canada africa partner reservation Colorado Sun journalists claim 29 awards, including 13 top honors

Colorado Sun journalists claim 29 awards, including 13 top honors


The Colorado Sun scored 29 awards, including 13 first-place finishes in categories ranging from hard news to feature films to cartoons, graphics and photography, in the annual Top of the Rockies Excellence in Journalism competition that judges work from across Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. and Wyoming.

In addition, political reporter Sandra Fish was named Journalist of the Year, an honor given to “journalists who have produced extraordinary work over the past calendar year, embodying the SPJ Code of Ethics to seek the truth and report it; minimize damage; acting independently; and be responsible and transparent.” Fish shared the honor with longtime political journalist Fred Brown.

The winners were announced Saturday by the Colorado Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, which administered the annual contest. The Sun was the most awarded news channel in Colorado and the region in its extra-large division.

“We are so proud to have our work recognized by colleagues across the West, but these awards really belong to the thousands of Colorado Sun members whose support makes this work possible,” said Sun editor Larry Ryckman. “Good journalism requires curiosity, perseverance and courage, and Sandra Fish deserves this honor because she embodies all these qualities and more. Her watchdog reporting is exactly the kind of accountability journalism she envisioned when the founding fathers passed the First Amendment.”

Sun writer Jennifer Brown placed an individual first in mental health news for her look at the efforts of a park ranger and a mental health worker to help people living on the streets, while Tracy Ross won in agriculture and environmental news for her story about the rise of man. elk conflicts in Colorado.

Tamara Chuang claimed top honors for her business article explaining why recycled mattresses end up in landfills, and John Ingold won in health news for his look at how lawmakers tackled reimbursement for hospital facilities. Sun freelancers Robert Davis (breaking news) and Dan England (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, “Final Edition: Saving Local News” by Brown and Kevin Simpson, took top honors in the business news category. Simpson and Ingold joined freelancers Nick Groke and Margaret Jackson to win first place in sports films for their four-part series “What the hell is wrong with the Rockies?” which looked at the long term futility of the baseball team.

Brown added a first for her contribution to “Last Resort,” a multi-site partnership that looked at the challenges faced by schools serving students with special needs.

The Sun also scored first place in the visual arts categories. Photographer Hugh Carey was honored for spot news photography for his photo of the Air Force Academy graduation, while Sun freelancer Dean Krakel won the award for climate photography for his photos of the researchers studying snow in Colorado’s remote mountains.

For the second year in a row, Sun cartoonists R. Alan Brooks and Cori Redford received top honors for their weekly comic strip “What’d I Miss?” which explores social issues through the lens of its unique characters, while freelancer Gabriella Trujillo won first place for her striking illustration for writer Tatiana Flowers’ story about solitary confinement in Colorado prisons.

Cori Redford, left, and R. Alan Brooks receive their first award for editorial cartooning in 2023 in Denver. This year, the duo placed first for the second time in a row for their collaboration on the comic strip “What’d I Miss?” in The Colorado Sun. (Juannean Young, special to The Colorado Sun)

Contestants are judged among 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 newsrooms of 15 or more full-time journalists. This year’s entries were judged by the greater Los Angeles chapter of the SPJ.

The Sun added 11 second places and five third places, reaching a total of 29 for work during the 2023 calendar year. The overall total, as well as the number of top players, was the best in its extra-large newsroom class in Colorado and the four-state region. Among others of that size, the Salt Lake Tribune collected 27 awards (10 firsts), while the Albuquerque Journal (nine firsts) finished with 24 and Deseret News (six firsts) totaled 23 awards.

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

Other Colorado Sun journalism acknowledged:

Second place

A&E and food: news or feature: Tracy Ross because “An art oasis on the high plains of Colorado takes all kinds of climate change into account.” Best journalism solutions: John Ingold for “Turning Semi-Automation into Pickaxes: How Colorado Faith Communities Combat Gun Violence.” Breaking news story: Jason Blevins for “What it looked like when Colorado wildlife officials released five Oregon wolves in Grand County.” Business news: Jason Blevins for “After 50 years, the owner of Beau Jo’s is selling his famous Colorado pizzeria – to his employees.” Business reporting: Jesse Paul for “HOA foreclosures.” Feature photography/videography: William Woody for “Colorado’s onion crop races against freezing weather.”

Characteristic: Long shape: Jennifer Brown because “Wild ice draws skaters to the Colorado alpine. One woman is trying to make sure they survive.” Information graphics: Danika Worthington, Eric Lubbers, Jennifer Brown for “The cost of five regular groceries has increased 35% in five years in Colorado. Here is the breakdown.” News column, collection: Trish Zornio. Science and Technology Function: Shannon Mullane because “Scientists are using lasers to unlock the secrets of Colorado’s snowpack. What does this mean for your water supply?” Social justice reporting: Tatjana Bloemen for “Colorado moms speak out against OB-GYN racism in an effort to reverse decades-long trend of dangerous care.”

Third place

Climate reporting: Olivia Prentzel for “Volunteers are hunting for one of Colorado’s most adorable animals before climate change wipes them out.” Editorial cartoons, collection: Jim Morrissey. Teaching function: Erica Breunlin for “In Colorado forest schools, nature is both the classroom and the teacher.” Health function: Then England because “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, Danika Worthington for “‘Welcome to Denver’: Meet the 17 Mayoral Candidates through Their Airport Train Greetings.”