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.

: 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.”


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