PN's Toloken wins award for investigative journalism

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Caroline Seidel Asia Bureau Chief Steve Toloken.

CLEVELAND —  Plastics News Asia bureau chief Steve Toloken has been honored again for his coverage of the collapse of Feng Ping Tooling & Plastics Mfg. Co. Ltd., a Chinese tooling company with Chicago-area ties.

Toloken received a gold award in the Heartland region in the American Society of Business Press Editors annual Awards of Excellence at a July 11 event in Cleveland.

Toloken was honored in the impact/investigative journalism category for online news. His story, “Feng Ping workers arrested in protest,” ran on on Dec. 23.

Earlier this year, Toloken was honored for the same story by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Detroit chapter, as well as a story on businessman Chip Starnes being held hostage by his employees. The SPJ honors included two first place awards for breaking news.

In early December 2013, Feng Ping’s owners were held hostage in their own plant in Dongguan, China, by disgruntled workers and had to escape in the trunk of a car. Later that month workers were arrested for blocking traffic in protest of over what they called an unfair labor settlement.

Toloken, who was based in Guangzhou, China, interviewed the owners and went to Dongguan to interview workers outside the plant.

“I know Plastics News readers appreciate our high-quality journalism, and we’re all very proud of Steve’s work,” said PN Editor Don Loepp.