One of Coachella Valley’s Finest Journalist

Cindy Uken is a veteran, award-winning journalist 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, and Bellingham Herald. Uken Report’s persistence in getting the details of a news story allows readers to be better informed about political, healthcare and veteran news.

Uken was honored with the 2022 Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Service. “We honor your leadership and devotion to our veterans.  We are very grateful for your award-winning honest reporting of the truth.  Your work has helped to educate and improve so many lives.  You are an inspiration to everyone as you lead us in the causes of liberty, equality and justice.  Your are a true American hero!”    — Veterans for Peace Jon Castro Chapter 19 (Inland Empire, CA)

Uken also 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 additional 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
  • Fairbanks Public Service Award and Outstanding Media Coverage of Public Education Award

Uken also 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
  • American Author, Garrison Keillor

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