For the second year in a row, the won the highest public service award for its coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic – one of two dozen awards the newspaper’s staff received in the 2021 NMPA Better Newspaper Contest.
“IMPRESSIVE … This coverage reported both the statistics and personalized these statistics with stories about the deceased and those affected,” wrote the judge. “There were clear graphics with numbers and lots of faces and quotes. This certainly sets the standard for how to cover a story. This award is incredibly deserved. “
The magazine’s staff also received top honors in the breaking news, investigative reporting, and series categories.
Overall, the journal won first place in 13 categories in the competition sponsored by the New Mexico Press Association. The awards were presented on Saturday during the NMPA’s annual convention in Santa Fe.
The magazine’s authors, Elise Kaplan, Matthew Reisen, Dan Boyd and Ryan Boetel won first place in the best series category for “Devastating Tolls,” stories about New Mexico that appeared seven months after the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in the State reached 1,000 COVID-19 deaths.
“The pandemic is one of the most important stories of the last year and possibly a generation, but it’s easy to become desensitized to its extent with daily updates on infections, hospital admissions and deaths,” the judge wrote. “This series showed the humanity behind the numbers and the toll the coronavirus has taken on communities. The graphics were compelling and the timeline of how we got here was a great addition. A well thought-out and well-made series. “
Kaplan and Reisen were also first in investigative coverage for their stories of the nine deaths at the Metropolitan Detention Center in one year. “This was an extremely competitive category,” wrote the judge. “The success of the investigation into influencing changes in prison operations has brought this entry to the top.”
Magazine photographer Adolphe Pierre-Louis won first place in the Feature Photo category for his September 2020 photo of Ruth Frye celebrating her 100th birthday behind the window of her assisted living due to COVID-19 restrictions. Your guests are great-grandchildren Nathan, left, and Patrick.
Reisen, city editor Martin Salazar, photographer Adolphe Pierre-Louis and cameraman Robert Browman won first place in Breaking News-Digital for their coverage of the hot air balloon crash on the West Side, in which five people were killed.
Reisen won first place in breaking news for Incredible Tragedy, the print version of the balloon crash. “Great, comprehensive coverage, powerfully told through the stories of the various characters involved,” wrote the judge. “Well-structured story that lets personal stories breathe – it’s packed with explanatory details and additional context, but not at the expense of storytelling.”
Journal writer and Report for America Corps member Theresa Davis won first place in environmental and agricultural literature for her story of the fifth anniversary of the Gold King mine spilling 3 million gallons of acid mine runoff into the Animas Rivers and sent to San Juan. “This story wonderfully brings back the spotlight on a critical issue affecting the Navajo,” wrote the judge. “Not to let the suffering fade into the background is a fundamental task of journalism.”
Pierre-Louis won first place in the play photos category for “Centenarian share simple secret to life: LOVE”. “This photo rose to the top with a lot of heart and really captures the human experience of 2020,” wrote the judge.
The won second place in the Sunshine Award category for a series of stories about Albuquerque public schools fined $ 400,000 for violating government records.
Reisen and Kaplan ranked second in Best Ongoing Reporting for their stories of the death of State Police Officer Darian Jarrott. “Technically perfect and well-written on top of that,” wrote the judge. “Each story expanded the overall narrative and logically followed the previous one by answering questions that were created when details leaked out. A reader would learn all they wanted to know by following this coverage and would be moved by the scenery and skills used to deliver it. “
Staff Writer Ollie Reed Jr. took second place in the Best Series category for “Countdown to a New World” on the 75th anniversary of the first atomic bomb test. “There are many interesting facts scattered throughout this series, both looking back at an event that changed the nation and looking ahead as its aftermath continues to shape New Mexico,” the judge wrote. “I also liked the exciting writing style.”
Sports journalist Geoff Grammer won second place on the obituary news for his story about former Lobo Hoops star Kelvin Scarborough.
Editor Jeff Tucker won second place in the editorials for “The NM Guard’s Affair with the Convicted Killer Is More Than Troubling”. “Appropriately told with the hardened edge of a detective novel, this piece describes the damage when no one is guarding the guards,” wrote the judge.
Columnist Joline Gutierrez Krueger took second place in the columns for “Legislators Consider Law for End-of-Life Options”.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief Donn Friedman, Browman, Salazar and Deputy City Editor Katy Barnitz took second place in the Best Website category.
Magazine employees took second place in the special issue category for “The Pandemic, One Year Later: The Lives Lost and How It Changed Us”. The magazine staff also won second place in the news coverage category.
Journal Sports Staff took second place in the Sports Coverage category.
“Great mix of local coverage, with a real focus on people and community,” wrote the judge. “The comment was great, especially the voices from area coaches, and the diversity was great – I thought it was great that MMA got some attention and that the proposal for a Covid lawsuit was followed up.”
In the advertising categories:
Wanda Moeller, Wayne Barnard and Steve Gall took first place in the Best Price List or Marketing Kit category.
Douglas Brown won first place in the print advertising campaign for his graduation spade. “Creative, very community-oriented,” wrote the judge. “A good reason for people to pick up the newspaper and read it. Graphics are well organized. Easy to read.”
Nancy Chavez took first place in black and white retail advertising and another first place in color retail advertising.
“Great design, use of colors, choice of photo and text placement,” wrote the judge. “The company’s contact details were easy to find and the customer benefits were put to good use. Well done!”
Sarai Cajiao won second place for black and white retail advertising for Manny Garcia campaign. Cajiao also won second place for the retail color advertising for Western Trails.
Barnard, Lois Trujillo and the classifieds team took second place in the classifieds category.
Entries were judged by the Utah Press Association.