One of Coachella Valley’s Finest Reporters

Cindy Uken is a veteran, award-winning reporter and editor who spent much of career in newspapers As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in The Costco Connection, Living Lutheran, Rural Health Quarterly, HealthCentral.com and Bellingham Herald. Before become publisher and editor of UkenReport.com, Uken most recently worked as Digital Managing Editor for Townsquaremedia Billings. It is the third-largest owner of radio stations in the U.S. with 309 and 325 local websites. Townsquaremedia specializes in creating local, original content. Prior to this, Uken was the health care reporter at the Billings Gazette, Montana’s largest newspaper, where she was employed from September 2010 to December 2014.

Uken has won numerous newspaper awards, including the Impact Award from the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Montana, The Foundation of Excellence Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness Montana, Lee Enterprises President’s Award for News in 2013 and the Fairbanks Public Service Award and Outstanding Media Coverage of Public Education Award. She received the 2013 Award for Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Health Care Journalists for coverage of the suicide epidemic in Montana. She has also won several awards from the Montana Newspaper Association for her coverage of Montana’s high suicide rate. The series on suicide spanned six months and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She was named Distinguished Alumnus in Journalism by South Dakota State University in South Dakota. She was named one of Gannett’s Top Ten Supervisors of the Year in 2002 for her efforts in creating a website for youth in the Coachella Valley in Southern California.

In 2011, Uken was one of ten journalists selected by The Association of Health Care Journalists for the fourth class of AHCJ-CDC Health Journalism Fellows. She spent a week studying a variety of public health issues at two Atlanta campuses of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Uken’s journalism career has included writing, editing and management stints at the Aberdeen American News (Aberdeen, S.D.), St. Cloud Times, (St. Cloud, Minn.), Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD), and The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA). She also served a copy editing stint at USA Today. In 2012, Uken was selected to participate in The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, a program of USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism. Her Fellowship project examined the reasons behind Montana’s high suicide rate. Uken was the first person from Montana to receive this fellowship. Uken was one of six people from the United States selected as a recipient of the 2013-2014 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. In April 2016, Uken was one of three people inducted into the Yankton (S.D.) High School Fine Arts Hall of Fame for her contributions to the Yankton High School Fine Arts programs. Some of her more notable interviews were with Former President Gerald R. Ford, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Garrison Keillor. See additional articles here.