*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

Results delayed.

 

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

Results delayed.

 

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.”

 

 

 

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