Three media groups have awarded The Durango Herald for outstanding work in 2017. Judges commended the newspaper for stories and photographs, as well as its website.
“Once again, our journalists show how talented they are and how dedicated they are in providing local news in La Plata County,” said Amy Maestas, senior editor. “Year after year, our colleagues recognize our work as among the best in the region.”
The Colorado Press Association and the Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters groups gave the Herald 15 awards. The annual contests judge work among newspapers across all of Colorado. CPA and CAPER awards are given by divisions, which combine media outlets by size of print circulation and online readership.
Also, Region 9 of the Society of Professional Journalists gave the Herald 18 awards in its annual Top of the Rockies contest. The region includes news organizations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico.
Judges in the CPA contest said about former Herald Photographer Shaun Stanley’s work: “These are beautiful photos that capture the craftsmanship and elegance of the subject’s work. The details of the subject himself and his studio are captured exquisitely in the photos.”
Judges said Herald Staff Writer Jonathan Romeo’s story about the devastation of piñon-juniper trees from wildfires had “Strong writing skills combined with solid reporting to make this story stick with me days after I read it. Writing helped me visualize the setting and provided deeper look at what could have been a cursory coverage.”
The Herald won first place and second place awards for its series of columns written by community members about sexual abuse and harassment. The five-part series, “Close to home: Responding to sexual assault in our community,” included contributions from Maura Demko, executive director of Sexual Assault Services Organization; Molly Wieser, Title IX coordinator for Fort Lewis College; Kendra Gallegos Reichle, wellness coordinator at FLC, Merkin Karr, FLC student and sexual assault survivor; and Natalia Sells, FLC student and former Miss Hozhoni. The series was kicked off with a story written by Bernice Yeung, a reporter who covers race and gender for Reveal, a national nonprofit media organization.
Judges said the series was innovative and included important voices from people who work closely to combat sexual violence and to support survivors.
Colorado Press Association
Best Health Story: Staff Writer Jonathan Romeo, first place, “Aid in Dying.”
Best Environmental Story: Romeo, second place, “Will forests return?”
Best Feature Story: Romeo, second place, “Reservation rescues.”
Best Photo Slideshow or Gallery: Former Photographer Shaun Stanley, second place.
Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters
Feature Story: Former Staff Writer Mia Rupani, first place, “Where no man goes, a robot does.”
Feature Photo: Photo Editor Jerry McBride, second place, “Homeless in the storm”
Portfolio: McBride, second place.
Environmental Story: Romeo, first place, “Return of the cutthroat”; Romeo, second place, “Prairie dog problems.”
Editorials: Editorial Page Editor Ellen Stein, third place, “Affordable Housing”; “Arts economy”; and “Child care.”
Series: Herald staff, first place, “Mark Redwine”; Community contributors Maura Demko, Molly Wieser, Merkin Karr, Natalia Sells and Bernice Yeung, second place, “Close to home: Responding to sexual assault in our community”; Herald staff, third place, “Homeless.”
Sports Photo: McBride, second place, “DHS baseball” and third place, “DHS girls soccer.”
Best Website: Herald staff, second place.
Society of Professional Journalists
Feature photography: Stanley, first place, “Stem festival.”
Agriculture & environment general reporting: Romeo, first place, “Prairie dog problems.”
General website excellence: Herald staff, first place
News reporting single story: City Editor Shane Benjamin, first place, “What keeps police busy?”
Public Service: Community contributors, first place, “Close to home: Responding to sexual assault in our community.”
Sports general reporting: Regional Sports Editor John Livingston, first place, “Dan Ford: Voice of the Wolverines.”
Breaking news story: Benjamin and Livingston, first place, “Blaze kills Durango native.”
Health general reporting: Romeo, first place, “Aid in dying.”
Sports columns: Livingston, second place.
Politics general reporting: Former Staff Writer Luke Perkins, second place, “Guns in the Legislature.”
Health general reporting: Shinn, second place, “Cancer tests couple.”
Editorials: Stein, second place.
Feature photography: McBride, second place, “Model Tire.”
Science and technology general reporting: Rupani, second place, “Where no man goes a robot does.”
News photography: McBride, third place, “Homeless in the storm.”
Investigative/enterprise reporting: Shinn, third place, “What does a flush cost?”
Agriculture & environment general reporting: Romeo, third place, “Abandoned aspirations.”
Business general reporting: Shinn, third place, “The cost of dirty recycling.”