Candidates for the Communicator of Achievement award are nominated by NPW members for exceptional achievement in the communications field, service to NPW/NFPW, and service to their communities. The COA award is the highest honor bestowed by NPW.

Eileen Wirth Named NPW Communicator of Achievement

Eileen Wirth, left, receives the COA award from Barb Batie.

Eileen Wirth, a former Omaha World-Herald reporter and Creighton University professor, was named NPW 2018 Communicator of Achievement during the organization’s fall conference Oct. 6 in Neligh.

In 2017, Wirth was inducted into the Marian Andersen Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame, sponsored by NPW and housed at the University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Wirth is known as a trailblazer in Nebraska journalism.

As a reporter at the World-Herald, Wirth made her presence known in a male-dominated newsroom. This experience gave her a solid foundation as she moved into public relations at Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha.

She also spent 25 years teaching at Creighton University. Wirth chaired the Department of Journalism, Media and Computing that she created.

A native of Nebraska City, Wirth has penned eight books. “From Society Page to Front Page: Nebraska Women in Journalism” showcases Nebraska’s women journalists who challenged traditional female roles. Her book on the history of the Henry Doorly Zoo was published in 2017.

Wirthn will represent Nebraska in the NFPW Communicator of Achievement competition set for June in Baton Rouge.

Some Past NPW Communicators of Achievement

Below are some former NPW COA recipients: back from left, Judy Nelson, Glennis Nagel, Ruth Brown, Martha Stoddard, Cheryl Alberts Irwin, Mary Pat Finn-Hoag; front row from left, Lori Potter, Joan Burney, Stephanie Geery-Zink, Terri Hahn, and Barb Batie at the 2011 NFPW convention after Terri was named runner-up to the national COA.

Past State Achievement Award Recipients

2017 Judy Nelson, Lincoln
2016 Bette Pore, Grand Island
2015 Lori Potter, Kearney
2014 Ruth Raymond Thone, Lincoln
2013 Mary Pierce, Ogallala
2012 Sherry Thompson, Omaha
2011 Stephanie Geery-Zink, Lincoln
2010 Terri Hahn, Grand island
2009 Martha Stoddard, Lincoln
2008 Barb Micek, Fullerton
2007 Dr. Ruth Brown, Lexington
2006 Cheryl Alberts Irwin, Lincoln
2005 Glennis Nagel, Kearney
2004 Dorothy Fryer, Norfolk
2003 Barb Batie, Lexington
2002 Marianne Beel, Valentine
2001 Mary Pat Finn-Hoag, Norfolk
2000 Mary Bargman Crawford, Alliance
1998 Andrea Cranford, Lincoln
1997 Sue Fitzgerald, Lexington
1996 Gwen Lindberg, West Point
1995 Lori Potter, Kearney
1994 Evelyn Aufdenkamp, Clay Center
1993 Karen Stansbery, Brule
1992 Joan Burney, Hartington
1991 Mary Ann (Koch) Blackledge, North Platte
1990 Jill Claflin, Lexington
1989 Vicki Miller, Lincoln
1988 Judy Johnson, West Point
1987 Marj Marlette, Lincoln
1986 Judy Nelson, Lincoln
1984 Lois Lambley, North Bend
1982 Dr. Wilma Crumley, Lincoln
1981 Joan Burney, Hartington
1980 Marianne Beel, Valentine
1979 Lilly Frels, Hershey
1978 Lilas Thomas, Ogallala
1967 Helen Green, Fairbury
1961 Velma Price, Newman Grove
1958 Norma Carpenter, Lincoln

National Communicators of Achievement from Nebraska
1993 Joan Burney, Hartington
1985 Lois Lambley, North Bend