The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

1998 International Wheel Award Winners Announced at North American International Auto Show

4 January 1998

1998 International Wheel Award Winners Announced at North American International Auto Show

    DETROIT, Jan. 4 -- Winners in the 1998 International Wheel
Awards competition for journalistic excellence were announced and awards
presented today at the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center
    Print and broadcast journalists representing The Detroit News and
Greensboro, NC station WFMY-TV won the contest's coveted Golden Wheel awards.
Entries by the winners -- "Affordability" by Detroit News reporters Katherine
Yung and Anita Lienert, and "Killer Air Bag Coverup" by reporters Greg Hunter,
Scott Brooks, Gavin Gibbons and Arch Embler of WFMY-TV -- also won first
places for best news story in their respective medium, newspapers and
    In a special report the News found that the affordability of new cars and
trucks was becoming a troubling issue for the auto industry.  In its three-
part air bag report, station WFMY-TV's investigative team found that design
defects are the cause of deaths, that some vehicles "have many deaths while
Honda Accords have none."
    Ward's Auto World won two of the contest's seven first place awards, Greg
Gardner, Tim Keenan, Jeff Green, David Smith and Drew Winter for best news
story among Special Interest Publications, and David Smith in the Product
Evaluation category for all print media.  Other first place winners included
Kathleen Kerwin and Gail DeGeorge of Business Week, Patrick Bedard of Car and
Driver Magazine, and Richard Wright of CBC-TV (the Canadian Broadcasting
Corp.), Toronto.
    The Wheel Awards -- including $12,000 in cash prizes -- were presented by
President Edward Lapham of the sponsoring Detroit Press Foundation, during the
first of the press preview days preceding the Saturday, January 10 formal
opening of the auto show.
    Stylized wheels and a $1,000 cash prize were presented to each of the
contest's first place winners.  Golden Wheel winners in print and in broadcast
each received an additional $2,500.  Their entries were selected from among
all first place winners as the best-of-the-best in their respective medium,
regardless of category.
    Publications and stations represented by second and third place winners
included USA Today, Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, Business Week,
Popular Mechanics, Automotive News, Car and Driver, the Chicago Tribune, KWTV
(Oklahoma City), KEYT3 (Santa Barbara, CA), WDIV-TV (Detroit), Ward's Auto
    The contest was established by the 33-year-old foundation as an extension
of its charter to promote excellence in journalism, and in recognition of
Detroit and Michigan's global significance in the auto industry, according to
Lapham, executive editor of Automotive News.
    The judges said of the Detroit News' "Affordability" entry: ". . . its
broad focus is buttressed by superb reporting and detail.  A story showing
excellent enterprise that is valuable to a wide cross-section of readers."  On
WFMY-TV's air bag entry, they commented: "The air bag controversy is, perhaps,
the most critical in the auto industry.  It presents an irony in auto safety
since the technology which was designed as a life-saver has turned out to be a
killer itself."
    Winners were selected from among more than 195 entries from North America,
Europe and Australia.  They competed in four categories: best story by medium,
and "all print" and "all broadcast" categories including editorial/commentary,
news programming/documentary, and product evaluation.
    Judging was conducted at the University of Nebraska's College of
Journalism and Mass Communications under the direction of Dean Will Norton,
Jr.  Entries were for the auto industry's 1997 model year, October 1, 1996 -
September 30, 1997.
    Following are the winners in the Detroit Press Foundation's 1998
International Wheel Awards competition.

                             GOLDEN WHEEL AWARDS

  To Those Whose Work is Judged the Best of the Best From Among All Entries

    PRINT:      "Affordability" by Katherine Yung & Anita Lienert,
                The Detroit News
    BROADCAST: "Killer Air Bag Coverup" by Greg Hunter, Scott Brooks,
                Gavin Gibbons, Arch Embler, WFMY-TV, Greensboro, NC

    NEWSPAPERS:  1st Place) "Affordability," by Katherine Yung and Anita
Lienert in The Detroit News; 2nd) "A New American Auto Industry," by Daniel
Howes and Dave Phillips in The Detroit News; 3rd) "General Motors vs Ignacio
Lopez," by Micheline Maynard in USA Today.

    GENERAL INTEREST MAGAZINES:  1st Place) "Hurricane Huizenga," Kathleen
Kerwin and Gail DeGeorge in Business Week; 2nd) "Can Chrysler Keep It Up,"
Bill Vlasic in Business Week; 3rd) "Montana Run," Scott Oldham and Don Chaikin
in Popular Mechanics.

    TELEVISION:  1st Place) "Killer Air Bag Coverup," Greg Hunter, Scott
Brooks, Gavin Gibbons, Arch Embler on WFMY-TV (Greensboro, NC); 2nd) "Bad
Brakes," Chris Halsne on KWTV (Oklahoma City); 3rd) "Sudden Acceleration," Rod
Meloni on WDIV-TV (Detroit).

    SPECIAL INTEREST PUBLICATION:  1st Place) "Engineers & The Law," Greg
Gardner, Tim Keenan, Jeff Green, David Smith, Drew Winter, in Ward's Auto
World; 2nd) "What Killed Ayrton Senna," Tim Rayment, Peter Windsor and Steve
Spence in Car and Driver; 3rd) "Ford: Retailing Crossroads," Mary Connelly,
Arlena Sawyers and Lindsay Chappell, Automotive News.

    ALL PRINT MEDIA:  1st Place) "A Place to Go When You Need Cash," Patrick
Bedard in Car and Driver Magazine; 2nd) "Acquisition Fee/Unclaimed Sales
Marketing Schemes," James Mateja in Chicago Tribune; 3rd) "Sacred Cow,
Efficiency Don't Mix," Doron Levin in Detroit Free Press.

    ALL BROADCAST MEDIA:  1st Place) "Air Bags," Richard Wright on CBC-TV
(Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) (Toronto); 2nd) "The Rouge," John Owens and
Emery King on WDIV-TV (Detroit); 3rd) "Know, Before You Tow," Steve Ford on
KEYT3 (Santa Barbara, CA).

                          PRODUCT REVIEW/EVALUATION
    ALL PRINT MEDIA:  1st Place) "Prowling Sunset Boulevard," David Smith in
Ward's Auto World; 2nd) "The Best-Handling Car," Don Schroeder in Car and
Driver Magazine; 3rd) "Looks Like a Truck, Glides Like a Lincoln," Keith
Naughton in Business Week.

SOURCE  Detroit Press Foundation