Post and Courier staff has received 94 awards from the SC Press association and two National Headliners awards this year. The Post and Courier prides itself on being a highly credible news source for readers across South Carolina and these awards are a testimony to the extensive qualifications of the publication. These reporters, photojournalists and editors have amassed extensive audiences that our business partners have been able to reach through various advertising and sponsorship opportunities. Follow along to learn more about these notable awards and the people behind the stories.
Avery Wilks, chief investigative reporter for The Post and Courier in Columbia, was named South Carolina’s Journalist of the Year.
Wilks, who joined the newspaper in 2020, had his hands on many of the state’s biggest stories last year. He was the lead reporter on the many-faceted Murdaugh murders saga while also heading coverage of the dozen South Carolinians charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Wilks also produced numerous investigative stories that exposed rampant misspending at one of the state’s largest school districts, revealed that a small town clerk had given herself a $30,000 raise from a pot of federal money she controls and uncovered a state senator’s mysterious history of sitting on state grant checks owed to charities in his district — to the tune of $600,000. He did this while also producing political profiles, helping lead a new podcast, and coaching high school and college students on the tenets of journalism.
National Headliner Awards
The Post and Courier has received a pair of prestigious journalism honors from the National Headliner Awards.
Former reporter Jennifer Berry Hawes received a first-place award in the feature writing category for journalists working outside a top 20 media market. Hawes was honored for a portfolio that included stories about an intellectually disabled man subjected to horrific labor trafficking, an examination of a man long reputed to be the leader of a massive but doomed slave rebellion in Charleston, and a police chief’s battle back from a rare and devastating cancer that cost him a leg and hip.
Hawes and colleague Thad Moore also won a second-place nod for investigative reporting by newspapers not in a top 20 market.
They won for “Danger on the Docks,” which investigated the safety record at Detyens Shipyards Inc., a North Charleston ship-repair business where four men died on the job in three years — more than shipyards many times larger.
The investigation found that the leaders of a Navy command had long harbored safety concerns. Yet it continued to award the shipyard work worth hundreds of millions of dollars, dwarfing fines issued by safety regulators.
The National Headliner Awards were founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City. The annual contest is one of the oldest and largest in the country that recognizes journalistic merit in the communications industry.