The Inland Press Association, a national organization with more than 1,200 member newspapers, has selected The Durango Herald for three awards.
We entered the contest for the second year in a row, and it gives us great pride in winning awards when competing against hundreds of newspapers across the country.
As journalism has evolved in this so-called time of digital disruption, the Herald staff has sharpened its skills at delivering content to an expanding online audience. Being recognized by a well-known organization, which draws judges from prestigious institutions, propels us to continue to do outstanding community journalism.
Here’s what we won:
Judges from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University awarded first place for the Herald’s front page designs. The judges commended the Herald for its “excellent use of photos, illustrations and graphics to present solid editorial content.” The front pages were designed by various page designers and by the Herald’s former design editor, David Holub.
Holub joined the Herald in January 2014. He is now the paper’s Arts & Entertainment editor. During his 15-plus years in journalism, he has been a sports reporter for the St. Joseph News-Press, a copy editor/page designer at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times and a news and sports designer at the Miami Herald and Hartford Courant.
The Herald also won first place in the Editorial Excellence category for editorials written by Megan Graham. The editorials included local and broader topics, including standardized testing in schools, water pollution, taxation and the death penalty. “Focusing on facts and pragmatic solutions rather than ideology and knee-jerk reactions,” wrote the judge from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Kansas.
Graham has been the Herald’s editorial writer and policy analyst since 2011. She has a master’s degree in Public Administration.
John Peel, a former Herald human-interest columnist, won third place in the Personality Profile category. Peel’s column, “A teacher’s final lesson,” told the story of longtime Durango High School teacher Tom Byrne hastening his death by taking no food and water. Byrne, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, actively campaigned for Colorado to pass a “death with dignity” bill. Peel’s column reflected on Byrne’s life and how his family and friends cared for him and his wishes until he died in May.
Peel joined the Herald in 1993. He served various editor roles, and wrote his weekly human-interest column for 17 years. He left the newspaper in June.