Announcing the winners of our newest award, The Nina Mason Pulliam Environmental Journalism Award for environmental reporting

The winners of the Arizona Press Club’s inaugural Nina Mason Pulliam Environmental Journalism Award for environmental reporting is a team of investigative journalism students at Arizona State University (ASU) and Emery Cowan with Arizona Daily Sun.

In the statewide category, News21 reporters were selected for their work on a series of stories called “Troubled Water” focused on unsafe water in urban communities.

In the community category, Cowan was honored for her continued coverage of uranium mining in northern Arizona.

The award, sponsored by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, recognizes the best reporting on natural resources, ecology, environmental policy or human interaction with nature in the state in 2017. The prize includes a $1,000 award for the winners of both categories, as well as a free trip the annual Society of Environmental Journalists conference, to be held this year in Flint, Michigan.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust seeks to help people in need, especially women, children, and families; to protect animals and nature; and to enrich community life in the metropolitan areas of Indianapolis and Phoenix.

Announcing the winners of our annual Brick Wall and Sledgehammer Awards

Brick Wall Awards for First Amendment Disservice and Sledgehammer Awards

Each year, the Arizona Press Club crowns the most deceptive government agency or politician in the state with a Brick Wall Award and highlights the dedicated reporters who shine a light on the truth with a Sledgehammer Award.

Today on social media we drew attention to two real “winners” of the 2017 First Amendment Disservice Awards — known as the Brick Wall Awards.

The annual Brick Wall Award “honors” officials and government agencies that do their utmost to ignore public records requests and open meeting laws, hide or destroy public documents and place themselves above the public’s constitutional right to know about their government.

One award is going to the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections and Director Jeff Hood.

Hood and his agency have repeatedly refused to release a public record that could shed light on conditions for children held by the state, particularly with regard to mental health services. He has also refused or ignored repeated requests for an interview about conditions at ADJC, as well as requests for a tour of the facilities.

The Arizona Press Club called on the ADJC to stop hiding a report on mental health conditions from the public and to release it to the journalists from the Phoenix New Times who requested it. Read more.

Another award is going to Maricopa County Treasurer Royce Flora.

Flora, who oversees more than $11 billion in taxpayer money and is responsible for millions of tax bills, has repeatedly refused interview requests from journalists.

He won’t talk about his campaign platform. He won’t talk about errors on property records. He won’t talk about rising tax bills. He won’t talk about a new $35 million computer system. He won’t even talk about his own promise to increase investment returns by 300 percent.

The Arizona Press Club called on Flora to stop blocking the public’s constitutional right to know and to grant interviews to journalists from the Arizona Republic and other media. Read more.

On the bright side: 2 Sledgehammers
Today we also announced two winners of the 2017 Sledgehammer Awards: Arizona Daily Star reporter Caitlin Schmidt and Tucson Sentinel editor Dylan Smith.

The Sledgehammer Awards are a tribute to journalists who relentlessly week the truth, smashing through obstacles thrown their way.

Schmidt has used her knowledge of Title IX, public records requests, deep sourcing and national experts to expose how the University of Arizona put female students at risk because athletes went unchecked. Her reporting on numerous federal Title IX lawsuits filed against the UA paint a picture of campus-wisedysfunctionn.

Schmidt’s relentless pursuit of the truth included writing a story about how the UA was in violation of public-records laws when it didn’t release Title IX training materials she’d requested. Officials changed their minds.

She also used her public records superpowers to inform the public about notices of claim that detailed sexual harassment and hostile workplace accusations against football coach Rich Rodriguez, who was fired.

“Schmidt has worked tirelessly to keep readers, and the community, informed about news that the UA would rather not see printed. She is an army of one working — and winning — against a university with multiple levels of high-paid spin doctors,” a nominator wrote. “Our community is better because of her journalism.”

Read Schmidt’s work.

Smith let the sunshine into a number of dark corners of local and national news in 2017.

He was the only journalist in the nation to report a hidden provision in a bill that would have exempted the Border Patrol from Freedom of Information laws. Because of his reporting and commentary, that provision was quickly removed, keeping Congress from allowing the Border Patrol to operate in the dark.

In other reporting, Smith broke the news that political committees were not filing mandatory disclosures of hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and expenses leading up to the Tucson city election — and the city was letting them get away with it. Because of his reporting, updated filings prior to the election showed the campaign donors behind efforts to change Tucson’s City Charter — and one of those initiatives was soundly defeated by the voters.

Smith also shed light on a personnel complaint against U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva that led to a staffer getting fired and then getting a $48,000 payout; and an apparent open-meeting law violation by the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board that led to the immediate withdrawal of a superintendent candidate the night before her contract was set to be approved.

Read Smith’s work.

Aliya Mood named Arizona’s Designer of the Year

The Arizona Press Club is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Designer of the Year.

 

Judges: Wayne Kamidoi is an art director at the New York Times, Chris Rukan is a designer at The Washington Post and Kelli Sullivan is the Deputy Design Director for News and Projects at the Los Angeles Times.

 

Aliya Mood

Arizona Republic

“(Mood’s) pages really show a great breadth of range. The type and illustration treatments on the viewpoint and economy pages really stand out, but the designer also knows when to step back and let the journalism shine, as with ‘The Wall’ pages, which are really well structured.”

 

First runner-up:

Rachel Van Blankenship

Arizona Republic

Rachel’s work shows smart creativity. She knows how to surprise readers while at the same time exhibiting refined restraint in her design. Excellent work.”

 

Second runner-up:

Rick Konopka

Arizona Republic

“Rick’s work is smart, clean and well orchestrated. He quickly gives readers a sense of what the stories are about without getting in the way of the reading experience.”

Joseph Flaherty named Arizona’s Community Journalist of the Year

The Arizona Press Club is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Community Journalist of the Year Award.

Judges
: Jennifer Napier-Pearce is the editor for the Salt Lake Tribune, Daniel Simmons-Ritchie is an investigative reporter with PennLive and the Patriot-News, Sheila McCann is the managing editor for the Salt Lake Tribune.

Joseph Flaherty

Phoenix New Times

“Joseph writes with a rich detail made possible only through deft, thorough reporting. His stories expose wrongs without coming off as heavy-handed. Strong narratives intertwined with contextual explainers and solid organization set Joseph’s storytelling apart.”

 

First runner-up:

Dylan Smith

Tucson Sentinel

“Dylan Smith’s 2017 reporting was dogged, thorough and had a consistent investigative edge. From his coverage of a bill provision that would have excluded Customs and Border Protection from FOIA to failures by advocacy groups to properly disclose campaign spending, Smith served up important watchdog journalism to readers. Impressive work.”

 

Second runner-up:

Kendal Blust

Nogales International

“Blust’s portfolio is a mix of classic watchdog surveillance of local government officials and news features that give her readers a sense of place, valuing and reflecting the experiences of people living in Santa Cruz County and Nogales, Sonora. The details and voices she pursues make her stories compelling and memorable; from describing the lives of children from families who once survived by “tearing apart old appliances and salvaging copper, metal, clothing, food and anything else they could use or sell” at the El Tirabichi dumpl, to noting the “copal, sage and tobacco burning in a well-worn abalone shell” held by a member of the Lipan Apache tribe and including the former employee of the closing Bracker’s department store who says, “I can still fold a white dress shirt in seconds flat.” Her government coverage is clear and accessible, especially in her account of an officer accused of mistreating a subordinate and the police chief who says he’s trying to raise the bar for his department.”

 

Stephanie Innes named Arizona’s Virg Hill Journalist of the Year

The Arizona Press Club is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Virg Hill Journalist of the Year Award.

Judges
: Michael Winerip is a former New York Times investigative reporter who won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, Jenna Russell is a Boston GLobe investigative reporter who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Local Reporting in 2017, Mitch Pugh is the Executive Editor of The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.

Virg Hill Journalist of the Year Award

 

Stephanie Innes

Arizona Daily Star

Innes’ story, “The Good Samaritan, was a haunting and inspiring series, told from a deeply human perspective, that made the reader understand this awful event in a complex, textured, three-dimensional way. Newspapers report car accidents every day, but how often do they take the time to delve deep into the causes and consequences of these all-too-common life-altering events? Readers of this series were forced to think about the responsibility that comes with operating a motor vehicle – essentially a lethal weapon – a privilege we too often take for granted. Yet what really elevated this work was the extra effort made to include not only the perspective of the victim, but also of the driver who changed so many lives forever. By allowing readers to relate to, and even feel empathy for, both individuals, the reporter gave the reader a rare and valuable opportunity to imagine him or herself in either position. Ms. Innes’ other work last year also effectively used real human stories to illustrate the impact of key issues and events, as in her compelling June 2017 piece about the effects of Medicaid cuts on vulnerable individuals like Jacob Kirk.”

 

First runner-up

Craig Harris

Arizona Republic

Harris’ stories “the salary discrepancies between the Governor’s people and teachers and social workers was so strong and deep and powerful, it needed no commentary, the numbers said it all. No one could read those stories without being outraged by the unfairness and hypocrisy he exposed.”

 

Second runner-up

Antonia Noori Farzan

“ The Motel 6 stories brought to light a deeply concerning practice that one imagines might have gone on for much longer without this journalist’s careful and determined attention.”

Winners: 2017 Arizona Press Club photo awards

Nick Oza was named News Photographer of the Year and Christian Petersen was awarded Sports Photographer of the Year, with the award for Picture Story of the Year also going to Oza.

Photographer of the Year

First – Nick Oza, The Arizona Republic

Second – Mike Christy, Arizona Daily Star

Third – Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic

Sports Photographer of the Year

First – Christian Petersen, Getty Images

Second – Mike Christy, Arizona Daily Star

Third – Kelly Presnell, Arizona Daily Star

Honorable Mention – Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic

X01 Picture Story

First – Nick Oza, The Arizona Republic “Migrants Journey in Death Valley”

Second – Mark Henle, The Arizona Republic “Border Wall”

Third – Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic “Rally Turns Violent”

Honorable Mention – Nick Oza, The Arizona Republic “Hurricane Harvey Rescue”

Honorable Mention – Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star “Norma Trujillo Recovery”

X02 News

First – Nick Oza, The Arizona Republic “Hurricane”

Second – Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic “First to Be Deported”

Third – Mark Henle, The Arizona Republic “Protest”

Honorable Mention – Patrick Breen, The Arizona Republic “Sexual Harassment”

Honorable Mention – Mike Christy, Arizona Daily Star “Wings Over Wilcox”

X03 Feature

First – Kelly Presnell, Arizona Daily Star “Strike”

Second – Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star “Flag”

Third – Mark Henle, The Arizona Republic “Homeless Heat Relief”

Honorable Mention – Patrick Breen, The Arizona Republic “Cry”

X04 Portrait

First – Nick Oza, The Arizona Republic “Soul”

Second – Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star “Bishop”

Third – Mike Christy, Arizona Daily Star “Glow”

Honorable Mention – Thomas Hawthorne, The Arizona Republic “Jake Falby”

Honorable Mention – Mark Henle, The Arizona Republic “Leonard Sloan”

X05 Pictorial

First – Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic “Summer Solstice”

Second – Mike Christy, Arizona Daily Star “Sunset Lightning”

Third –  Tom Tingle, The Arizona Republic “U2”

Honorable Mention –  Mike Christy, Arizona Daily Star “Empire Ranch”

Honorable Mention –  Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic “Sedona Autumn”

X06 Sports Action

First – Mike Christy, Arizona Daily Star “Crowded Paint”

Second – Rob Schumacher, The Arizona Republic “Touchdown Leap”

Third – Christian Petersen, Getty Images “Punch Snot Out”

Honorable Mention – Kelly Presnell, Arizona Daily Star “Intentional”

X07 Sports Feature

First – Christian Petersen, Getty Images “Just Short”

Second – Mike Christy, Arizona Daily Star “Game Winner”

Third – Kelly Presnell, Arizona Daily Star “Bananas”

Honorable Mention – Nick Oza, The Arizona Republic “Winner”

Honorable Mention – Mamta Popat, Arizona Daily Star “Zona Zoo”

X08 Sports Pictorial

First – Christian Petersen, Getty Images “Final Four Free Throw”

Second – Patrick Breen, The Arizona Republic – “Battle at the Plate”

Third – Kelly Presnell, Arizona Daily Star “Kicker”

Honorable Mention – Christian Petersen, Getty Images “In the Red”

Honorable Mention – Sean Logan, “Cyclists”

Community POY

Not enough entries to be judged

C1- Photo Story

Not enough entries to be judged

C2  News

First – Donovan Quintero, Navajo Times “Justice 4 Loreal Rally”

Second – Donovan Quintero, Navajo Times “Salute for Fallen Officer”

Third – Donovan Quintero, Navajo Times “Mountain Lion Killed”

C3  Feature

First – Adron Gardner, Navajo Times “Gunny Sack Race”

Second – Donovan Quintero, Navajo Times “Miss Navajo”

Third – Arianna Grainey, Independent Newspapers “Sheltie Goes Over A Bar”

C4  Portrait

First – Adron Gardner, Navajo Times “Light Strikes Darrian Archuleta”

Second – Adron Gardner, Navajo Times “Bus Driver Freddie Yazzie”

Third – Donovan Quintero, Navajo Times “Marjorie ‘Grandma’ Thomas”

C5  Pictorial

Not enough entries to be judged

C6  Sports

First – Arianna Grainey, Independent Newspapers “Rider Tries to Hang On”

Second – Arianna Grainey, Independent Newspapers “Double Play”

Third – Adron Gardner, Navajo Times “Moment of Victory”  

Honorable Mention- Paul Natonabah, Navajo Times “Shot Block”

 

*Updated* Announcing the winners of the 2017 news writing contest, community and statewide division

The Arizona Press Club is proud to announce the winners in the Community category of the 2017 Writing and Design Competition.

Note: A handful of results from select categories have been delayed, we will update this list with more winners in the coming days.  

A1.  Spanish-language news reporting

(No entries were submitted this year.)

 

A2.  Spanish-language feature reporting

Judge: Sandra Rodríguez Nieto is a longtime investigative reporter whose work on violence in Ciudad Juarez won a 2013 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Reporting

First: Ernesto Portillo Jr., Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/laestrella/ciudad/desde-tucs-n-la-tucsonense-que-ayud-a-disney-a/article_a6d6b2fe-fe8e-5272-99af-0981d5cadfce.html

Comments: “Excellent character, and connection of a global box office success (‘Coco’) with the city and intimacy of life just a few meters from the border.”

Second: No winner selected

Third: No winner selected

 

A3.  Spanish-language commentary/analysis

Judge: Sandra Rodríguez Nieto is a longtime investigative reporter whose work on violence in Ciudad Juarez won a 2013 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Reporting

First: Ernesto Portillo Jr., Arizona Daily Star,

http://tucson.com/laestrella/ciudad/desde-tucs-n-estudiar-no-deber-a-ser-un-sue/article_60250062-103a-5400-a833-8743d962570c.html

Comments: “This demonstrates better than the other stories the stress that the community endures under new immigration policies.”

Second: No winner selected

Third: No winner selected

 

B1. Community investigative reporting

Judge: Danny Robbins in an investigative reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

First: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/11/13/arizona-don-shooter-sexual-harassment-tara-zika

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/11/08/arizona-don-shooter-sexual-harassment-capitol-michellle-ugenti-rita-athena-salman

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/11/10/arizona-don-shooter-sexual-harassment-house-appropriations-committee-suspended

Comments: “A timely and quick turnaround bringing to light multiple allegations of sexual harassment against a prominent state lawmaker. The reporter put together several impressive stories with accusers’ detailed accounts that yielded immediate impact.”

Second: Evan Wyloge and Carrie Jung, AZCIR

https://azcir.org/news/2017/12/20/az-architects-construction-companies-fund-k-12-school-bond-override-campaigns-contracts-procurement/

Comments: “Good exposé of the relationship between vendors seeking school construction projects and the bond proposals that fund them. The story was well done in that it revealed both the big picture and drilled down into what had occurred within several different school districts.”

Third: Hank Stephenson, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/04/25/tradition-dictates-no-show-no-problem-in-house-transition/

Comments: “A clean hit revealing how a state House employee was paid for two months while she worked on the Trump transition. The story was timely, and the reporting was excellent in weaving together records, interviews and social media to expose what was essentially a no-show job at taxpayer expense.”

 

B2. Community public service journalism

Judge: Amy Walters is a reporter and producer for Reveal

First:  J.D. Molinary, Arizona Daily Wildcat

“Students at odds with UA pres. search secrecy,” “Rise of the executive headhunters,” “‘Completely wrong on the law,’” “Secretive searches the ‘new gold standard’”

Comments: “This student reporter showed impressive tenacity in his coverage of the University of Arizona’s search for a new president in a closed-door process that gave students little voice. By digging up a decades’ old state supreme court ruling, Molinary found the Board of Regents’ lack of transparency was likely in violation of law, justified by little more than the word of head hunters who profit from keeping candidates confidential. After five public records requests, the board finally released the names of two finalists, out of more than 20 candidates that it had been reviewing in secrecy.”

Second: Evan Wyloge, AZ CIR

https://azcir.org/news/2017/10/20/navajo-generating-station-coal-plant-shutdown-looms-arizona-navajo-and-hopi-tribes-look-for-economic-solutions/

Comments: “This fascinating piece on the planned closure of a the Navajo Generating Station documents how the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe’s severe isolation, along with a 1966 development ban imposed by the U.S. government, has made it nearly impossible for Native Americans in the region to diversify their economy beyond fossil fuel. Decades later, as the United States moves away from coal, the inability to develop new sources of revenue has made the consequences of lost jobs all the more dire for what is already one of the most impoverished areas of the country.”

Third: No winner selected

 

B3. Community breaking news

Judge: Naomi Martin, a politics and local government reporter for the Dallas Morning News.

First: Glenn Gullickson, West Valley View

https://www.westvalleyview.com/archives/demolition-zone-ahead/article_54a83341-ed16-5485-8b4a-4e1a3c78bbd0.html

Comments: “With dogged reporting backed by documents and well-placed sources, it’s clear this story took a lot of work but it doesn’t read that way. It was also of great interest to readers in this community.

Second: Jonathan Clark, Nogales International

http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/protests-swell-turn-violent-in-nogales-sonora/article_683236f6-d601-11e6-b6aa-8b0c4a2e11b4.html

Comments: “Clark weaves vivid descriptions of the scene while exploring the issue of dramatically rising gas prices and their effects on families, incorporating important voices along the way.”

Third: Ben Giles, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/08/24/arizona-republican-lawmakers-upset-over-petition-partners-paid-per-hour-signature-rate/

Comments: “The writer expertly examines the behavior of a company that has implications for the state’s democracy and lawmakers.”

 

B4. Community public safety reporting

Judge: Naseem S. Miller, a health and science reporter at the Orlando Sentinel

First: Emily L. Mahoney and Agnel Philip, AZCIR

https://azcir.org/news/2017/01/10/arizona-asset-rico-seizures-net-200m-in-past-five-years/

Comments: “These reporters’ work is a great example of watchdog reporting, use of public documents and good writing to shed light on an issue that could have been easily missed.

Second: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/11/17/arizona-facial-recognition-technology-criminal-lineup/

Comments: “By exploring the flipside of the state transportation department’s facial recognition technology, Leingang demonstrates journalists’ duty to always go beyond the press release. Her reporting also explores yet another angle of personal privacy in the modern times.”

Third: Arielle Zionts, Nogales International

“Community steps up as wildfire rages nearby,” “Active and destructive fire season leaves Sonoita on edge,” “Criminal charges not common for those who start wildfires in SCC,” “Evacuation order lifted, residents assess fire damage”

Comments: “Zionts does a great job covering the aftermath of a wildfire and its effects on the community. She explores the issues from various angles, which is testament to her reporting skills.”

 

B5.  Community political reporting

Judge: Hannah Fry, reporter for the Daily Pilot/Los Angeles Times Community News

First: Hank Stephenson and Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/03/16/democrats-bullying-incident-underscores-pattern-of-sexism-in-house/

Comments: “An excellent example of how to take a national issue and localize it for a community paper. The article is authoritative and well-written.”

Second: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/05/26/president-donald-trump-controversies-democrats-surge/

Comments: “A unique take on a story about the consequences of elections. The article is compelling, well-sourced and researched.”

Third: Danyelle Khmara, Tucson Weekly

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/rugrat-referendum/Content?oid=12119133

Comments: “The reporter takes an important societal issue and dissects it from every aspect (political, community and policy) and then weaves it into a compelling tale.”

 

B6. Community government reporting

Judge: Alec MacGillis, a political and government reporter for ProPublica

First: Kendal Blust, Nogales International,

“Doyle allies oust Diaz as vice mayor,” “Moves raise open govt concerns,” “Fired with little explanation,” “Council shocks city manager with ouster”

Comments: “The extraordinary turmoil in Nogales city government late last year was hard to keep up with: the dismissal of the city manager followed by the firing of the city attorney and replacement of the vice mayor, carried out with a minimum of transparency. But the reporter captured the upheaval with as much clarity and insight as was possible, in stylish prose laced with just the right amount of edgy skepticism. Particularly helpful was her November 24 analysis calling the City Council to account for its undermining of open-government principles.”

Second: Jim Small and Evan Wyloge, AZCIR

https://azcir.org/news/2017/05/06/arizona-13-billion-dollar-tax-exemption-credit-deduction-allowance-exclusion-budget/

Comments: “This enterprising article could hardly have been more timely in its detailed accounting of how the state’s budget for education and other pressing public needs has been crimped by deliberate reductions in tax revenue. Crucially, the article explained that these reductions are the result not only of traditional tax-rate cuts, but an array of  “exemptions, deductions, allowances, exclusions or credits” doled out to industries and special interests.”

Third: Katie Campbell, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/10/27/arizona-department-of-education-federal-funding-low-income-misallocations/

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/11/01/arizona-department-of-education-diane-douglas-idea-special-education-funding-errors/

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/11/17/arizona-diane-douglas-education-federal-funding/

Comments: “This was a thorough accounting of two screw-ups by the state Department of Education in the allocation of federal Title 1 (high poverty) and IDEA (special education) funding to schools around the state. School funding formulas are forbiddingly intricate, but the reporter laid out what had gone wrong, and its impact on schools, as clearly as possible.”

 

B7. Community health reporting

Judge: Sam Roe is a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, where he was on a reporting team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008. He has been a finalist on three other occasions.

First: Lindsay Moore, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/stage-four-cancer-patients-feel-left-out-by-komen-9767761

Comments: “Everything you look for in a good story: fresh, hard-hitting, surprising, deeply reported, interesting and extremely well-written from top to bottom. First-rate work.”

Second: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/08/18/arizona-governor-doug-ducey-personal-information-requirement-narcan-opioid-crisis/

Comments: “This piece is solid in all respects, from spot-on stats, measured writing, enterprise reporting and fantastic quotes. Excellent balance of important policy information and human interest. And bravo to the Arizona Capitol Times for going into pharmacies to try to buy naloxone – the drug that was the topic of the story – to more fully understand the issues involved.”

Third: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/06/16/negative-ads-motivate-smokers-to-call-arizonas-helpline/

Comments: “A clear and thorough examination of an under-reported topic. This story features a sharp, focused lede, useful stats and compelling visuals.”  

 

B8. Community science reporting

Judge: Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior reporter for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting

First:  Darren Barakat, Pinal Ways

https://www.pinalcentral.com/pinal_ways/biosphere-changes-with-earth-s-climate/article_3be2cbfe-5c65-55fd-ac95-7b12a7028963.html

Comments: “Barakat has given us a fresh take on a take on a well-covered subject, Biosphere 2. He brings the eccentric facility to life by delving into the science of sustainability being conducted there today.”

Second: No winner selected

Third: No winner selected

 

B9. Community social issues reporting

First: Kendal Blust, Nogales International

https://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/children-of-waste-pickers-find-a-helping-hand/article_2152d310-e422-11e6-8ced-173865537cf7.html

Comments: “It was a heartbreaking untold story.”

Second: Molly Longman, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/transgender-veterans-cope-with-help-from-va-hospital-9747269

Comments: “I felt like I was on the journey along with the veteran, very well told.”

Third: Katie Campbell, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/08/25/yuma-county-approach-to-juvenile-justice-a-model-for-state-nation/

Comments: “This was interesting and provides some hope.  It could also provide guidance on another path to justice.”

 

B10. Community education reporting

Judge: New York Times investigative reporter Brian Rosenthal won the 2016 Hechinger Grand Prize for an investigation that showed Texas education officials were inappropriately denying special education services to thousands of students.

First: Kendal Blust, Nogales International

https://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/no-preschool-for-most-county-children/article_92abaee6-9756-11e7-91f5-a357116e5bf4.html

Comments: “This entry combined solid data reporting with human storytelling to tell a compelling and critical story.”

Second: Charles T. Clark and Jim Small, AZCIR

https://azcir.org/news/2017/07/02/asu-foundation-tax-filings-reveal-little-on-personal-ties-lobbying-expenses

https://azcir.org/news/2017/09/29/asu-ua-use-nonprofit-foundations-for-lobbying-az-universities/

Comments: “Few topics are more important than transparency, and this story tackled that issue with gusto.”

Third: Jeremy Duda, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/01/30/education-advocates-say-duceys-teacher-retention-plan-wont-cut-it

Comments: “Education advocates say Ducey’s teacher retention plan won’t cut it”: This story took a creative approach to tackling a key issue, especially by focusing on recruiters in other states.

 

B11.  Community immigration reporting

Judge: Richard Marosi is a longtime border reporter at the Los Angeles Times and two-time Pulitzer finalist.

First: Megan Janetsky, Cronkite News

https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/buffett/mexico/corn/

No comments submitted.

Second: Joe Watson and Paul Ingram, Tucson Sentinel.

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/082517_marine_deportation/decorated-marine-vet-may-deported-despite-likely-us-citizenship/

No comments submitted.

 

B12.  Community business reporting

Judge: Alex Parker is the digital business editor for the Chicago Tribune.

First: Megan Kimble, Edible Baja

http://ediblebajaarizona.com/the-there-there

Comments: “A thorough account of attempts to revitalize downtown Tucson. The reporting avoids the typical City Hall spin, and paints a vivid picture of the challenges many medium-sized cities face in trying to reclaim neglected downtown areas.”

Second: Kendal Blust, Nogales International
“Mexico’s ‘gasolinazo’ sends consumers to U.S. pumps,” “Gas prices finally drop – somewhat – in sister city,” “Business owners hope for normalcy after gas price unrest”

Comments: “A surprising package of stories on gas prices in the border town of Nogales. It deviates from most stories on gas prices by illustrating the ripple effects of government decisions, and describing the emotional and economic angst of crossing the border for the simple task of filling up a gas tank.”

Third: Philip Haldiman, Independent Newsmedia

https://yourvalley.net/yourvalley/news/business/castle-hot-springs-bubbling-back-4-decades-after-closure/

Comments: “An entertaining history of an important area landmark that is making a comeback, a story which avoided a bullet-point recounting of the past.”

 

B13. Community sports beat reporting

Judge: Brooke Pryor covers University of Oklahoma athletics for the Daily Oklahoman

First: Matthew Wall, Arizona Daily Wildcat

“No hero, no angel: The Jay Dobyns Story,” “‘I can do hard things,’” “Brian Jeffries is living out his dream,” “Erika Barnes ready for future at Arizona”

Comments: “The best stories are the ones that pull back the curtain and give readers a look at a program they wouldn’t otherwise see. Matthew does that with all of his submissions. His thorough beat work is evident in the depth of the features.”

Second: Christopher Boan, Tucson Local Media

http://www.tucsonlocalmedia.com/news/oro_valley/article_a61d780e-9802-11e7-9fec-37e9b3fead3b.html

http://www.tucsonlocalmedia.com/news/oro_valley/article_1a3f2f7c-d46f-11e7-97a8-df825681fc1a.html

http://www.tucsonlocalmedia.com/sports/article_31dd17ea-a6f5-11e7-a15d-aff83134a0ab.html

http://www.tucsonlocalmedia.com/sports/article_8abc4042-a566-11e7-a7e4-0ba9993650f0.html

http://www.tucsonlocalmedia.com/marana/article_bdf3c954-b686-11e7-b468-a79dc9852ecf.html

Comments: “These clips focusing on prep football were really well written and captured the reader’s attention with strong ledes and descriptive language.”

Third: Cody Bashore, Arizona Daily Sun

http://azdailysun.com/sports/local/souers-nonrenewal-success-puts-nau-in-awkward-spot/article_4d25d7f5-7469-5b86-8a52-191524c85dc3.html

http://azdailysun.com/sports/local/campos-finds-new-direction-heads-to-san-antonio-from-nau/article_e2969392-a266-56ab-b4f8-90aed699ebd7.html

http://azdailysun.com/news/local/cheng-unaware-of-campos-departure-plans-in-september/article_96a8626c-ab72-5742-b62c-3e0744ce55d4.html

http://azdailysun.com/sports/local/souers-reflects-on-hectic-weekend-for-nau-football/article_7b983a07-4d75-5561-aa0d-6484afdfb653.html

http://azdailysun.com/sports/local/campos-departure-costly-for-northern-arizona/article_8439252f-40af-52b4-8fbe-c7b38dd62a43.html

Comments: “Cody’s attention to detail in reporting the Campos saga is evident throughout his submissions. The reporting is through and backed up by contracts and figures that make his stories stronger.”

 

B14.  Community sports feature reporting

Judge: Steve Virgen is the Assistant Sports Editor for the Albuquerque Journal

First: Jonathan Clark, Nogales International
https://www.nogalesinternational.com/sports/a-rollercoaster-homecoming-for-rio-rico-s-ricky-perez/article_d8d31de2-a24a-11e7-a0dd-df0b829a480f.html
Comments: “Absolutely fascinating that even before I reached the midway point of the story I found myself rooting for Ricky. This makes for a special feature. Kudos to Clark for shining a worthy spotlight on Ricky.”

Second: Brian Wright, Casa Grande Dispatch
https://www.pinalcentral.com/casa_grande_dispatch/local_sports/cg-man-recalls-playing-in-bygone-era-of-baseball/article_b155edcf-05e8-50fd-a948-fb13dd47ec95.html
Comments: “What a great find of Ulysses Sharp by Wright. It’s evident that Sharp endured a great deal of adversity throughout his life and experienced such a unique piece of sports history.”

Third: Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi, Navajo Times
https://navajotimes.com/rezsports/golf/give-dreams-shot/
Comments: “A great get to have Fowler in your sports pages. This perspective of Fowler displays the rich and fame of today, and the humble beginnings of a trendsetting athlete.”

 

B15. Community Sports Investigative Reporting

Judge: David O’Brien has been the Atlanta Braves beat writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 2002.

First: Sunnie Clahchischiligi, Navajo Times

“Navajo baseball team calls foul on forfeit”

First: “Interesting work on an extremely local story, and does a good job, especially considering it’s being published in the Navajo Times, of remaining even-handed, of not taking sides. Bringing race into a controversy can add a lot of emotion, even unintentionally, and Sunnie Clahchischiligi does a good job of avoiding the pitfall of editorializing.”

Second: No winner selected

Third: No winner selected

 

B16. Community sports column writing

First:  Brian Wright, Case Grande Dispatch

Second: Saul Bookman, The Daily Wildcat

Third: Christopher Boan, Tucson Local Media

 

B17. Community column writing

Judge: Martin Salazar is an Albuquerque Journal editorial writer.

First: Blake Morlock, Tucson Sentinel

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/opinion/report/062417_health_op/morlock-what-price-moms-life/
http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/opinion/report/060817_franzi_op/look-out-afterworld-emil-franzi-advancing-right-you/
http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/opinion/report/052317_mccain_op/look-out-donald-straight-talk-express-rumbling-back-life/

Comments: “Morlock’s “Price for Mom’s Life” column is excellent because it explores the high cost of health care through the lens of a family that has just undergone a medical crisis. It gets to the core of the problems our country’s health care system faces, and points out that there are no simple solutions.”

Second (tie): Jim Nintzel, Tucson Weekly

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/the-skinny/Content?oid=7919130
https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/the-skinny/Content?oid=8343750
https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/the-skinny/Content?oid=7816375

Comments: “Nintzel’s columns do what journalists should do every day: hold the powerful accountable, pointing out their hypocrisy and the games they play.” 

Second (tie): Brian Smith, Tucson Weekly

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/tucson-salvage/Content?oid=7378367

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/tucson-salvage/Content?oid=9970168

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/tucson-salvage/Content?oid=8343977

Comments: “Smith’s columns are incredibly evocative, each one giving us a glimpse into the souls of the people and places that populate his narratives. He presents them to us warts and all, but without a hint of judgment.”

B18. Community editorial writing

Judge: Susan Young is the editorial page editor of the Bangor Daily News

First: Staff, Arizona Daily Wildcat

“UA Athletics needs to directly confront sexual misconduct”

“Robbins’ first impression: We’re cautiously hopeful”

Editorial: ASUA’s elections commission could use a refresher on open meeting law”

Comments: “The writers had a strong editorial voice with forcefully stated positions. They clearly stated a problem, cited examples and then offered solutions. They are strong advocates for transparency, which is important on college campuses. The athletics/sexual assault editorial was especially well argued and put a local issue in a national perspective.”

Second: Cindy Yurth, Navajo Times

“A chance to get a leash on the stray dog issue”

“Maybe we need more “bad apples”

Comments: “Straightforward writing with clear positions. The editorial on spay and neuter made good use of data to bolster its arguments. There was a very clear call to action for readers. And, yes, even the puns were well used and appropriate. Taking a stand against the tribal council was likely difficult, but necessary. Arguing for good governance can sound boring, but it remains necessary.”

Third: State Press Editorial Board, State Press

http://www.statepress.com/article/2017/11/spopinion-state-press-editorial-charlie-rose-should-be-stripped-cronkite-award-excellence-journalism

http://www.statepress.com/article/2017/04/spopinion-editorial-we-would-publish-sensual-steel-again

http://www.statepress.com/article/2017/04/spopinion-editorial-salary-database

Comments: “They did a public service by making ASU salaries available online. As they write, public information isn’t public if it is hard to find. This information should be of interest well beyond students. Good use of links to bolster their arguments. The Charlie Rose editorial was well argued, if predictable.”

 

B19. Community personality profile

Judge: Lauren Williamson is a senior editor at Chicago magazine

First: Debra Citron, Raising Arizona Kids

https://www.raisingarizonakids.com/2017/09/molly-idle-author-illustrator/

Comments: “This lively profile, in vivid language, tells a story that’s entertaining, engaging, and sweet. Idle’s resourcefulness is clear—her evolution as digital media takes over is one so many creative workers can relate to.”

Second: Debbie Weingarten, Edible Baja

http://ediblebajaarizona.com/a-seat-at-the-table

Comments: “This well-reported feature elegantly humanizes a broader struggle—the fight for fair wages—in a beautifully shaped story.”

 

B20. Community Human Interest Writing

Judge: Larry Aydlette is the Cultural Editor for The Palm Beach Post.

First: Brian Smith, Tucson Weekly

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/sticky-summer-night/Content?oid=10736021

Comments: “A beautifully written, finely detailed look at the characters surrounding a small-town minor-league baseball team. Smith’s eye for color makes each person come vividly alive. A delight to read. Here’s just one of many smart descriptions that pepper the story.”

Second: Joe Watson, Edible Baja Arizona

http://ediblebajaarizona.com/sentences-end-food

Comments: “This story is one of those “I’ve never read anything like this before” pieces. The article about how prisoners cook food behind bars is notable for both its fascinating insider detail – they prepare elaborate, pickup-ingredient meals inside trash cans with plastic liners – and for the reporter himself, who is an inmate at the facility.”

Third: (TIE), Danyelle Khmara, Tucson Weekly

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/homeless-program-working/Content?oid=10540442

Comments: “Khmara’s richly detailed story about a homeless woman and man in the desert puts a face on the often-ignored problem of homelessness.”

 

Cindy Yurth, Navajo Times

“Woman meets bone-marrow donor who saved her life”

Comments: “Yurth’s piece about a Navajo woman whose life was saved through a bone-marrow transplant is another story propelled by strong quotes and rich narrative detail.”

 

B21. Community Short-Form Writing

Judge: Stephanie Earls has worked as a features reporter and columnist at The (Colorado Springs) Gazette since 2012, and previously worked for the Albany Times Union.

First:  Kendal Blust, Nogales International

https://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/mothers-in-u-s-and-mexico-unite-across-the-border/article_0108d366-345e-11e7-87b7-572ea424beb2.html

Comments: “The writer’s light touch, strong sense of place and use of powerful imagery drive home this story about Mothers Without Borders and an encapsulating moment at the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Second: Lauren Loftus, Phoenix Magazine

http://www.phoenixmag.com/valley-news/reflexic-reaction.html

Comments: “The writer’s way in to a fun-yet-informative piece about reflexology — via a creatively-tweaked children’s jingle — had me singing the song to myself as I read. Who knew the foot was so connected?”

Third: Darren Barakat, Pinal Ways

“Finding peace through meditation”

Comments: “From the mini-deconstruction of Jerry Seinfeld in the lead, to the full-sensory experience of a group meditation session, it’s clear the writer has an eye/ear/nose for the kinds of details that really bring a story to life.”

 

B22. Community Arts Criticism

Judge: Steve Barnes has worked at the Albany Times Union since 1996, served as arts editor for six years, and has been a senior writer and restaurant critic since 2005.

First:  Margaret Regan, Tucson Weekly

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/in-defense-of-wildness/Content?oid=13056255

Comments: “Smart, contextualized and accessible, the piece is deeply informed and informative, and it makes the case for the political aspect of visual art.”

Second: Gabriel Granillo, Arizona Daily Sun

https://azdailysun.com/flaglive/features/lit/arizona-author-explores-the-underbelly-of-society-in-spent-saints/article_60f5e5ab-a348-5256-9edf-1114c42671e6.html

Comments: “The critic’s voice is vivid, a true pleasure to read, but he never pulls attention from the work he’s writing about. Although a book review, based on hours spent in solo consumption of the writer’s words, the review has the immediacy of writing about the communal experience of live music or theater.”

 

B23. Community Arts Reporting

Judge: Orange County Press Club

First: Debbie Weingarten, Edible Baja

http://ediblebajaarizona.com/when-a-cactus-blooms

Comments: “This is such an amazing profile on children’s author Byrd Baylor, I didn’t want to stop reading. It mesmerized me. And the paintings really complemented the article!”

Second: Margaret Regan, Tucson Weekly

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/stolen-goods/Content?oid=11450275

Comments: “Wow! An art heist story involving superstar artists and Willem de Kooning’s painting ending up in Silver City, New Mexico after it was stolen from the University of Arizona Art Museum! There’s some terrific reporting and writing in this piece.”

Third: Danyelle Khmara, Tucson Weekly

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/forever-young/Content?oid=8645868

Comments: A good yarn, a heartbreaking love story, and some effortlessly enjoyable dialogue and writing.

 

B24. Community  Food and Beverage Reporting

Judge: Brett Anderson has been restaurant critic and feature writer for The Times-Picayune since 2000. He is a two-time James Beard Award winner and a former Harvard Nieman Fellow.

First: Cindy Yurth, Navajo Times

“The gourmet maize craze: Can Navajo cash in?

Comments: “Yurth’s dive into the ‘maize craze’ looks at a national story through a local lens – and vice versa – and urges the reader to the end with an unexpected twist.”

Second: Emily Dieckman, Tucson Weekly

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/fermented-tranquility/Content?oid=12479997

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/cream-of-the-crop/Content?oid=12262949

Comments: “Dieckman’s two stories demonstrate industriousness in finding human stories you don’t read in other outlets.”

Third: Margaret Regan, Edible Baja

http://ediblebajaarizona.com/chapters-el-charro

Comments: “An epic profile of a Tucson institution.”

 

B25. Community Headline Writing

Judge: Steve Wilkinson is a copy editor at The Detroit News and a 2016 first place winner in the 2016 American Copy Editors Society’s National Headline Contest.

First: Darren Barakat, Pinal Ways

“Ties in the community, but none in the closet”

Comments: “Head was a clever play on focus of the story: the CEO’s casual dress and his community involvement. At first glance I took it as a gay reference, but the intent came into focus with the art and the deck, which fleshed out the meaning of the headline nicely.”

Second: Darren Barakat, Pinal Ways

Family sprays together, stays together”

Comments: “Clever word play on a common phrase; the deck nicely made it clear the theme matched the story of the family crop dusting business. Actually having at least some of them in the photo would have strengthened the display.”

Third: Cindy Yurth, Navajo Times

Not getting fleeced”

Comments: “This headline shone even without seeing how it ran in the publication. Nice phrasing within the confines of what I’m guessing were tight head specs; I pictured it working quite well with the benefit of art. The story was about buyers ensuring fair prices for sellers, which was in sync with the headline and deck.”

 

B26. Nina Mason Pulliam Environmental Journalism Award (Community division)

First: Emery Cowan, Arizona Daily Sun

 

Comments: “Cowan’s consistent coverage uranium mining illustrated not only the natural repercussions of the action but its effects on the tribes and people who live in the area. It dug into the residents’ plight with things like contaminated water and their concerns about the general treatment of the land which they consider so sacred. This piece gave a comprehensive look into the actions and consequences of uranium mining and those fighting to stop it along the way.” 

 

Second: Arielle Zionts, Nogales International

 

Comments: “This profile on a single type of pepper was an enlightening and fascinating look into how this one pepper grows and thrives. It also showcased its surroundings which include the people who use it. From the botany to the use of it in food, each detail in this story was informative and interesting.” 

Third: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

 

Comments: “In a turn of style, this piece focused namely bureaucratic process and politics of water policy. It gave a deep insight into the ins and outs of those who make decisions when it comes to natural resources and the consequences and conflicts that result from those decisions. It’s quite an eye-opening piece that gives a unique insight into the regulation of something so fundamental such as water.”

 

 

C1. The Don Bolles Award for Investigative Reporting / Statewide investigative reporting

First: Antonia Noori Farzan and Joseph Flaherty, Phoenix New Times

Comments: “An important expose of a national hotel chain abusing civil liberties. In a classic example of investigative reporting, the reporters took a tip and followed it, using court records and interviews to force answers and build a narrative with national impact.”

Second:  Robert Anglen, Arizona Republic

Comments: “A fascinating series showing how an ex-mobster in the federal witness protection program used his new identity to defraud business associates _ and how that program essentially shielded him from scrutiny. The stories were well-written, had local significance and were clearly based on a prodigious amount of reporting.”

Third: Arizona Capitol Times, Rachel Leingang.

Comments: “A timely and quick turnaround bringing to light multiple allegations of sexual harassment against a prominent state lawmaker. The reporter put together several impressive stories with accusers’ detailed accounts that yielded immediate impact.”

 

C2. State Public Service Reporting

Judge: Amy Walters is a reporter and producer for Reveal

First: Staff, Arizona Republic, for its coverage of President Trump’s proposal to build a border wall.

https://www.usatoday.com/border-wall/

https://usat.ly/2yqqsJN

http://azc.cc/2wV8nl1

https://usat.ly/2hfkCqe

https://vimeo.com/251397573

https://usat.ly/2wKwToG

https://usat.ly/2jPrImk

Comments: “The Arizona Republic examined every inch, literally, of President Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing depth and clarity to an enormously complex issue that is often reduced to sound bites. The use of public records, satellite imagery, geographic data, interviews with every type of stakeholder, and multimedia platforms, including virtual reality — all woven together with beautiful storytelling — made this package stand out.”

 

Second: Rob O’Dell and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, Arizona Republic, for their reporting of the lack of transparency and oversight in the state’s voucher program.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2017/03/30/arizona-taxpayer-funded-vouchers-benefiting-students-more-affluent-areas/99707518/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2017/04/08/arizona-voucher-expansion-private-schools/100147404/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2017/04/12/arizona-schools-chief-diane-douglas-voucher-data/100342230/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2017/08/08/arizona-school-voucher-expansion-law-signatures-ballot/547143001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2017/12/07/goldwater-institutes-behind-scenes-campaign-remake-education-arizona/864737001/

Comments: “The reporters’ two-year battle for public records on a taxpayer-funded school vouchers program revealed a stunning lack of oversight and accountability in how the money was being spent, and that only a small share went to the financially disadvantaged families the vouchers were most intended to benefit. The investigation was published just as the state legislature was voting to expand the $49-million-program ten-fold. Despite being called “fake news” by the state’s school superintendent, the reporters pressed on, detailing through a trove of emails how a conservative special interest group had exerted an unusual level of control over the vouchers program, from idea to implementation.”

 

Third: Richard Cano, Arizona Republic, for his reporting on the state’s lack of qualified teachers.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2017/06/22/arizona-public-schools-teacher-shortage-classroom-experience/351033001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2017/12/13/arizona-schools-hired-underqualified-teachers-using-emergency-teaching-certificates/627110001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2017/06/22/how-republic-tracked-arizona-teacher-certifications/328096001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2017/12/19/how-qualified-your-kids-teacher-5-things-know-arizona-certification/947001001/

Comments: “This reporter embarked on the unenviable task of filing public records requests with more than 200 school districts for teacher certification data. The result: the first-ever database tracking teacher certification down to the school level, which quantified how the state’s severe teacher shortage has forced districts to hire unqualified teachers to fill in the gaps, and provided a valuable searchable resource for the public and policymakers alike.”

 

C3. Statewide Breaking News

Judge: Naomi Martin, a politics and local government reporter for the Dallas Morning News.

First: Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star, “An open ‘Book’: UA assistant coach prided himself on connections, people skills before arrest”

http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/an-open-book-ua-assistant-coach-prided-himself-on-connections/article_094e1287-5a40-5ec0-a18c-14519314bb82.html

Comments: “A richly reported and excellently written profile of the man everyone who fascinated Arizona and college basketball fans — published immediately after news broke of his federal indictment.”

Second: Yihyun Jeong, The Arizona Republic, “Payson flash flood survivor connects with man who saved his life”

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-breaking/2017/07/19/payson-flash-flood-survivor-connects-man-who-saved-his-life/493668001/

Comments: “Beautiful writing that vividly captures one survivor’s traumatic story and his drive to find his rescuer, backed up by thorough reporting and interviews.”

Third: Greg Hansen, Arizona Daily Star, “Corruption, bribery, fraud and conspiracy could be Arizona Wildcats’ new Final Four”

http://tucson.com/sports/greghansen/greg-hansen-corruption-bribery-fraud-and-conspiracy-could-be-arizona/article_fae23f0a-0af2-5b46-8917-689494623511.html

Comments: “Wonderful writing with discipline and style that is a joy to read, even though the news is sobering about the future of UA basketball, which, as Mr. Hansen puts it, is one of Tucson’s top tree commodities, along with burritos and sunshine.”

 

C4. Statewide Public Safety Reporting

Judge: Naseem S. Miller, a health and science reporter at the Orlando Sentinel

First: Emily L. Mahoney and Agnel Philip, AZCIR

https://azcir.org/news/2017/01/10/arizona-asset-rico-seizures-net-200m-in-past-five-years/

Comments: “The reporters’ work is a great example of watchdog reporting, use of public documents and good writing to shed light on an issue that could have been kept in the dark.”

Second: Murphy Woodhouse, Arizona Daily Star

Comments: “Through compelling storytelling and great use of public records, Woodhouse delves deep into issues that affect public safety and taxpayer dollars.”

Third: Yihyun Jeong, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/03/09/phoenix-immigrant-communities-police-crime-prevention/98607654/

Comments: “In a narrative story, rich with details and interviews, Jeong takes us along in a night-time ride to shed light on the struggles of undocumented immigrants in one community while maintaining balance throughout.”

 

C5. Statewide Political Reporting

Judge: Hannah Fry, reporter for the Daily Pilot/Los Angeles Times Community News

First: Jessica Boehm, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/03/28/arizona-firefighter-unions-donated-hundreds-thousands-local-elections/99603914/

Comments: “The reporter took an issue that’s of utmost importance to the political system, but is often overlooked and weaved it into a compelling investigation with excellent sourcing and use of data.  This is an example of local investigative journalism at its finest.”

Second: Hank Stephenson and Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/03/16/democrats-bullying-incident-underscores-pattern-of-sexism-in-house/

Comments: “An excellent example of how to take a national issue and localize it for a community paper. The article is authoritative and well-written.”

Third: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/05/26/president-donald-trump-controversies-democrats-surge/

Comments: “A unique take on a story about the consequences of elections. The article is compelling, well-sourced and researched.”

 

C6. Statewide government reporting

Judge: Alec MacGillis, a political and government reporter for ProPublica

First: Dustin Gardiner and Rob O’Dell, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/01/08/phoenix-campaign-donors-peoria-church-monty-moody/93974820/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/01/31/phoenix-council-letterhead-revealed-toothless-lobbying-rules/96549540/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/05/08/phoenix-arizona-lobbying-law-toothless/101052092/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/05/24/phoenix-moves-implement-new-rules-lobbyists-after-republic-report/334013001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/05/31/arizona-attorney-general-investigation-burch-cracchiolo-law-firm-phoenix/356873001/

Comments: “This was the total package, a hard-hitting investigation full of colorful details and troublesome findings that gets concrete results in the form of legislative reform. The reporters uncovered one of the oldest ruses in the campaign-finance playbook, the apparent use of straw donors to get around campaign donation limits, which in turn led to revelations of lobbyists failing to register as such and making comically sloppy efforts to cover that up. Most damningly, the reporters found that Phoenix had no way of enforcing its own lobbying laws, which prompted the City Council to take action adding teeth to its restrictions.”

Second: Craig Harris, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/08/18/arizona-state-parks-revenue-visitation-and-some-staff-pay-rise-under-director-sue-black/574797001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2017/10/17/arizona-governor-doug-ducey-despite-lean-budget-awards-hefty-pay-raises-to-his-staff/769826001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/2017/10/20/teachers-union-fight-20-percent-raises-just-like-gov-ducey-gave-staff-friends/782488001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/10/19/heres-how-well-republican-gov-doug-ducey-rewarded-his-staff-agency-heads/778659001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/11/28/big-raises-bonuses-handed-out-arizona-department-administration/898144001/

Comments: “The reporter used persistent public-records searches to uncover a disconcerting trend in Arizona state government: the governor’s awarding of large pay increases to top department administrators and other political appointees at a time when rank-and file-state employees were being laid off in large numbers in some departments and generally receiving only modest pay increases. The pay increases were put in proper context, allowing readers to judge for themselves whether they were called for or excessive in a time of alleged austerity in state government.”

Third: Murphy Woodhouse, Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/news/local/dwarfing-previous-years-pima-assessor-sues-more-than-two-dozen/article_d3797f13-c69d-5f5a-aff0-ca921bf9bcf0.html

http://tucson.com/news/local/pima-county-assessor-s-interest-in-small-property-tax-dispute/article_25782679-3872-5983-9b1d-0395d8d211a5.html

http://tucson.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/pima-county-s-assessor-using-own-money-to-front-some/article_14af5b96-a733-5901-b702-225edcffc455.html

Comments: “This was illuminating coverage of a realm of municipal government that often goes under-scrutinized: property assessment for taxation. The reporter discovered that the Pima County assessor was taking a highly idiosyncratic approach to his job and in the process causing consternation for many local property owners. This was routine local- government reporting as it should be done.”

 

C7. Statewide Health Reporting

Judge: Sam Roe is a reporter at the Chicago Tribune, where he was on a reporting team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008. He has been a finalist on three other occasions.

First: Stephanie Innes, Arizona Daily Star, “The Good Samaritan”

http://tucson.com/news/local/she-stopped-to-help-everything-changed/article_48ef8648-ebf6-11e7-8422-4f48b1532e39.html

Comments: “Great reporting on a dramatic traffic accident and its excruciating aftermath. Innes follows good Samaritan Norma Santos Trujillo from the night when she was critically injured trying to help a fellow motorist, to a life-and-death hospital stay, to the grueling recovery period. Norma’s remarkable strength, and Innes’s ability to follow her every step of the way, make this story an intimate, gut-wrenching inspiration.”

Second: Amy Silverman, Phoenix New Times, “I Didn’t Know There Was Help”

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/cities-like-denver-san-francisco-eliminating-new-hiv-transmission-not-phoenix-9247546

Comments: “A smart, compelling look at an important issue: HIV rates are rising in Arizona, at a time when they are dropping in other areas of the country. Silverman finds affected people who are willing to talk, and skillfully weaves local gay history into an eye-opening narrative. She points to obvious culprits such as the lack of sex-ed in the schools, as well as more amorphous factors such as the lack of large gay neighborhoods where awareness campaigns can quickly take root.”

Third: Lindsay Moore, Phoenix New Times, “A New Shade of Pink”

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/stage-four-cancer-patients-feel-left-out-by-komen-9767761

Comments: “Everything you look for in a good story: fresh, hard-hitting, surprising, deeply reported, interesting and extremely well-written from top to bottom. First-rate work.”

 

C8. Statewide Science Reporting

Judge: Orange County Press Club

First: Mikayla Mace, Arizona Daily Star, “Tucson doctor’s use of new leukemia treatment improves survival rate for people of color”

http://tucson.com/news/science/tucson-doctor-s-use-of-new-leukemia-treatment-improves-survival/article_ed2c3033-e51b-5a5b-8807-aef541bf022d.html

Comments: “Mikayla Mace’s outstanding story clearly explains difficult scientific concepts while educating readers about health disparities. This piece represents the best kind of science journalism by not only informing readers but performing a public service.”

Second: Tom Beal, Arizona Daily Star, “UA’s Dante Lauretta was ‘born to lead’ a NASA mission”

http://tucson.com/news/science/ua-s-dante-lauretta-was-born-to-lead-a-nasa/article_fa97ab7a-9f19-5739-85ae-b28a55bbdc92.html

Comments: “Tom Beal’s delightful profile of a cosmochemist at work should be a model for other journalists who aspire to make the farthest reaches of the universe accessible to readers.”

Third: Weldon B. Johnson, Arizona Republic, “How Arizona monsoon storms form and reach the Phoenix area”

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-weather/2017/07/07/how-monsoons-form/445139001/

Comments: “Weldon B. Johnson’s elegant description of meteorological concepts makes the local weather worth reading about, even if you don’t live in Phoenix.”

 

C9. Statewide Social Issues Reporting

Judge: Amy Walters is a reporter and producer for Reveal whose work has won top broadcast honors, including a DuPont-Columbia Award

First: Bob Ortega, Arizona Republic, Arizona DCS series

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/01/22/arizona-department-child-safety-why-kids-taken-away-too-often-answer-unknown/96539080/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/06/04/arizona-foster-care-child-abuse/362836001

Comments: “I am sad to say the subject matter was so awful, it was hard to shake.  Mr. Ortega took the initiative to look into the previous crimes committed against Devani, not only the most recent and exposed the weakness of Arizona’s DCS system in the process.  They were extremely powerful stories.”

Second: Alden Woods, Arizona Republic, Arizona housing series

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix-best-reads/2017/04/24/arizona-cannot-afford-rent-cannot-afford-move-new-housing-crisis/99546080/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2017/12/03/rural-housing-shortages-pushing-people-into-forests-parking-lots-few-options/849754001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2017/07/16/arizona-eviction-rates-rise-affordable-housing-dwindles/444495001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix-best-reads/2017/08/17/renters-housing-crisis-often-stuck-between-help-affordability/538183001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix-best-reads/2017/09/28/phoenix-public-housing-projects-threatened-hud-cuts/683632001/

Comments: “This series took on homelessness, a subject that is often considered the white-noise of urban living, but rather than retreading well trod ground Mr Woods delivered some of the most relatable human stories I’ve read.  Each one was compelling in its own right. It’s very telling that only one of them had a happy ending.”

Third: Robrt Pela, Phoenix New Times, “For Seniors and Their Caregivers Navigating Arizona’s Health-Care System, There’s No Place Like Home”

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/for-seniors-and-their-caregivers-navigating-arizonas-health-care-system-theres-no-place-like-home-9134897

Comments: “The style of this story was something radically different but truly universal, coping with an aging parent and all of the frustrations that brings.  It was sad, funny and compelling.”

 

C10. Statewide Education Reporting

Judge: Patrick Wall is a reporter with Chalkbeat, a nonprofit dedicated to covering education.

First: Joe Flaherty, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/divergent-views-of-for-profit-grand-canyon-university-9705013

Comments: “With deft storytelling and rigorous reporting, Flaherty takes a hard look at a for-profit Christian university whose online expansion has led to a surge in profits even as some students fall through the cracks. He combines revealing details gleaned from a wide array of sources, vivid scenes, and sharp analysis to tell a nuanced story with national implications.”

Second: Yoohyun Jung, Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/news/arizona-news/part-public-schools-inc/article_2cc571e6-9ca3-11e7-a915-273ace4e3490.html

Comments: “Jung’s deeply reported investigation uses text and audio to offer a detailed look under the hood of a widely admired but little understood network of charter and private schools. Marshaling data and anecdotes, she turns a persistent critique of charter schools – that they can evade scrutiny and fail to serve the neediest students – into a clear and compelling case study.”

Third place: Alden Woods, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2017/03/15/havasupai-elementary-grand-canyon-supai/98355588/

Comments: “Woods uses eloquent writing and evocative details to paint a damning portrait of a U.S. Bureau of Indian Education school that has failed generations of children. Despite challenging reporting conditions, he conjures haunting scenes that linger long after the story ends.”

 

C11. Statewide Immigration Reporting (no comments provided)

Judge: Richard Marosi is a longtime border reporter at the Los Angeles Times and two-time Pulitzer finalist.

First: Valeria Fernandez, Phoenix New Times, “Lost and Found”

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/saras-demons-crossed-the-border-with-her-where-could-she-find-help-for-her-mental-health-problems-9040688

Second: Megan Janetsky, Cronkite Borderlands Project, “Mexicans Work to Reclaim Corn as their Own”

https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/buffett/mexico/corn/

Third: Joe Watson and Paul Ingram, Tucson Sentinel, “Decorated Marine Vet May Be Deported”

http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/082517_marine_deportation/decorated-marine-vet-may-deported-despite-likely-us-citizenship/

 

C12. Statewide Business Reporting

Judge: Alex Parker is the digital business editor for the Chicago Tribune.

First: Ray Stern, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/cbd-oil-boom-making-money-on-medical-marijuana-for-the-masses-9873525

Comments: “A sweeping and well-reported piece examining the complicated topics facing the burgeoning marijuana industry.”

Second: Catherine Reagor and Jessica Boehm, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/09/14/phoenix-area-homeowners-associations-foreclosing-record-number-homeowners/595816001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/09/15/investors-line-up-buy-bargain-homes-phoenix-hoa-foreclosure-auction/654927001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/real-estate/catherine-reagor/2017/09/17/illuminating-murky-business-phoenix-area-hoa-foreclosures/664342001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/10/03/arizona-couple-accused-stealing-nearly-1-3-m-hoas/729182001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/11/13/phoenix-landmark-condo-owners-win-fight-15000-hoa-assessments/830512001/

Comments: “An illuminating series that shed light on how homeowners in HOA communities are subject to real estate indentured servitude, with all the laws stacked against them.”

Third: Megan Kimble, Edible Baja

http://ediblebajaarizona.com/the-there-there

Comments: “A thorough account of attempts to revitalize downtown Tucson. The reporting avoids the typical City Hall spin, and paints a vivid picture of the challenges many medium-sized cities face in trying to reclaim neglected downtown areas.”

 

C13. Statewide sports beat reporting

Judge: Brooke Pryor covers University of Oklahoma athletics for the Daily Oklahoman

First: Craig Harris, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/legislature/2017/02/23/arizona-coyotes-proposed-395-million-arena-deal-on-life-support/98321466/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/legislature/2017/03/07/nhl-coyotes-threaten-to-leave-arizona-without-new-arena/98881006/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/legislature/2017/03/09/glendale-fires-back-arizona-coyotes-glendale-arena/98967020/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/legislature/2017/03/23/arizona-coyotes-arena-funding-bill-nearly-dead-at-arizona-legislature/99544348/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/11/15/arizona-coyotes-accused-not-properly-paying-employees-union-busting-nlrb-complaints/867408001

Comments: “Craig’s coverage of the Coyotes Arena saga was thoroughly written and reported. He covered all aspects and sides of the arena situation and shed light on the labor disputes within the organization, showing that beat writing goes beyond gamers and profiles.”

Second: Bruce Pascoe, Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/relieved-of-all-duties-or-simply-fired-book-richardson-s/article_aaf23835-a84e-5891-ab53-151ed2cb90b1.html

http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/sean-miller-silent-as-questions-mount-about-past-future-of/article_0ee72580-0f0f-587b-83f1-bc9ea30887da.html

http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/different-than-the-handshake-fbi-investigation-into-book-richardson-could/article_3f62197f-59a0-5029-8455-fe36a1c8fa29.html http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/basketball/arizona-officials-statements-right-out-of-the-playbook-crisis-experts/article_a64a0c4c-0ef6-5e42-9929-8539a6f1e45f.html

Comments: “Bruce was informative in his coverage of Arizona’s involvement in the FBI investigation. He went beyond the surface level of the story with his extra analysis of the university statements and the potential NCAA investigation that could stem from the FBI’s investigation.”

Third: Matthew Wall, Arizona Daily Wildcat

Comments: “The best stories are the ones that pull back the curtain and give readers a look at a program they wouldn’t otherwise see. Matthew does that with all of his submissions. His thorough beat work is evident in the depth of the features. Matt’s work stacked up against the best beat writers in the state, and for that reason, I think he deserves a spot in the top-3 for the statewide contest.”

 

C14.  Statewide sports feature reporting

Judge: Steve Virgen is the Assistant Sports Editor for the Albuquerque Journal

First: Jonathan Clark, Nogales International
https://www.nogalesinternational.com/sports/a-rollercoaster-homecoming-for-rio-rico-s-ricky-perez/article_d8d31de2-a24a-11e7-a0dd-df0b829a480f.html
Comments: “Absolutely fascinating that even before I reached the midway point of the story I found myself rooting for Ricky. This makes for a special feature. Kudos to Clark for shining a worthy spotlight on Ricky.”

 

Second: Greg Hansen, Arizona Daily Star
https://tucson.com/sports/greghansen/greg-hansen-what-happens-next-for-arizona-wildcats-it-s/article_bf47c932-ae9b-5825-bd06-ad888fbeea79.html
Comments: “Feature stories fascinate and this one does not disappoint. It’s crazy to think what all goes behind the scenes at Arizona, and other beleaguered programs. A solid info-piece breaks it down for the reader.”

Third: Brian Wright, Casa Grande Dispatch
https://www.pinalcentral.com/casa_grande_dispatch/local_sports/cg-man-recalls-playing-in-bygone-era-of-baseball/article_b155edcf-05e8-50fd-a948-fb13dd47ec95.html
Comments: “What a great find of Ulysses Sharp by Wright. It’s evident that Sharp endured a great deal of adversity throughout his life and experienced such a unique piece of sports history.”

C15. Statewide Sports Investigative Reporting

Judge: David O’Brien has been the Atlanta Braves beat writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 2002.

First: Caitlin Schmidt, Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/news/local/ex-ua-athlete-fearful-frustrated-with-progress-of-criminal-case/article_017d422a-0e0f-5f00-82dd-51d8912a3714.html

http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/lawsuit-ua-failed-to-protect-woman-assaulted-by-former-running/article_7ca78dc9-da35-546f-bfef-278ff4a80fe7.html

http://tucson.com/news/local/recent-history-shows-trend-of-impropriety-by-arizona-wildcats-athletes/article_e3275f90-9b9a-5b7b-a5c9-084d57bc7203.html

http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/ua-withholding-access-to-student-athletes-training-about-domestic-violence/article_7197f57e-fe91-57b8-89e3-a1fa6b02c6d3.html

http://tucson.com/news/local/expert-ua-lacks-accountability-transparency-needed-to-combat-sexual-violence/article_84f43081-76da-587d-8ef6-17af007fbe98.html

Comments: “Important and fact-loaded series of stories on several allegations of sexual assaults and domestic violence among University of Arizona athletes. It’s clear that the five-entry package is only a fraction of the stories that the Daily Star wrote about what appears to be a shocking number of criminal cases being juggled by the athletic department. Particularly strong was the piecing together of the various accusations against the UA football player, Orlando Bradford, since it appears no court case had tied all the facts together. The case-by-case breakdown in graphic form was helpful, since it’s clear that there were other incidents being reported by the Daily Star and presumably Caitlin Schmidt. It also answered one important question raised (but not answered) by the story on Craig Carter: Why is the state paying for his civil-suit defense? And the interview with a national expert helped draw all the cases together as well, important to give a big-picture view of the turmoil within the athletic department. It’s clear that stories that the university would prefer not be reported are instead being tracked, investigated and published, to the community’s benefit.”

Second: No winner selected

Third: No winner selected

 

C16. Statewide sports column writing

First Place: Timothy Gassen, Arizona Daily Star.

Comments: Gassen’s passion for hockey is evident in his writing. It’s clear that he knows the game but what sets him apart is his ability to find and write compelling stories. “Super Yuki” was a fun and unexpected read. His handling of the Cunningham amputation story was touching without being maudlin.

Second Place: Greg Hansen, Arizona Daily Star.

Comments: Hansen handles tough subjects well (UA pay-for-play scandal). His column on Sean Miller needing to reach the Final Four is a strong statement of opinion, backed by compelling arguments.

Third Place: Brian Wright, Casa Grande Dispatch.

Comments: Wright tackles a difficult subject (kneeling during the National Anthem) and takes a strong stand. No matter how you feel about it, his is an opinion that can be respected. His column on hazing at Hamilton High School hits all the right notes, and his Gabe Beechum piece is well-written.

 

C17. Statewide column writing

Judge: Martin Salazar is an Albuquerque Journal editorial writer.

First Place: David Fitzsimmons, Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/fitz/fitz-harrowing-private-agony-clashes-with-arizona-s-abortion-laws/article_4a59db83-562a-514d-918b-90e13f5924ec.html
http://tucson.com/news/opinion/column/fitz/fitz-denying-the-truth-one-breath-at-a-time/article_5a05d9fc-aa57-5cbb-9cd4-048849fdb105.html
http://tucson.com/opinion/local/fitz-a-bedtime-story-about-sisters-and-real-life-monsters/article_2644a0a1-d38c-5af6-ade6-33e53acab333.htm

Comments: “Fitzsimmons is the clear winner. He is a master storyteller whose columns are teeming with insight on the world we live in, all drawn from his personal experiences. Each column takes you on a poignant journey, each word carefully chosen to enhance the experience. Newspapers need more writers like Fitzsimmons.” 

Second Place: Tim Steller, Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/news/local/columnists/steller/tim-steller-senseless-border-fences-stand-in-southwestern-arizona-as/article_ac8accb3-db42-5904-90f3-4f12a8c74a59.html
http://tucson.com/news/local/columnists/steller/steller-a-cracked-windshield-an-arrest-the-pima-county-jail/article_d4ac3b91-4f58-5e46-95ae-ca60599f3af2.html
http://tucson.com/news/local/steller-column-tucson-priest-s-arrest-casts-doubt-on-assaults/article_574aa7cd-8726-59ac-9e9f-987ab358c4bf.html

Comments: “Steller’s columns do a good job of cutting through the rhetoric that dominates immigration issues today and getting to the heart of what’s really happening. This type of work is vital for our democracy.”

Third Place: Karina Bland, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/karinabland/2017/04/28/burying-micah-line-paper-life-unlived-farewell-unforgotten/100478000/ https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/karinabland/2017/05/26/do-you-know-these-arizona-veterans-project-aims-put-face-every-name-vietnam-memorial/343388001/ https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/karinabland/2017/04/07/27-year-old-teacher-ponders-whether-find-out-gene-mutation-alzheimers-disease-karina-bland/99833694/ 

Comments: “Bland’s column on the teacher and Alzheimer’s is haunting. She did a good job of showing us the agony he and his family deal with day in and day out.”

 

C18. Statewide editorial writing

Judge: Susan Young is the editorial page editor of the Bangor Daily News

First: Linda Valdez, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/child-abuse-neglect-arizona-foster-care-change-conversation/691099001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/not-all-arizona-parents-foster-care-monsters/691211001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/arizona-kids-foster-care-life-not-good/691268001/

Comments: “These editorials had one focus — children in foster care — as they were part of a lengthy project. As such, it was possible to see the results of the editorials, and accompanying reporting, which changed laws and policies. This is what we hope to accomplish by writing editorials. The personal stories of current and former foster children were well used to draw readers in. They were then matched with data and research to back up the editorial arguments, which were persuasive. The editorials were well written with a crisp, rhythmic style. Counter arguments were anticipated and refuted. The online multimedia presentation offered an opportunity to learn and read more.”

Second: Luis Carrasco, Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/opinion/local/star-opinion-a-pardon-for-joe-arpaio-would-be-a/article_3198f97d-c534-53c2-8533-1c08f3b905b3.html

http://tucson.com/opinion/local/star-opinion-republican-voters-should-follow-sen-flake-s-lead/article_296aa60c-a2cc-58a3-9407-6949997397db.html

http://tucson.com/opinion/local/star-opinion-dreamers-shouldn-t-be-bargaining-chips-in-immigration/article_3296a93c-d8b1-5d9f-ba70-044cfa2456e4.html

Comments: “These editorials had strong, clear positions. Their description of Trump voters, and why they are essential to changing our political divide, was a nice call-out to an often disaffected audience. The Arpaio editorial’s call for morality, dignity and respect was well placed.”

Third: Staff, Arizona Daily Wildcat

“UA Athletics needs to directly confront sexual misconduct”

“Robbins’ first impression: We’re cautiously hopeful”

Editorial: ASUA’s elections commission could use a refresher on open meeting law”

Comments: “The writers had a strong editorial voice with forcefully stated positions. They clearly stated a problem, cited examples and then offered solutions. They are strong advocates for transparency, which is important on college campuses. The athletics/sexual assault editorial was especially well argued and put a local issue in a national perspective.”

C19. Statewide Personality Profile

Judge: Lauren Williamson is a senior editor at Chicago magazine.

First: Staff, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/those-arizona-lost-in-2017-glen-campbell-frank-kush-lil-peep-9997033

Comments: “Each of these miniature profiles is a gem, giving as much dignity to a homeless woman as to Glen Campbell as to the oldest anteater. It’s a terrific idea, wonderfully executed.”

Second: Debra Citron, Raising Arizona Kids

https://www.raisingarizonakids.com/2017/09/molly-idle-author-illustrator/

Comments: “This lively profile, in vivid language, tells a story that’s entertaining, engaging, and sweet. Idle’s resourcefulness is clear—her evolution as digital media takes over is one so many creative workers can relate to.”

Third:  Jon Gold, Arizona Daily Star

http://tucson.com/sports/local/always-a-cowboy-tucson-rodeo-announcer-brooks-has-the-voice/article_30025802-5213-5d49-a32b-199eb15e80b1.html

Comments: “This profile accomplishes something very difficult: It takes a run-of-the-mill odd jobs story and turns it into a tale that’s immersive and fun.”

 

C20. Statewide Human Interest Writing

Judge: Larry Aydlette is the Cultural Editor for The Palm Beach Post.

First: Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/karinabland/2017/12/29/alzheimers-disease-wife-cares-husband-who-forgot-how-care/922063001/

Comments: “Bland’s deeply reported, years-long look at a man’s slide into Alzheimer’s is novelistic in its sweep. What makes this so compelling is that it’s such a clear-eyed examination of painful truths – the man’s abusive nature only deepens with his disease, and the toll it takes on his suffering wife is unforgettable. This is storytelling of an exceptional caliber, and journalism at its finest – it reflects the complexities of real, difficult and messy life. Also worthy of praise are Nick Oza’s two videos, which deeply enhance the story.”

Second: Mary Jo Pitzl, The Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2017/11/30/genetic-ancestry-dna-testing-connects-adoptees-birth-parents-what-happens-next/702738001/

Comments: “Pitzl’s thoroughly reported story on the vogue of DNA heritage testing branches out in unexpected ways – especially how the simple tests are skirting once-inviolable adoption procedures and helping adoptees find their biological parents. What makes Pitzl’s story so interesting is that it’s not always a happy story at the end of the DNA rainbow.”

Third: Scott Craven, Arizona Republic, “Even 76 years later, Fort Huachuca’s golden mystery endures”

https://www.azcentral.com/story/travel/arizona/2017/08/01/jones-gold-fort-huachuca-legend/428889001/

Comments: “A compulsively readable yarn about a man’s claim of finding lost gold in a desert cave, and our nearly-universal desire to believe in buried treasure. Craven skillfully keeps us on the hook as he unspools this story, which ends up satisfyingly ambiguous.”

 

C21. Statewide Short-Form Writing

Judge: Stephanie Earls has worked as a features reporter and columnist at The (Colorado Springs) Gazette since 2012, and previously worked for the Albany Times Union.

First:  Kendal Blust, Nogales International

https://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/mothers-in-u-s-and-mexico-unite-across-the-border/article_0108d366-345e-11e7-87b7-572ea424beb2.html

Comments: “The writer’s light touch, strong sense of place and use of powerful imagery drive home this story about Mothers Without Borders and an encapsulating moment at the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Second: Lauren Loftus, Phoenix Magazine

http://www.phoenixmag.com/valley-news/reflexic-reaction.html

Comments: “The writer’s way in to a fun-yet-informative piece about reflexology — via a creatively-tweaked children’s jingle — had me singing the song to myself as I read. Who knew the foot was so connected?”

Third: Darren Barakat, Pinal Ways, “Finding peace through meditation”

https://www.pinalcentral.com/pinal_ways/group-meditation-sessions-calm-maricopa-residents/article_6aa27483-6787-59d0-a0b1-52f5b81dea13.html

Comments: “From the mini-deconstruction of Jerry Seinfeld in the lead, to the full-sensory experience of a group meditation session, it’s clear the writer has an eye/ear/nose for the kinds of details that really bring a story to life.”

 

C22. Statewide Arts Criticism

Judge: Steve Barnes has worked at the Albany Times Union since 1996, served as arts editor for six years, and has been a senior writer and restaurant critic since 2005.

First: Becky Bartkowski, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/music/chance-the-rapper-lost-lake-festival-9801516

Comments: “The writing exuberantly evokes the event and the headlining act, bringing us there and allowing the reader to celebrate, after the fact, just as the crowd had during the show.”

Second: Patricia Escárcega, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/cinco-de-mayo-is-kind-of-a-bullshit-holiday-but-does-it-even-matter-anymore-9296331

Comments: “This is the sort of food writing that goes beyond restaurant reviewing to social and cultural criticism. It’s funny, well-considered and has a point of view.”

Third: Dominic Armato, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/dining/dominic-armato/2017/06/13/review-original-cuisine-sichuan-restaurant-mesa/373016001/

Comments: “Reading about another’s restaurant meal has a voyeuristic aspect to us, and the critic here doesn’t shy from seducing us with the same sensuous pleasures he experienced, but he never veers into self-indulgence and always shows commanding authority about the cuisine under consideration.”

 

C23. Statewide Arts Reporting

Judge: Orange County Press Club

First: Chris Malloy, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/smoke-rings-jalapeno-bucks-serves-the-valleys-most-underrated-barbecue-9957958

Comments: “One of the best pieces of food writing I’ve ever read. Like a good barbecue, it starts slow but is always descriptive, and incrementally grows on the reader. This story explores some really important concepts, even if it is ultimately about barbecue.”

Second: Debbie Weingarten, Edible Baja

http://ediblebajaarizona.com/when-a-cactus-blooms

Comments: “This is such an amazing profile on children’s author Byrd Baylor, I didn’t want to stop reading. It mesmerized me. And the paintings really complemented the article!”

Third: Chris Malloy, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/smoke-rings-silvana-salcido-esparza-dreams-of-barbecue-9900932

Comments: “I don’t know how he does it, but Chris Malloy turns a story about an all-day backyard barbecue into a fascinating exploration of food, its origins, and U.S. and Mexican identities and cultures. Excellent writing.”

 

C24. Statewide Food and Beverage Reporting

Judge: Brett Anderson has been restaurant critic and feature writer for The Times-Picayune since 2000. He is a two-time James Beard Award winner and a former Harvard Nieman Fellow.

First: Dominic Armato, Arizona Republic

https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/dining/dominic-armato/2017/05/19/why-metro-phoenix-restaurants-are-struggling-survive/318031001

https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/dining/dominic-armato/2017/12/26/urban-farm-los-olivos-park-phoenix/948769001/

https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/dining/dominic-armato/2017/12/12/shaanxi-chinese-restaurant-opens-mesa-flavors-culture-northwest-china/898508001/ https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/dining/dominic-armato/2017/11/25/female-chefs-phoenix-decry-sexual-harassment-restaurant-industry/864215001/ https://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/dining/dominic-armato/2017/10/29/phoenix-restaurants-create-new-culinary-culture/792895001/

Comments: “These stories show an impressive journalistic range – deep reporting, strong sense of story, a firm grasp of food culture and its place in the community. I get the sense this reporter would be cracker jack on any beat.”

Second: Tom Zoellner, Phoenix New Times

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/10-iconic-arizona-restaurants-9412822

Comments: “My first thought: Another listicle? What I thought after reading it: I want to road trip through Arizona, eating at these places.”

Third: Patricia Escárcega, Shelby Moore and Felicia Campbell, Phoenix New Times, “Phoenix wrapped in a tortilla”

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/taco-summer-50-best-tacos-phoenix-9683671

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/smokiest-barbacoa-in-phoenix-tacos-chiwas-chris-biancos-new-business-partners-9631713

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/the-taqueria-in-mesa-with-jalisco-soul-and-killer-buche-tacos-9401478

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/the-small-west-phoenix-mexican-restaurant-serving-authentic-zacateca-birria-tacos-9342035

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/restaurants/best-tacos-phoenix-sonora-barbacoa-ribeye-carne-asada-phoenix-taco-summer-9382833

Comments: “She brings the city’s neighborhoods to life through its tacos.”

 

C25. Statewide Headline Writing

Judge: Steve Wilkinson is a copy editor at The Detroit News and a 2016 first place winner in the 2016 American Copy Editors Society’s National Headline Contest.

First: Jim Wambold, Arizona Republic

“No way to shade the truth: Valley is getting even hotter”

Comment: “Fresh, accurate approach on a statistical weather story, nicely supported by the deck. Ties in nicely with the art.”

Second: Darren Barakat, Pinal Ways

“Ties in the community, but none in the closet”

Comment: “Strong, accurate work on what seemed essentially a light profile.”

Third: Darren Barakat, Pinal Ways

“Family that sprays together, stays together”

Comments: “Again, a community category piece prevails. Accuracy and great word flow create great chemistry.”

 

C26. Nina Mason Pulliam Environmental Journalism Award (Statewise division)

Judge: Alma Fausto is a reporter with the Orange County Register

First: News21/ investigative journalism students based at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism

and Mass Communication

“Troubled Water”

Comments: “This entire package is an exhaustive, polished and meticulously reported investigation that delved into communities affected by a serious concern: unsafe water. With a combination of compelling prose in each piece and a stunning documentary, this series illustrated those whose lives are plagued by a resource they heavily rely on. Each element of each story had a purpose and illustrated an important aspect of this dilemma. This series was a masterfully done but more importantly it is meaningful work.”

 

Second: Brandon Loomis, Arizona Republic

“Running Wild”

Comments: “This series of enthralling stories illustrates the plight of the wild counterparts of animals that are so often revered for their intellect and beauty when in captivity: horses. Each story is a captivating tale about the animal itself, how it lives, how it dies and their relationship is to the humans they share land and life with. A deeply moving, informative series.” 

 

Third: Lily Altavena, Alex Devoid, Brandon Loomis, Arizona Republic

“Arizona’s heat series”

Comments: “This group of stories does a deep dive into a topic that is typically covered with limited exposure. Each story about a person being affected by heat and the climate they live in does not just recount numbered temperatures but illustrates the deaths they cause, burns they inflict and lives they interrupt.”

 

D1. Community Front-Page layout/design

Judge: Susan Barber is the art director of the Houston Chronicle.


First: 
Staff, Arizona Daily Wildcat
“Completely wrong in the law”
Comments: “The designer incorporated text and color around the photo for a simple, 
unadorned front.”

Second:Staff, Nogales International
“It’s like a ghost town down there”
Comments: “Using this many photos can lead to a cluttered design. In this designer’s hand, they highlight
the scope of the challenges facing small businesses in this border town.”

Third: Staff, Arizona Daily Wildcat
‘BOOKED.’
Comments: “This front page has a lot going on: Photos, teasers, quote and bold headline with a deck.
Smart organization made all the elements work together nicely.”

 

D2. Community non-deadline layout/design

Judge: Susan Barber is the art director of the Houston Chronicle.

First: Staff, Sierra Vista Herald
“Ain’t got nothin’ but the blues”
Comments: “Pages are well balanced and nicely organized.”

Second: Staff, Sierra Vista Herald
“The wrestlers”
Comments: “The splash of color adds a focal point to a well-designed page.” 

Third: Staff, Sierra Vista Herald
“When domestic violence turns deadly’
Comments: “While the color and textures may not be the best choice for a domestic violence story,
the design is well done.”
D3.  Statewide Page One layout/design

Judge: Susan Barber is the art director of the Houston Chronicle.

First: Aviva Loeb, Arizona Republic
‘A deadly YEAR’
Comments: “When the Arizona Republic took on the topic of homicides, the editors knew the presentation would be critical.
The dominant page 1 graphic captured readers’ attention and helped prepare them for a comprehensive report on a critical issue.”

Second: Rick Konopka, Arizona Republic
“Non!”
Comments: “Not many papers will allow such a large graphic on the front. This page was executed nicely while emphasizing at a glance where the U.S. stands on the nuclear race.”
 
Third: Maria Camou, Arizona Daily Star
‘TRUMP’s BORDER’
Comments: “Clean and organized news page.”

D4. Statewide non-deadline layout/design

Judge: Susan Barber is the art director of the Houston Chronicle.

First: Rachel van Blankenship, Arizona Republic
“Tour”
Comments: “Impressive in its simplicity. Great use of white space, fonts, photography and color.”

Second: Rachel van Blankenship, Arizona Republic
“Audible autumn!”
Comments: “Beautiful illustration. Poster worthy.”

Third: Maria Camou, Arizona Daily Star
“Greg Hansen’s guide”
Comments: “Lots of information, well displayed and easy to read.”

 

D5. Statewide tabloid/magazine cover design

Judge: Alison Borden is the Assistant City Editor for the Denver Post.

First: Staff, Arizona Daily Wildcat
Comments: Wrap-around image allows for pictorial heft. Nice poster for the fans.”

Second: Zac McDonald and Jim Louvau
Comments: “Nice clean cover with understated typography. Added dimensionally with image clipping the nameplate gives the page more muscular depth. Perfect image with player staring at his empty hand — time running out for a team’s aging superstars and their unrealized post-season goals.”

Third: Maria Camou, Arizona Daily Star
Comments: “Love the illustration.”

D6. Statewide multi-page design

Judge: Alison Borden is the Assistant City Editor for the Denver Post.

First: Aliya Mood and Alexa Hayes, Arizona Republic

Comments: “From project logo, to good photography and clean graphics, a fantastic mix merging an important regional story with compelling visuals. The rail was a great choice to isolate quotes and graphics and to provided breathable white space from keeping the pages from getting too dense and uninviting. Great commitment to an effective design framework.”

Second: Rick Konopka, Arizona Republic

Comments: “A simple concept that more than makes up for the lack of traditional visuals. Excellent white space and well-crafted typography. Love the rhythm created from page to page with a visual “punchline” ender of the red tape being ripped away.”

Third: Maria Camou, Arizona Daily Star

Comments: “Excellent photography telling a compelling story.”

D7.  Statewide illustration, drawn

Judge: Alison Borden is the Assistant City Editor for the Denver Post.

First: Zac McDonald and Chris Whetzel, Phoenix New Times

Comments: “Excellent graphic image plays perfectly with the headline. Three-color palette and strong line work gives good impact.”

Second: Rachel van Blankenship, Arizona Republic

Comments: “Fun image and clever web design. Like the headline incorporated into the image.” 

Third: Rachel van Blankenship, Arizona Republic

Comments: “Very simple and impactful style with a dialed-down color palette.”

 

D8. Statewide illustration, photo-based

Judge: Alison Borden is the Assistant City Editor for the Denver Post.

First: Rachel van Blankenship, Arizona Republic

Comments: “Perfect link (culturally) between food and image. Loved it. White space and simple typography allow the image to be the star of the page.”

Second: Zac McDonald, Phoenix New Times

Comments: “Relaxed pose, open eyes and sun rays makes the image more hopeful than harrowing, which I think supports the headline.”

Third: Rachel van Blankenship, Arizona Republic

Comments: “Liked the concept playing off the headline.”

E1. Student investigative reporting

Judge: Michael Koretzky is the adviser for the Florida Atlantic University Press and a freelance journalist in South Florida.

First: Jasmine Spearing-Bowen, Cronkite News https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2017/11/30/venezuelan-teens-came-arizona-basketball-left-homeless/

Comments: “Every entry in this category shined. To be brutally honest, that’s not true in most college media contests. So what separated this investigation from a stacked pack? The reporter didn’t just rely on public records and some breezy interviews. She dove deeper, multi-sourced like hell, and acquired personal details that made the readers in Arizona care about Venezuelan basketball players. She also added a quality video. A one-woman wrecking crew.”

Second: Angel Mendoza and Reilly Kneedler, The State Press

http://www.statepress.com/article/2017/05/spinvestigative-leadership-representation-lawsuit

Comments:A story that unfurls slowly before the facts tighten around a disturbing premise. The clean graphics and clear explanations help break down what could be a cornea-glazing topic to the average reader. Instead, even by the middle, it’s obvious something is going on here that’s not quite right.”

Third: Lily Altavena, Cronkite News

https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2017/05/01/hopi-jr-sr-high-school-hires-investigators-to-examine-special-education/

Comments: “Excellent reporting that suffers from not-always-clear writing and too much reliance on meetings. But it eclipses other entries for delving into a topic that’s not obvious and not easy. That needs to be encouraged. Hence, third place.”

 

E2. Student news reporting

Judge: Matt Kiefer is a journalist at The Chicago Reporter and won an IRE Award for his work on pay-outs for police misconduct lawsuits.

First: Allie Bice, State Press

http://www.statepress.com/article/2017/04/spinvestigative-undocumented-students-fight-for-future-in-president-trumps-america

Comments: “Personalizes a very important important national issue and puts it in a local, university-level context. Good storytelling, very informative and topical.”

Second: Stephanie Morse and Kara Carlson, Downtown Devil

https://downtowndevil.com/2017/08/23/86481/trump-protest-ends-in-tear-gas/

Comments: “Wow, right in the thick of it. Excellent interviews, videos and photos. A well-documented report on a day near the boiling point in American history.”

Third: J.D. Molinary, The Daily Wildcat

“Students at odds with UA presidential search secrecy”

Comments: “The Daily Wildcat’s dogged reporting demonstrated how UA split hairs and stretched legal definitions to close off a presidential search, with compelling points about the legality of the process, the influence of hired consultants and the public interest at stake.”

 

E3. Student features reporting

Judge: Virginia Black is the advisor for the Purdue Exponent in West Lafayette, Indiana.

First: Ethan Millman, Cronkite News

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/environment/running-water-navajo-nation/

Comments: “This is an impressive look at a tragic situation, for which the writer clearly spoke with a variety of people affected by a plight most of us would not dream is still in an issue in this country in this century. He tells the story in a compelling yet understandable way. In addition, the writer created a graphic with statistics and shot some of his own photos, as well. Nicely done.”

Second: Anya Magnuson, Downtown Devil

https://downtowndevil.com/2017/10/17/87630/homeless-population-face-barriers-to-health-care/

Comments: “It might be difficult for some readers to relate to a homeless person. But those among us who have ever faced a health crisis or even regularly takes medication can put themselves in the position of those who are often robbed or have nowhere to store their medications or to recuperate from a surgery. This story focuses on a specific need in a compelling way, by focusing on one woman’s struggles and widening the issue to include those who try to help.”

Third: Emily Ball, Cronkite News

https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2017/04/20/no-count-of-homeless-lgbtq-youth-makes-problem-difficult/

Comments: “In a competitive category of stories, this entry also stands out for its strong writing, many voices and a dive into an unusual facet of homelessness. The story leads with the details from one such youth before delving into the issue and its consequences.”

 

E4. Student sports reporting

Judge: Brad Schlossman covers college hockey for the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald. In 2016, he was named the top sports beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

First: Brittany Bowyer, Cronkite News

https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2017/10/12/flipside-cheerleading-prevalence-catastrophic-injuries/

Comments: “Impactful story. The type of story that can lead to changes that benefit future athletes. Strong use of one gymnast’s story to illustrate the issue.”

Second: Kelly Broderick, State Press

http://www.statepress.com/article/2017/11/spinvestigative-rugby-recovers-aggravated-assault

Comments: “Author turned out a terrific story despite several sources not wanting to comment on the record. Lots of work went into this piece to show what happened after a bad incident.”

Third: Matthew Wall, Arizona Daily Wildcat

“No hero, no angel: The Jay Dobkyns story”

Comments: “Former Arizona football player has a fascinating story to tell. The author found very good sources for quotes that really make the feature.”

 

 

 

The 2017 Arizona Press Club Writing/Design Awards are now open

ARIZONA PRESS CLUB

2017 AWARDS COMPETITION FOR THE BEST JOURNALISM IN ARIZONA

ENTRY FORM

PART I

THE RULES FOR WRITING AND DESIGN

ELIGIBILITY

Journalists are considered members of the Arizona Press Club if they work in the production of news for any Arizona newspaper, online news site, periodical or news service whose primary purpose is to inform the public rather than to sell products or promote a business, government, nonprofit organization or ideology.

Entries must have been originally published in 2017.

All entries must have been produced for the editorial department of an Arizona publication, news Web site or wire service. Work produced for advertising, marketing or other departments is not eligible. Eligible publications must have editorial independence and exist primarily to produce news. Advocacy groups that produce news are not eligible.

Stories reported or written by or for publications or websites based outside Arizona are not eligible.

DEADLINE

Entries must be submitted by Wednesday, March 8, 2018, unless entrants make special arrangements in advance with Press Club Press Joe Ferguson [email protected] or (520) 329-3032.

Unlike in past years, all entries are to be submitted online at azpressclub.org.

(more…)

Arizona Press Club announces the winners of the annual design categories

Community Front-Page layout/design

Judge – Andrea Zagata, a page designer for the New York Times.

First: John Layton, Arizona Capitol Times

Comments: “A visual interesting way to show a story with what I can only assume was very limited art options.”

Second: Sam Gross, Arizona Daily Wildcat

Comments: “This page is visually interesting but would benefit from fewer elements, as there are lots of elements competing.”

Community non-deadline layout/design

Judge – Andrea Zagata, a page designer for the New York Times.

First: Sam Gross, Arizona Daily Wildcat

Comments: “An easy-to-follow timeline designed in an interesting way. This is something a reader will want to pick up and spend some time investigating.”

Second: John Layton, Arizona Capitol Times

Comments: “This has so much on it that it is hard to follow at times. It is extremely ambitious as a project and offers lots of different entry points for the reader, but is a little overwhelmingly and would benefit from some simplification of design elements.”

Statewide Page One layout/design

Judge – Matt Swaney, design director of The Denver Post

First Place: Alexa Hayes, Arizona Republic

Comments: “Cool concept and illustration to explain quickly a complex political topic.”

Second Place: Aviva Loeb,  Arizona Republic

Comments: “A well-thought out photo edit. Smart choice for layout and headline structure to get important information in display type and conveyed to readers quickly.”

Third Place: Aviva Loeb,  Arizona Republic

Comments: “A smart primer on Hannukah. Clever use of small icons that are all matching in style. A good choice to limit the color palette to help hold all the small elements together in a unified display.”

Statewide non-deadline layout/design

Judge – Matt Swaney, design director of The Denver Post

First PlaceAviva Loeb,  Arizona Republic/  AZ Central Sports

Comments: “Wonderful illustration with a smart quiz. A fun and interesting way to preview the Olympics and overcome that challenges of trying to arrange studio shots for all the athletes or combining photos of different athletes and their events. Very smart and well executed.”

Second Place:  Becca Gaujardo,  AZ Central Sports

Comments: “Clever use of typography and various pullout information to create an informative and engaging display.”

No third place award was given in this category.

Statewide tabloid/magazine cover design

Judge – Matt Swaney, design director of The Denver Post

First Place: Tom Carlson, Phoenix New Times

Comments: Well done photo illustration that works in sync with display type.”

Second Place:  Becca Gaujardo,  Arizona Republic

Comments: Interesting photo illustration, combining elements of several images.”

No third place award was given in this category.

Statewide multi-page design

Judge – Frank Mina, design director for the Seattle Times

First: Maria Camou, Arizona Daily Star

Comments: This entry’s consistent, clean design uses its visual elements to great effect. The package captures the differences and similarities of the cities along the U.S.-Mexican border using charts, photographs and maps which compliment the narrative.”

No second place or third place awards were given.

Statewide illustration, drawn

Judge – Frank Mina, design director for the Seattle Times

First: Tom Carlson, Phoenix New Times

Comments: “This illustration draws inspiration  from 1950s pulp magazine covers which is a smart approach for a “scandalous” story like Sugar U. The artist captures the pulp style well with lurid colors and shocked/disapproving passersby watching  the coed and sugar daddy with mouths agape.”

Second: Chiara Bautista, Arizona Daily Star

Comments: “It is the subtle touches in this illustration that really convey the point of the story. The small children are depicted as wide-eyed and carefree enjoying a read upon a brightly colored merry-go-round. Replacing the usual carousel horses with books is clever as is the pen nib as final  to top the whole thing off. Well done.

ThirdChiara Bautista, Arizona Daily Star

Comments:The variation on the tiny cactus theme in these emojis is delightful. The Dia de los Muertos and Thanksgiving emojis are particular favorites. The addition of local landmarks like Hotel Congress and Fox Theater are nice touches.”

Statewide illustration, photo-based

Judge – Frank Mina, design director for the Seattle Times

First: Tom Carlson, Phoenix New Times

Comments: “The use of toy soldiers for this story was a creative solution that takes a visual cliche and makes it fresh by using the green soldiers as background and red and white soldiers to form the medic symbol.”

SecondRachel van Blankenship, Arizona Republic

Comments: “This illustration goes beyond the handout images that come with theatrical reviews. Smart use of vintage newspages to create the industrial New York backdrop for the cast of the show. Simple and well executed.”

ThirdRachel van Blankenship, Arizona Republic

Comments: “A simple solution using an image of Shakespeare most people  are familiar juxtoposed with the ghoulish image of a skull.”

Announcing the winners of the 2016 news writing contest, community division (updated)

The Arizona Press Club is proud to announce the winners in the Community category of the 2016 Writing and Design Competition.

Community investigative reporting

Judge Andy Hall is the executive director of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and was a judge for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

First: Hank Stephenson, Arizona Capitol Times

Comments: “This investigation made great use of public records, including calendars and mileage reimbursements along with Internet searches to show the high-spending ways of Arizona’s House speaker David Gowan. It brought about real change, including new policies at the Capitol and thousands in reimbursements from Gowan, whom the Capitol Times showed clearly misused taxpayer-funded vehicles, staff and his own position to enrich himself and to support his run for Congress. No doubt the digging by the Arizona Capitol Times contributed to the candidate’s low favorability among voters, which forced him to abandon his campaign.”

Second: Joshua Bowling, Cronkite News

Comments: “This investigation showed what happens when regulators and private water operators ignore their core responsibilities. The people of Parker, Arizona are stuck with expensive water that is unfit to drink. And when a major problem arose — a multi-day loss of water during an intense heat wave — the owner and his Costa Rican call center were unreachable. This investigation should prompt further inquiry into the quality of Arizona’s private water systems.”

Third: Evan Wyloge, Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

Comments: “This story was an interesting, behind-the-scenes peek at the bare knuckles strategies employed by Arizona Public Service as it seeks to keep the solar industry from expanding in one of the states best suited for this renewable energy source.”

Community public service journalism

Judge Jennifer Berry Hawes is a projects writer for The Post and Courier who worked on a Pulitzer Prize-winning team. She also has won a George Polk Award,

National Headliner Award and an ASNE Award for Local Accountability Reporting and is a past South Carolina Journalist of the Year.

First: Evan Wyloge, Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

“It’s hard to beat this entry for sheer ingenuity. Great idea and fantastic execution on Twitter. And who could resist something called a Dark Money Bot?”

Second: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

“These stories help readers understand the complexities of solar energy and their utility rate increases, no easy feat.”

Third: Hank Stephenson, Arizona Capitol Times

“Only a reporter who knows this beat well could spot this story. Excellent spotting of a story right in front you that would be easy to miss.”

Honorable Mention: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

“This story provides an interesting look at TANF limitations with an especially nice example of how it affected an abused woman and her children.”

Community breaking news

Judge Jack Leonard is editor for police, courts and crime at the Los Angeles Times.

First: Luige del Puerto and Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times; “Miscalculations quickly became apparent as voters lined up at the polls.”

Comments: “Del Puerto and Leingang ably captured the chaos and frustration that marked voting in the presidential primary in Maricopa County. Their story used a wealth of statistics to simply explain how the problems were the result of confusion among independent voters who didn’t realize they were not allowed to vote and miscalculations by election officials who severely underestimated how many voters would show up at the polls.”

Second: Adam Gaub, Pinal Central; “Pair of local men spring into action during massive SR 347 wreck.”

Comments: “Gaub showed what can be done when a reporter gets to the scene of the news quickly enough. He scored interviews with two heroic Good Samaritans to produce a compelling deadline account of a horrific freeway accident that went beyond a regular accident story by showing how the event underscores the need to improve highways in Maricopa to meet the needs of a growing city.”

Third: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times; “Catherine Miranda defeats stepdaughter in LD27 Senate race.”

Comments: “Rachel’s lede said it all: ‘The family reunion might be a little awkward this year.’ From that funny and inviting start, this short-but-sweet piece ably charts the result of the intra-family election battle, providing important context about campaign finance and the candidates’ family history.”

Community public safety reporting

Judge Shoshana Walter covers human trafficking and public safety for Reveal, part of the Center for Investigative Reporting. She won the 2015 Livingston Award for Young Journalists for national reporting and a John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim fellow in criminal justice journalism.

First: Justin Price, Brandon Quester and Evan Wyloge, Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

Comments: “A chilling story about a horrific murder case. The reporters made great use of public records, sources and interviews and composed a vivid narrative that was hard to put down.”

Second: Paulina Pineda, Nogales International

Comments: “Great local watchdog reporting. Pineda raised important questions about alleged racial profiling of Mexican drivers — traffic stops that have led to gigantic leaps in revenue.”

Third: Terri Jo Neff, Cochise County Record

Comments: “Neff’s reporting shed light on abuses of power in the Cochise county criminal justice system. Neff shows a good command of complicated court filings and proceedings.”

Community political reporting

Judge Allison Wisk is the California politics editor for the Los Angeles Times.

First: Evan Wyloge, Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

Comments: “Wyloge’s work tracking the flow of dark money in Arizona campaigns is an invaluable service to voters in the state. With the Dark Money bot and its accompanying stories, he showed how central data reporting is to journalism by cracking open and simplifying access to campaign finance information for readers.”

Second: Evan Wyloge, Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

Comments: “Wyloge’s use of data reporting to explain how voters removed firebrand Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio from office turns any assumption about the election on its head. Through precinct-level voting data, Wyloge provides a cogent analysis of out how Arpaio — whose long time in the post helped him cultivate a national profile thought to have made him bulletproof among conservatives — had lost the race thanks to an erosion of support in Republican-leaning areas.”

Third: Cindy Yurth, Navajo Times

Comments: Yurth’s coverage of redistricting and voter access issues in San Juan County sharply brings into focus allegations of Diné voter disenfranchisement due to redistricting and a host of poll access issues that often confront tribal members. Her thoughtful reporting provides crucial information to people living in the Four Corners area.”

Community government reporting

Judge Chris Megerian covers Gov. Jerry Brown, the budget, climate change legislation and state government for the Los Angeles Times.

First: Erica L. Lang, Cronkite News

Comments: “This was a comprehensive examination of a serious problem that had gone unaddressed by government officials. It fulfills an important watchdog role with a solid mix of anecdote and data.”

Second: Evan Wyloge, Sarah Jarvis, Justin Price Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting

Comments: “The investigation included an impressive use of new data tools to analyze legislation. It’s a good reminder that lawmakers aren’t always making the laws they’re passing.”

Third: Colleen Keane, Navajo Times

Comments: “This was a good example of ground-level community journalism, shining a light on problems that aren’t being addressed by political leaders.”

Community health reporting

Judge Jordan Rau, a senior correspondent for Kaiser Health News, was honored for beat reporting by the Association of Healthcare Journalists. His stories have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA TODAY, Philadelphia Inquirer, Politico, and on npr.org and nbcnews.com, among other media outlets.

First: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times

Comments: “Leingang produced a strong profile of a less heralded group of pot smokers: people in their 50s and older. Her look at this demographic slice of medical marijuana users was refreshing and well told.”

Second: Kendal Blust, Nogales International

Comments: “Blust went beyond the typical medical tourism story to show how Mexican dentists were siphoning off American patients and how the loss was affecting Arizona dentists. Both sides of the border were portrayed fairly.”

Third: Ben Giles, Arizona Capitol Times

Comments: “Giles provided balanced coverage of statehouse issues. His look at how a fight over the regulation of municipal employee benefits hinged on the interpretation of one word was particularly sharp.”

Community environmental reporting

Judge Josephine Marcotty, environmental reporter for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, was honored for beat reporting in 2016 by the Society of Environmental Journalists.

First: Debbie Weingarten,  edible Baja Arizona.

Comments: “It’s a counterintuitive story about the hidden  power of women farmers, and the crucial role they are playing in Arizona’s  sustainable agriculture.  And it’s beautifully written, telling the stories of  strong characters in a strong landscape.”

Second: Murphy Woodhouse, Nogales International.

Comments: “Does an excellent job of describing the scope and cost of a serious environmental problem in one county.”

Third: Rachel Leingang, Arizona Capitol Times.

Comments: “An unexpected piece about the complexity and promise of a novel conservation solution.”

Community science reporting

Judge Colin Woodard of Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram Was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for a compelling account of dramatic ecological changes occurring in the warming ocean region from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod.

First: Miquel Otarola, Cronkite News

Comments: “A solid, on-the-scene profile of a local research project with global implications.”

Second: Terry Bowman, Navajo Times

Comments: “Bowman went out in the field, captured the scene, and filed a local follow-up to a breaking national science story on a tight deadline.”

Third: Jim Nintzel, Tucson Weekly

Comments: “A readable in-depth profile on a locally-sourced deep space research project.”

Community social issues reporting

Judge Halle Stockton, managing editor of PublicSource, was a 2016 finalist for the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists for a series on psychotropic drugs prescribed to juvenile offenders. She also won a 2015 Sigma Delta Chi award for a story about a couple who both have cerebral palsy.

First: Arielle Zionts, Nogales International

Comments: “This is an engaging piece and succeeds at educating the reader about the issues faced by people with a language and disability barrier. I also appreciate the barriers the reporter must have had to get this
story, and it’s important for journalists not to let that hold us back from telling these stories.”

Second: Katie Campbell, PinalCentral/Casa Grande Dispatch

Comments: “This reporter has a knack for taking timely issues and elevating her coverage of them to include powerful narrative, information from data and records and, even in the face of topics that can cause despair, she offers what stakeholders and the community can do in response in a responsible, professional way.”

Third: John Washington, Edible Baja Arizona
Comments: “John Washington’s Sweat Vinaigrette piece not only paints a picture with vivid writing but touches on extremely pertinent issues of agriculture, labor, automation and immigration in a way that never gets wonky. I love that it takes readers to a place where they would never normally get to go either.”

Community education reporting

Judge Cara Fitzpatrick, a reporter with the Tampa Bay Times, was part of a team that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for exposing a local school board’s culpability in turning some county schools into failure factories, with tragic consequences for the community.

First: Megan Kimble, Edible Baja Arizona

Comments: “It was an interesting window into the world of getting ‘Farm-to-School’ food into school cafeterias.”

No second or third place awarded.

Community immigration reporting

Judge Mark Fazlollah, immigration reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, has won national awards including a George Polk Award and the National Association of Black Journalists’ award for investigative reporting. He has been a reporter in Mexico for United Press International and a Latin America correspondent for the Daily Telegraph of London.

First: Staff, Cronkite News

Comments: “The Cronkite News staff articles hit all the bases, providing video interview in both English and Spanish, attractive graphics and well written stories about the polling of 1,427 people on both sides of the border.”

Second: Paulina Pineda, Nogales International
Comments: “Paulina Pineda gave an important voice to Central American women searching for missing relatives.”

Third: Kendal Blust, Nogales International
Comments: “Kendal Blust’s stories on Haitian migrants stuck on the border was well-written, giving a real sense of the difficulties their faced. The articles clearly described their travels from the Caribbean and through Latin American, only to be stalled in Nogales, Sonora. “

Community business reporting

Judge Kimi Yoshino is the business editor of the Los Angeles Times. At the Times, she helped to report on the Bell corruption scandal, which won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service.

First: Megan Kimble, Edible Baja Arizona

Comments First person is difficult to pull off, but Megan Kimble nails it in this Edible Baja Arizona piece that actually tells two stories. It’s both an explainer on equity crowdfunding and a profile of a local brewery. This was an effective way to get people interested in equity crowdfunding – as a potential investor and as a business owner. There’s a lot of reporting and detail packed into this story, but the lively writing had me about ready to whip out my checkbook.

 Second: Steve Totten, Phoenix Business Journal 

Comments: Steven Totten reports that a movie about the deadly Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona is actually being filmed in New Mexico. Totten leaves no angle unexplored in this package of  Phoenix Business Journal stories about film tax credits. As someone who has read (and edited) a number of stories about film tax credits, I appreciated the depth of reporting, the myriad examples and the rich history of filming in Arizona.”

Community sports beat reporting

Judge Angel Rodriguez is the sports editor of the Los Angeles Times.

First: Ezra Amacher, Arizona Daily Wildcat

Comments: “Well-crafted and vivid coverage of the University of Arizona’s baseball team. Highlight was feature on their trip to Omaha. Crips writing throughout.”

Second: Brad Allis, Marana News

No comments submitted.

Third:  Christopher Boan, The Sahuarita Sun

No comments submitted.

Community sports feature reporting

Judge Angel Rodriguez is the sports editor of the Los Angeles Times.

First:  Christoper Boan, The Sahuarita Sun

Comments: “Deeply reported feature that brought to life the protagonist. The story never dragged and was compelling throughout. Well done. “

Second:  Brad Allis, Marana News

Coaching legend inspired kids, grandkids and many others

Third: Nick Krueger,  Cronkite News

Comments: “Despite grandfather’s CTE, Stabler’s grandsons carry on family’s football legacy”

Community sports investigative reporting

No awards.

Community sports column writing

Judge Geoff Calkins writes columns and opinion for Memphis and the Mid-South for The Commercial Appeal.

First: Brad Allis, Marana News

No comments submitted.

Second: Adam Gaub,  PinalCentral

No comments submitted.

Third: Justin Spears,  Arizona Daily Wildcat

No comments submitted.

Community column writing

Judge David Cook, metro columnist with the Chattanooga Times, won the 2016 ASNE Mike Royko Award for Commentary Writing.

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First: Bill Coates, Casa Grande Dispatch

Comments: “Bill Coates’s columns are powerfully rooted in the pains and joys of everyday life. From a roadside tragedy – and the one survivor who somehow lived – to the eternal bond of brothers to the politics of smoking, Coates writes with wisdom and precision about the sweetness, suffering and impermanence of ordinary life. Not the rich and famous, but the rest of us.”

Second: Cindy Yurth, Navajo Times

No comments submitted.

Third: Bill Donovan, Navajo Times

No comments submitted.

Community editorial writing

Judge Andrew Green is part of the Baltimore Sun team that was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing.

First: Jonathan Clark, Nogales International

Comments:  The editorial argues an essential point – the need for diligence and transparency in the investigation of police-involved shootings – and marshals as evidence both some well known cases from around the country but also a detailed examination of several in Arizona. Particularly commendable is the author’s use of the NI’s original reporting on the topic but also that of other newspapers in the region to make his points.”

No second place or third place awards were given.

Community personality profile

Judge Carrie Seidman is a 2016 winner of the Society for Features Journalism Award for Features Series or Project Award and took second place in Feature Writing Specialty Portfolio. She is a reporter for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and just wrapped up a Carter Center fellowship focusing on mental illness.

First: Brian Smith, Tucson Weekly

Comments: “Full of arresting details, colorful language and nuance. A fascinating subject, intricately revealed.”

Second: Megan Kimble, Edible Baja Arizona

Comments: “The goal of a good profile is to make the person in question come alive in a way that leaves readers longing to meet or hate the subject. After reading this I was ready to show up at Suzana Davila’s restaurant and put myself entirely in her hands.”

Third: Debbie Weingarten, Edible Baja Arizona

Comments: “The connection of a young boy’s early memories in the kitchen with his mother to his life’s passion, told via well-connected and revealing stages.”

Community human interest writing

Judge Staci Sturrock is a senior content editor and copywriter for the ad agency Ideabar. She previously worked as a reporter for the Palm Beach Post and won first place in the Society for Feature Journalism Awards 2016 for Feature Specialty Writing Portfolio and third place in Short Feature.

First: Megan Kimble, Edible Baja Arizona

Comments: “Right out of the gate, this lovingly tended story is a winner. The first several paragraphs read like the opening of a good novel. The reporter writes with an impressive authority. And while the story is packed with facts of how these women are changing the face of farming, it’s the personal stories of the farmers that sing. Great storytelling.”

Second: Rebecca Brisley, State Press

Comments: “This is a well-researched, wide-ranging and nicely balanced takeout on a herd of horses that everyone seems to have an opinion on. The sourcing is thorough, and I enjoyed how the writer described both the horses and her visits to the Coon Bluff area with the people she was interviewing. Anything you want to know about the Salt River Horses is in this article.”

Third: Kendal Blust, Nogales International

Comments: “I’m still thinking about the young man sitting at the back of the migrant center after breakfast. Really nice job of using his situation to discuss such a multifaceted issue. The story is nicely contained (it doesn’t try to do too much) but also includes just the right touch of state and national statistics to put things in perspective locally. Kudos on extracting so many details about Carlos’ flight and plight during your interview with him.”

Community short-form writing

First: Katie Bieri, Cronkite News

Comments: “Bieri’s story is light and off-beat, traits too often overlooked by reporters hell-bent on finding the next #scandal that will expose an elected official. To be sure, big, front-page, inverted pyramid stories are the lifeblood of print journalism. But we’re not living in an apocalypse — at least, we aren’t as I write this. Fingers crossed! Anyway, back to Bieri’s story. She found a fun topic and avoided the common trap for an off-beat story: slacking on the reporting end. Here, she shows up to the office and talks to Rep. Schweikert and his staff as if this were any other news story. She was alert to find out when and why Schweikert started bringing dogs to work. Plus, extra points for getting the names of the dogs.”

Second: Christopher S. Pineo, Navajo Times 

Comments: “Editors, professor and salty old reporters will give you plenty of tips as a budding journalist: know what you talk about BEFORE you get to an interview, adjectives are worse than swear words, get the name of the dog. (I know; I know; see above.) But the most important part of journalism is finding access to the right people. This part is hard to teach. It requires a sense of empathy, understanding which people are most affected by an issue. Here, Pineo nails it. He finds Jessie Carabajal the day after the worst day of her life. Pineo allows her to tell her story. Importantly, he doesn’t get in her way. He gives her room to talk through what happened, what she saw, how she felt. And she gives us, the readers, room to feel with Carabajal.”

Community arts criticism

Judge Amy Biancolli is the arts writer and columnist for The Times Union in Albany, NY. She won first place in the Arts and Entertainment Commentary Portfolio category in the 2016 Society for Features Journalism awards and has published two books.

First: Margaret Regan, Tucson Weekly

Comments: “Authoritative and terrifically written with lively, sexy cheek. She praises the artists for portraying the nude in a manner ‘clear-eyed and without apology,’ and she does the same.” 

Second: Sherilyn Forrester, Tucson Weekly

Comments:I enjoyed this for its nuance and balance (a mixed review is, I think, the hardest to write by far) and for its insights into the nature of playwriting. A great read, and an interesting one.” 

Third: Cindy Yurth, Navajo Times

Comments: “I admired the light touch in this one. It paints a portrait of a Navajo classical pianist — his background and his music — with concision, color and humor.”

Community arts reporting

Judge Rashod Ollison is a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot, covering entertainment, music, pop culture and other features. He won first place in the Arts and Entertainment Feature category in the 2015 Society for Features Journalism awards and third place in Arts and Entertainment Commentary Portfolio.

First: Becky Bartkowski, Phoenix News Times

Comments: “Informative and lively coverage of the art scene. “The 100 Creatives You Should Know …” piece was smart and essential.”

No second place or third place awards were given.

Community food and beverage reporting

Judge Hanna Raskin is the food editor and chief critic for The Post & Courier in South Carolina.

First: John Washington, Edible Baja Arizona
Comments: “Well-researched and comprehensive survey of state’s craft beer scene, with enough specific details and humanity to engage readers.”

No second place or third place awards were given.

Community headline writing

Judge Sara Ziegler is the treasurer of the American Copy Editors Society and deputy features editor for the Omaha World-Herald

FirstLee Shappell, Scottsdale Airpark News 

Comments: “This entry uses wordplay in a clever way that ultimately serves the story. These aren’t puns for puns’ sake. “Hundred-buck ground chuck” is the kind of headline that doesn’t just make you want to read the story — it makes you feel like you’ll be missing out if you don’t.”

Second: Phyllis Braun, Arizona Jewish Post

Comments: “These headlines are straightforward and evocative. “Lebanese, Christian, gay — and fully Israeli” paints a full picture of a complicated person in just six words, and it tells readers of the Arizona Jewish Post exactly why they should care.”

3: Michael Rinker (#1) — The star of this entry is “A fungi you can take a lichen to.” I actually laughed out loud. No matter how you feel about puns, when you have the opportunity to use a lichen pun, you have to take it.