Water Street video stories involved gunshots during the Bucks’ championship celebration; video of a victim collapsing in the street; a foot chase by Milwaukee police; and a shooting on Water Street as city officials downplayed the violence, putting police and citizens in immense danger.

We wrote in one of the stories: “As we were standing on Water Street, just down from Juneau, a violent fight broke out in front of us, despite several police officers standing there. A shot rang out as a gunfight broke out a few yards from us. Wisconsin Right Now’s Jim Piwowarczyk captured the chaos — and the sound of gunfire — on video.

The Milwaukee Press Club Contest is a prestigious statewide contest; Piwowarczyk and McBride were named winners on March 8, 2022, as the Milwaukee Press Club released its list of finalists. All finalists win gold, silver or bronze medals. Specific locations will be announced at the awards ceremony later this spring. Major state newspapers, online sites and TV stations are participating in the contest.

Piwowarczyk also won a photography award in 2021, and McBride has received numerous previous Milwaukee Press Club awards for everything from investigative reporting to magazine writing.

Wisconsin Right Now is an entrepreneurial news site founded by Piwowarczyk and McBride to tell the stories the media ignores or distorts. Its traffic ranks WRN among the top online news sites in the state, and the site is ranked #2 of all independently operated online news sites in Wisconsin.

In the Water Street stories, McBride and Piwowarczyk received reports from law enforcement that the media was not fully covering how much chaos had escalated, at a time when the Then-mayor Tom Barrett and other city leaders downplayed the violence. Wisconsin Right Now videos captured a shooting (just yards away), a foot chase by police, and more. The Rittenhouse column essentially predicted the outcome of the trial (acquittal in self-defense) in a detailed explanation of the evidence at a time when much of the media focused on irrelevant material like Rittenhouse yawning in court and downplaying his due process and his self-defense arguments, in an effort to fit the accused into a simplistic political narrative.

Jessica McBride’s column began: “The presentation of the charge on the second day of Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was a train wreck. You wouldn’t know that from the rest of the media, of course, who focused on the Rittenhouse yawn or other irrelevance. How bad was that for the state? So bad that the prosecutor’s opening statement almost argued in favor of the defense.

By the way, students of McBride’s journalism courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee also won numerous awards in the same competition.

Jim Piwowarczyk and Jessica McBride Milwaukee Press Club Awards

These are the categories in which Jim Piwowarczyk and Jessica McBride won awards for Wisconsin Right Now along with the other winners in those categories, in no particular order. The actual award standings – gold, silver and bronze – will be announced on May 6 at the club’s Gridiron Awards event at The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.


Best Multi-Day Coverage of an Ongoing Story

Team I TMJ4
ATM4 News
The thin stretched paramedics

Jim Piwowarczyk
Jessica McBride
Wisconsin right now
Water Street Shootings

News WISN 12
Waukesha Parade Tragedy

best column

Henry Sanders, Jr.
With people of color in positions of power, Madison becomes a national role model

Reggie Jackson
Milwaukee Independent
Why Systematic Racism Creates an Ongoing Fight for Justice in Milwaukee

Jessica McBride
Wisconsin right now
Rittenhouse Trial

About Marc Womack

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