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.

: 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.”

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