The Potluck

Reformer reporter Deena Winter wins Journalist of the Year

By: - June 29, 2022 3:09 pm

Reformer staff writer Deena Winter. Photo by Max Nesterak.

The Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists named Reformer reporter Deena Winter its journalist of the year for her work during 2021.

Winter, who has been a reporter and editor for three decades, distinguished herself with high-profile investigative and enterprise reporting across a broad swath of the Minnesota news landscape, including the rise of pillow mogul Mike Lindell, the prosecution of Jaleel Stallings, and exploding overtime costs of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Winter’s distinction was one of 11 awards granted the Reformer.

Among them: Aaron Brown won first place for his commentary, “Law and order starts with peace,” which was a meditation on modern policing.

The Reformer won both second and third place in the investigative category. Winter and former Reformer reporter Rilyn Eischens used data and interviews to show police are ineffective at solving gun crimes.

Reformer contributor Logan Carroll was honored for uncovering a pro-police political group’s ties to the mayor and chief of police of Minneapolis.

The Daily Reformer, which is the site’s newsletter, took home third prize in the newsletter category.

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J. Patrick Coolican
J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican is Editor-in-Chief of Minnesota Reformer. Previously, he was a Capitol reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune for five years, after a Knight-Wallace Fellowship at the University of Michigan and time at the Las Vegas Sun, Seattle Times and a few other stops along the way. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and two young children