Top of the Rockies results, Division D

Here are the results of The Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies journalism competition for Region 9.

These are the winners from Division D.

Please note: in a few categories, the judges found no winners. Those categories are not listed.


Breaking News

First place:

Mike Klis

Denver Post

“Broncos fire coach Shanahan”

“It’s a well done, straight and simple breaking news story. We think the post starts well with nice context, and we like that it ends with looking ahead. The quotes from Shanahan’s son are a nice addition to the coverage; we would have like to have seen quotes from the coach though. The related photo galleries, message boards and videos would keep the reader’s attention. Overall, it’s hard to judge a breaking news story without knowing how it was covered while it was breaking.”

D30 General Website Excellence.

1st place: Denver Post

Judges believed that this website was comprehensive with strong content, multi media and not defined by popularity hits. Three thumbs up!


D31 Blog.

1st Place– Side Street Blog. The judges believed this blog was not only insightful but gripping in both content and style of presentation.

Runner up: Gazette. com- Data Geek

Honorable Mention:

Salt Lake

“The Plural Life


D 32 Website Design

1st Place:

Denver Media center.



Online Interactive

First place:

Denver Post Neighbors

Denver Post

Comment:  We love how Neighbors is a UGC site that incorporates reporting from The Denver Post. It’s a great idea to have a section dedicated to the most-read stories, not only at that exact moment (which most news organizations do) but of the last few hours, last 24 hours or past week even. This really opens up a lot of topics for reader discussion.

We like that people can rate each other’s comments and view which stories are the most popular in their geographic area. The “Today’s top commenters” section provides a smart, easy way to reward the readers who are most active in the community. We also enjoyed the nod to new members in the “say hi to our newest members” section.  The UGC photo tools and the display of recent comments are other highlights. It could be a bit more user-friendly and less cluttered, but overall the amount of information and opportunities for readers to engage with the site makes it the winner.

Second place:

Fresh Ink



Photo slideshow

First place:

“Motel Life: Families reach last-stop motel”

The Denver Post

“This is a wonderful example of pairing good storytelling with excellent images. We felt connected to the people in the stories. The handling of this topic gave the people dignity that could have been lost if it had been done differently. The audio really brought the images to life and it was edited in a way that really made sense and told the story while the photos faded in and out. The background music set the perfect tone. This was a really difficult category to judge because there were so many stand-out slideshows, but this one really had a lasting impact on us.

Second place:

“The Stock Show”

The Denver Post


Video story

First place:

Matthew Roberts

Rocky Mountain News

Final Edition”

“It’s impeccably produced and captures the emotion of the viewer.  You don’t have to have ever step foot in a newsroom to understand the anguish and loss of everyone in the piece.”

Second place:

Paula Pant

“Health on Shoestring”

Boulder Women’s Magazine


Interactive database

First place:

Denver Post

Denver Post Data Center

“The Data Center provides a host of information that is relevant to readers’ lives and presented in a clear, usable format”


Second place:

The Gazette

“Gazette Real Estate Guide”


Best use of social networking

First place:

Denver Post


Second place:

Rocky Mountain News

Twitter/Final Edition


Best live blogging

First place:

Dennis Huspeni

“Castle West trial”


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