Colorado Sun reporters claim 29 awards, including 13 top honors

The Colorado Sun won 29 awards, including 13 first-place finishes in categories ranging from hard news to feature to cartoons, graphics and photography, in the annual Top of the Rockies Excellence in Journalism competition, which is judged by Colorado, New Mexico and from Utah counties. and Wyoming.

In addition, politics reporter Sandra Fish was named Journalist of the Year, which recognizes “journalists who have done extraordinary work in the past calendar year, embodying SPJ’s code of ethics for seeking and reporting the truth; minimizing harm; act independently; And be accountable and transparent.” Fish shared the honor with longtime political journalist Fred Brown.

The winners were announced on Saturday Colorado Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which held an annual competition. The Sun was the most awarded news publication in Colorado and the region in its extra large division.

“We are very proud to have our work recognized by our peers in the West, but these awards really belong to the thousands of Colorado Sun members who make this work possible with their support,” said Sun Editor Larry Rickman. “Good journalism requires curiosity, tenacity and courage, and Sandra Fish deserves this respect for displaying all these qualities and more.” His watchful reporting is exactly the kind of accountability journalism envisioned when the Founding Fathers adopted the First Amendment.

Sun writer Jennifer Brown won first person in mental health news for the efforts of a park ranger and mental health worker to help people living on the streets, while Tracy Ross won in ag and environmental news for her story about the rise of man. Los conflicts in Colorado.

Tamara Chuang won top honors for her business feature explaining why recycled mattresses end up in landfills, while John Ingold won health news for lawmakers targeting hospital facility fees. Sun freelancers Robert Davies (news) and Dan English (science and technology news) also took first place in the reporting and writing competition.

The Sun’s three-part look at the state of local journalism, The Ultimate Edition: Saving Local News by Brown and Kevin Simpson, took top honors in the business news category. Simpson and Ingold join freelancers Nick Grock and Margaret Jackson to claim the top spot in sports features for their four-part series What the Hell Is Wrong with the Rockies? that he was watching the baseball team’s sprawling futility.

Brown added the first to his contribution to the “Last Resort” collaboration, which explores the problems facing schools that serve students with special needs.

The Sun also won first place in the visual arts categories. Photographer Hugh Carey won for news photography for his Air Force Academy graduation photo, while Sun freelancer Dean Crackel won for climate photography for his shots of researchers studying snow in the remote mountains of Colorado.

Sun cartoonists R. Alan Brooks and Corey Redford took home top honors for the second year in a row for their weekly strip What’d I Miss? which examines social issues through the eyes of its unique characters, and freelancer Gabriela Trujillo won first place for her striking illustration of a story by writer Tatiana Flowers set in solitary confinement in a Colorado prison.

Corey Radford, left, and R. Alan Brooks collects their first editorial cartoon spot in 2023 in Denver. This year, the duo took first place on the strip for the second time in a row for their collaboration “What Did I Miss?” In the Colorado Sun. (Juan Yang, special to the Colorado Sun)

Contestants are ranked by news outlets based on the size of their newsrooms – small, medium, large or extra large. The Sun competes in the extra large division, which includes a newsroom of 15 or more full-time journalists. This year’s proposals were judged by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of SPJ.

The Sun added 11 second-place finishes and five third-place finishes to reach 29 for the 2023 calendar year. His total, as well as the best number of participants, was the best in Colorado and the four-state region in his extra-large newsroom. Among others of that size, the Salt Lake Tribune collected 27 awards (10 firsts), while the Albuquerque Journal (nine firsts) finished with 24 and the Deseret News (six firsts) totaled 23 awards.

The Colorado Springs Gazette, which also competes in the extra large division, received a total of 13 awards (three firsts), while Colorado Public Radio won nine (three firsts). In the “large” newsroom class, the Denver Gazette won 25 awards (12 first).

Other Colorado Sun journalism acknowledges:

Second place

A&E and Food: News or Feature: Tracy Ross Because “the oasis of art on the Colorado high plains accommodates all kinds of climate variability.” Best solutions journalism: John Ingold “Turning Semi-Automatic Vehicles into Mattos: How Faith Communities Are Fighting Gun Violence in Colorado”. News story: Jason Blevins “What it looked like when Colorado wildlife officials released 5 Oregon wolves in Grand County.” Business news: Jason Blevins After 50 years, the owner of Beau Jo’s is selling his famous Colorado pizza shop – to his employees. Enterprise Report: Jesse Paul “for forfeiture of HOA”. Artistic photography/videography: William Wood “Colorado Onion Crop Races Against Freezing Weather.”

Feature: Long Form: Jennifer Brown Because “wild ice will take skaters to the Colorado Alps. One woman is trying to make sure they survive.” Information graphics: Danica Worthington, Eric Lubbers, Jennifer Brown The cost of 5 common grocery items in Colorado has increased by 35% in 5 years. Here is the breakdown. ” News Column, Collection: Trish Zornio. Features of science and technology: Shannon Mullaney For that, “scientists are using lasers to reveal the secrets of Colorado’s snow. What does this mean for your water supply?” Social Justice Report: Tatiana flowers “Colorado moms speak out against OB-GYN racism, to reverse decades of dangerous care.”

Third place

Climate Report: Olivia Pretzel Because “volunteers are hunting one of Colorado’s most beloved animals before climate change wipes them out.” Editorial cartoons, collection: Jim Morris. Function of education: Erica Brownlin “In Colorado’s forest schools, nature is both classroom and teacher.” Health feature: and England “Colorado’s thin air poses health risks for people with hypoxia. These hikers say the views are worth it.” Multimedia story: Jesse Paul, Sandra Fish, Elliott Wenzler, Danica Worthington ‘Welcome to Denver’: Meet the 17 mayoral candidates with an airport train greeting.

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