Colorado Community Media staffers win 19 SPJ awards

Top of the Rockies contest picks winners from four states in Mountain West

Staff Report
Posted 5/3/21

Colorado Community Media staff members won 19 awards in the 2021 Top of the Rockies contest, a regional contest that includes journalists in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The contest is …

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Colorado Community Media staffers win 19 SPJ awards

Top of the Rockies contest picks winners from four states in Mountain West

Posted

Colorado Community Media staff members won 19 awards in the 2021 Top of the Rockies contest, a regional contest that includes journalists in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The contest is sponsored by the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

CCM writers and designers tallied five first-place awards and five second-place awards in the batch. Colorado Community Media reaches more than 300,000 local community members each week with newspapers and digital channels. The company publishes 26 community newspapers and websites in the Denver metro area. CCM staffers won for work that appeared in the Littleton Independent, Highlands Ranch Herald, Canyon Courier, Clear Creek Courant and Arvada Press.

“These are fantastic awards,” CCM President Jerry Healey said. “Three things come to mind, first, the always high quality of the writing; second, the skill to frame the content with excellent design; and, third, the ability to provide compelling story angles for our readers. Congratulations to our news and design teams.”

Top awards

First place:

“Homeless sweep starts over again” in News Reporting — Single Story by David Gilbert of the Littleton Independent. Judge’s comments: Good use of people to create a connection to the homeless in this fact-laden story.

“Pipe organs speak with majesty” in Short Form Features by David Gilbert of the Littleton Independent. Judge’s comments: An exemplar of a fascinating trend story that is elevated by great writing. Well done.

“Holding on to the Past” in Feature Page Design by Michael Hicks and Deb Hurley Brobst of the Canyon Courier. Judge’s comments: A beautifully designed page, and what a great idea to highlight senior citizens in your coverage area.

“Family, friends remember soccer coach,” for Obit Reporting by Michael Hicks of the Canyon Courier. Judge’s comments: A sensitively-told story about a coach revered in the community.

“Season ends in state quarterfinal” in Sports News by Michael Hicks of the Canyon Courier. Judge’s comments: This game story is written the way game stories should be written — with color, context and a sense of what this game meant for the players and coach.

Second place:

“Renters struggling amid pandemic” for News Reporting — Single Story by David Gilbert of the Littleton Independent.

“A ferocious fighter” for Health Feature by Elliott Wenzler of the Highlands Ranch Herald.

“Classroom in the Cloud” for Education Feature by Deb Hurley Brobst, Corinne Westeman and Sara Hertwig of the Clear Creek Courant.

“Motorcycle Relief Project” for Features — Short Form by Deb Hurley Brobst of the Canyon Courier

“Stretching his own limits” for Sports Feature by Alissa Noe of the Canyon Courier

Third place:

“Blue wave continues” for Politics — News Reporting by Ellis Arnold of the Littleton Independent

“Arvada Section 8 series” for General Reporting — Series or Package by Casey Van Divier of the Arvada Press

“Everything in life is different” in Feature — Long Form by Jessica Gibbs of the Highlands Ranch Herald

“Peggy Fleming Sculpture” in A&E and Food — News or Feature by Deb Hurley Brobst of the Canyon Courier

“One owner: four businesses” in Business Feature by Deb Hurley Brobst of the Canyon Courier

“Family raising funds to build a field in their son’s honor” in Education Feature by Deb Hurley Brobst of the Canyon Courier

“100 years of melodies” in Features — Short Form by Deb Hurley Brobst of the Canyon Courier

“Golden boy” in Sports Feature by Alissa Noe of the Canyon Courier

“Fire on the Mountain” in General Reporting — Series or Package by Michael Hicks, Deb Hurley Brobst, Deborah Swearingen and Corinne Westeman of the Canyon Courier

For more than 100 years SPJ has been dedicated to encouraging a climate in which journalism can be practiced more freely and fully, stimulating high standards and ethical behavior and perpetuating a free press. For more information about SPJ, visit www.spj.org

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