Mark of Excellence 2021 winners

This Saturday, we announced the winners of the 2021 regional Mark of Excellence contest for college journalists. There were great entries, which reflects well on the work these journalists were doing during a trying year for journalists.

The first-place winners will go on to the national MOE competition, and let’s wish them luck.

Here are the winners and the finalists.

Category PlaceRegion NumberEntrantsMedia OutletSchoolEntry Title
Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Small) 1-9,999+ StudentsWinner10StaffThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityThe Gonzaga Bulletin
Breaking News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ StudentsWinner10Angela Palermo, Cody RobertsThe ArgonautUniversity of IdahoAnti-mask protests in Moscow, Idaho
Breaking News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Ash Shah, Andy Yamashita, Jake Goldstein-StreetThe Daily of the University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – SeattleUniversity investigation found basketball player Nahziah Carter sexually assaulted two students
General Column WritingWinner10Alexander PrevostThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityAlexander Prevost’s Opinion Pieces
General Column WritingFinalist10Haley DaarstadThe BarometerOregon State UniversityThe U.S. avoided war with Iran; Reduce waste; Remote education is saving lives
General Column WritingFinalist10Mia Werner, Laura Heffernan, Jennifer NgThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandColumns from the margins
Sports Writing (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsWinner10Connor GilbertThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityBaseball: Entering the spring, Gonzaga is deep on and off paper
Sports Writing (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10Kyle GarciaThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandChase Adams steps up as glue of the family as grandmother battles coronavirus
Sports Writing (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10William SeekampThe BeaconUniversity of Portland‘I’m not going to sit back and do nothing’
Breaking News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsWinner10Gabi DiPauloThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandAdministrator goes public with concerns about racism and sexism within UP administration
Breaking News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10Carlos FuentesThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandOver 200 Bon App workers lose their jobs at UP
Breaking News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10Connor GilbertThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityGonzaga in Florence suspends academics and sends students home
General News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsWinner10Mila Yoch, Devan IyomasaThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityGU Black Student Union Zoom meeting bombed with verbal attacks
General News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10Carlos FuentesThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandCOVID-19 testing available at UP, information not so much
General News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10Mila YochThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityInstagram account @zagsunmasked exposes GU students without masks
In-Depth Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsWinner10Loren NegronThe Daily EvergreenWashington State UniversityActivists stand against Forest Service
In-Depth Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10Brie HaroThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandPilots on the front lines seeking change
In-Depth Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10Melina BenjaminThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityGU students with COVID-19 share their realities with the virus
Editorial WritingWinner10Parker Seeberger, Kellie Tran, Anders SvenningsenThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityThe Gonzaga Bulletin – Editorial Writing
Editorial WritingFinalist10Editorial StaffMontana KaiminUniversity of Montana School of JournalismMissoulian’s endorsement fiasco; We can do better; A look at our source demographics
Editorial WritingFinalist10Editorial BoardThe ArgonautUniversity of IdahoThree editorials by The Argonaut Editorial Board
Editorial CartooningWinner10Derek SnyderThe BarometerOregon State UniversityStudent Proved
Editorial CartooningFinalist10Elijah PascoThe Daily of the University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – SeattlePolitical chess; All Ears; The UW administration has a seat on Santa’s lap
Editorial CartooningFinalist10Tiffany TablangThe ObserverCentral Washington UniversityThe Observer editorial cartoons
Sports Writing (Large) 10,000+ StudentsWinner10Anthony EdwardsThe Daily of the University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – SeattleWelcome to the Lake show: After 21 years, Jimmy Lake is finally a head coach
Sports Writing (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Andres De Los SantosThe BarometerOregon State UniversityOregon State wrestlers Rateb, Olmos, Turner, continue to fight for Black Lives Matter in D.C.
Sports Writing (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Rey GreenThe ObserverCentral Washington UniversityStudent athlete forms social justice group
Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large) 10,000+ StudentsWinner10StaffThe ObserverCentral Washington UniversityThe Observer
Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Brianna Finnegan, StaffThe ArgonautUniversity of IdahoThe University of Idaho Argonaut
Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10StaffThe BarometerOregon State UniversityThe Daily Barometer
In-Depth Reporting (Large) 10,000+ StudentsWinner10Dante Filpula AnkneyMontana KaiminUniversity of Montana School of JournalismSquashing the spike: The history behind the University’s infamous tradition
In-Depth Reporting (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Nate SanfordThe Western FrontWestern Washington UniversityBehind the systems: WWU Newman Center forces LGBTQ+ employee to resign
In-Depth Reporting (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Adriana GutierrezThe BarometerOregon State UniversityStudents take action, push administration to overturn termination of two engineering instructors
Feature Writing (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsWinner10Mia WernerThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandChasing ice with the U.S. Coast Guard
Feature Writing (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10Molly LowneyThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandGoing viral: UP students find fame and friendship on TikTok
Feature Writing (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsFinalist10Hannah NeffThe SentinelNorth Idaho CollegeWho Done It? Mysterious Posters Appear in Boswell
Feature Writing (Large) 10,000+ StudentsWinner10Claire ShinnerMontana KaiminUniversity of Montana School of JournalismOut There: How Evelyn Wall became an anchor for inclusivity in the outdoors
Feature Writing (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Alex MillerMontana KaiminUniversity of Montana School of JournalismRisque Business: The naked truth of cam girls and boys working in the digital red light district
Feature Writing (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Hannah KriegThe Daily of the University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – SeattleThe University of Whiteness
General News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ StudentsWinner10Angela TamThe BarometerOregon State UniversityLocalBoyz writes down different name for customer despite clear disapproval
General News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Hannah KriegThe Daily of the University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – SeattleUW professor Cliff Mass compares violent protesters to Nazis and he’s not sorry
General News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Maya TizonThe Daily of the University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – SeattlePresident Cauce officially responds to BSU’s seven demands for campus equity
Radio In-Depth ReportingWinner10Lena Beck, Aj Williams, Austin Amestoy, Clint ConnorsKBGAUniversity of MontanaCarrying On-Arts and Leisure in a Pandemic
Best All-Around Radio NewscastWinner10Austin AmestoyKBGAUniversity of MontanaKBGA News at 5
Radio Sports ReportingWinner10Dante Filpula AnkneyKBGAUniversity of MontanaCovid Ski Season
Radio Sports ReportingFinalist10Erica StaatKBGAUniversity of MontanaHunter Safety Online
Radio FeatureWinner10Victor YvellezPRX ExchangeUniversity of MontanaProject Little Shell: Three Generations of Enrollment
Radio FeatureFinalist10Kylie MohrPRX ExchangeUniversity of MontanaProject Little Shell: A Tribe Dispersed
Radio FeatureFinalist10Clint ConnorsKBGAUniversity of MontanaOutdoor Opera
Radio News ReportingWinner10Mary AuldPRX ExchangeUniversity of MontanaProject Little Shell: Questioning Blood Quantum
Radio News ReportingFinalist10Austin AmestoyKBGAUniversity of MontanaMontana Real Estate
Radio News ReportingFinalist10Angela PalermoKUOI FMUniversity of IdahoSkyrocketing COVID-19 cases
Television General News ReportingWinner10Jaurdyn JohnsonKPAXUniversity of MontanaFirefighter Climb
Data VisualizationWinner10Austin De DiosThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandInteractive Data Journalism by Austin De Dios
General News Photography (Small) 1-9,999 StudentsWinner10Sophie CrosbyThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityDance Program Partnership
Breaking News PhotographyWinner10Chiana McInellyThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityProtests in Spokane
Breaking News PhotographyFinalist10Nicholas Tucker, Mitchell RolandThe ObserverCentral Washington UniversityProtesters continue to rally in Ellensburg, despite fears of violence
Feature PhotographyWinner10Scott SchmidtThe BarometerOregon State UniversityComet Neowise
Feature PhotographyFinalist10Ryan ReynoldsThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandStop reading this and go outside (1st slideshow)
Feature PhotographyFinalist10Duncan MullenThe PlanetWestern Washington UniversityRainier’s Rare Wolverines
Photo IllustrationWinner10Ben LathwellThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityFlu Shot Clinic
Photo IllustrationFinalist10Brennan CrowderThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandComputers get Zoom fatigue too
Photo IllustrationFinalist10Sophie CrosbyThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityArt Department COVID-19 restrictions
General News Photography (Large) 10,000+ StudentsWinner10Zack JimenezThe PlanetWestern Washington UniversityClimate Protester
General News Photography (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Sophie CrosbyThe Gonzaga BulletinGonzaga UniversityDance Program Partnership
General News Photography (Large) 10,000+ StudentsFinalist10Sara DigginsMontana KaiminUniversity of MontanaElection Point
Sports PhotographyWinner10Sara DigginsMontana KaiminUniversity of MontanaRebound Battle
Sports PhotographyFinalist10Oliver McKennaThe Daily EvergreenWashington State UniversityCougs vs. Oregon
Sports PhotographyFinalist10Sara DigginsMontana KaiminUniversity of MontanaDriving to the hoop
Online/Digital News VideographyWinner10Quinn CorcoranMontana KaiminUniversity of MontanaWhere are the students? An Enrollment investigation
Best Independent Online Student PublicationWinner10StaffNative News Honors ProjectUniversity of Montana School of JournalismTrying to Teach, Trying to Learn: Science in Indian Country
Online/Digital Feature VideographyWinner10Jiakai LouNative News Honors ProjectUniversity of MontanaMeat for the Mind
Online/Digital Feature VideographyFinalist10Samantha BaxleyKlipsun MagazineWestern Washington UniversityYoung and Green
Best Affiliated Web SiteWinner10Maddy Wilson, Joanna Santana, Zahn Schultz, Taylor JohnsonPULSE magazineCentral Washington UniversityPULSE magazine
Best Affiliated Web SiteFinalist10StaffThe ObserverCentral Washington UniversityThe Observer
Online News ReportingWinner10Jax KielKlipsun MagazineWestern Washington UniversityBy Any Other Name
Online News ReportingFinalist10Hannah KriegThe Daily of the University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – SeattleThis is what quarantine sounds like with 150 positive cases on Greek row
Online Opinion & CommentaryWinner10Opinion TeamThe Daily of the University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – SeattleA history of BSU’s demands: Repeating our university’s oppressive past
Online Opinion & CommentaryFinalist10Hannah KriegThe Daily of the University of WashingtonUniversity of Washington – SeattleThirst Trap
Online Feature ReportingWinner10Sydney AkridgeNative NewsUniversity of Montana School of JournalismDeep-Rooted Knowledge: Generations of traditional medicine
Online Feature ReportingFinalist10John Elias OlsonKlipsun MagazineWestern Washington UniversityOK, Zoomer.
Online Feature ReportingFinalist10Alex MorenoKlipsun MagazineWestern Washington UniversityLife in the Viewfinder
Online In-Depth ReportingWinner10Advanced Audio StudentsPRX ExchangeUniversity of MontanaProject Little Shell
Online In-Depth ReportingFinalist10Alex MillerNative News Honors ProjectUniversity of Montana School of JournalismA Thousand Miles from Crow Country
Online In-Depth ReportingFinalist10Maya AndersonKlipsun MagazineWestern Washington UniversityDoes Everyone Count?
Best Student MagazineWinner10Maddy Wilson, Sara Roach, Kassandra Eller, Spencer CliftonPULSE magazineCentral Washington UniversityPULSE magazine
Best Student MagazineFinalist10StaffBlotUniversity of IdahoBlot magazine May 2020
Best Student MagazineFinalist10StaffThe PlanetWestern Washington UniversityThe Planet Magazine: “The Movement” Issue, Winter 2020
Non-Fiction Magazine ArticleWinner10Maya AndersonKlipsun MagazineWestern Washington UniversityCan You See Me?
Non-Fiction Magazine ArticleFinalist10Riley HaunBlot magazineUniversity of IdahoHistory Repeated
Non-Fiction Magazine ArticleFinalist10Grace McCarthy, Faith OwensThe PlanetWestern Washington UniversityMr. Earth Day
COVID-19: Video CoverageWinner10Quinn CorcoranNative News Honors ProjectUniversity of MontanaLost
COVID-19: Video CoverageFinalist10Tessa HooverThe BarometerOregon State UniversityRamadan during the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online CoverageWinner10StaffNative News Honors ProjectUniversity of Montana School of JournalismSpecial Report: Quarantine and Coronavirus in Montana’s Indian Country
COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online CoverageFinalist10Emma SavageThe PlanetWestern Washington UniversityAgricultural Workers Face COVID-19
COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online CoverageFinalist10Riley HaunBlot magazineUniversity of IdahoHistory Repeated
Best Use of MultimediaWinner10Lauren DeckerKlipsun MagazineWestern Washington UniversityNot Just Your Vampire Weekend
Best Use of MultimediaFinalist10Maddy Wilson, Zahn Schultz, Krista Kok, Helen NguyenPULSE magazineCentral Washington UniversityFrom Football Player to Father: One Student’s Journey to Success
PodcastWinner10Molly Lowney, Jennifer NgThe BeaconUniversity of PortlandWhat on Earth: Food for Thought (Episode 5)
PodcastFinalist10Kase AllouziKBVR-FMOregon State UniversityThrough the Multi Lens

Medford officials should drop charges against reporter arrested at Hawthorne Park

Arresting reporters for doing their jobs is one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian dictatorship.

So it is disappointing to hear that a journalist covering the eviction of a homeless camp at a Medford, Ore., park was arrested while she tried to observe police actions.

April Ehrlich, a reporter with Jefferson Public Radio, and vice president of the SPJ Oregon pro chapter, was among 11 people arrested at Hawthorne Park Sept. 22.

Ehrlich was cited for trespassing, interfering with police and resisting arrest.

I join with SPJ Oregon in calling for Medford city officials to withdraw the charges and to review the actions of police that day in the park, as well as take steps to ensure that officers respect First Amendment rights.

She had gone to the park to cover the city’s eviction of homeless people camping at the park. This happened at the time the Almeda Fire had ravaged the area, and one of the things Ehrlich was there to find out was if any of the people at the homeless camp had fled the fire.

While interviewing people, she was arrested by several police officers, despite her identifying herself as a journalist and, according to JPR, not interfering with the evacuation order.

City officials claim that the park was closed and Ehrlich refused to go to a media staging area when ordered to do so. But the staging area, according to JPR, was at a place where journalists could neither see nor hear what was going on, nor could they talk to the people being evicted.

Journalists serve as witnesses to give the public the information they need to hold government accountable. It is a little hard to do that from a staging area that is far removed from what public servants are doing in the name of the people.

Ehrlich and other legal observers were in a place where they could best see what was happening, and could accurately, if they had been allowed, to say how the eviction was handled. Corralling the press to a place where they couldn’t see the action, and arresting those who could does little, if nothing, to inspire confidence that the eviction was handled in a legal, humane and dignified manner.

The mere fact that Ehrlich was arrested throws what happened in the park into serious question.

Again, I urge Medford city officials to drop the charges against Ehrlich and other legal observers, and commit to being more transparent.


While judge protects journalists in Portland, court ruling in Seattle endangers reporters

UPDATE: Within hours of the issuance of the temporary restraining order in Portland, federal agents shot Oregon Public Broadcasting journalist Rebecca Ellis with tear-gas projectiles. She was not injured, but it it appears to be a flagrant violation of the order.

Journalists won some and lost some in the past week in the Pacific Northwest.

The good news was that a federal judge temporarily barred federal agents from using force or threats against journalists covering the demonstrations in downtown Portland.

But that legal victory was tempered by a King County Superior Court judge’s ruling that the Seattle Times and other news outlets had to turn over unpublished photos and videos of a violent May 30 protest, despite a strong shield law in Washington state.

Both cities have seen protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis after a police officer kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes. There has been violence with the protests, and President Donald Trump sent federal agents to protect federal property in the city.

But there are reports that the agents, who do not wear agency patches on their camouflage uniforms and body armor, have gone outside the boundaries of the federal courthouse and other federal buildings, grabbing people off the street and bundling them into unmarked vehicles.

During the protests, these agents have also fired “impact munitions” — so-called less-lethal weapons such as rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and wooden dowels — at journalists and legal observers during the protests.

Attorney Matthew Borden, representing the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, said the assaults on journalists were not accidents, but the “acts of intimidation by a tyrant, and they have no place in the city of Portland.”

We’ve already seen this happen in other cities, where police target journalists who are observing the protests and police actions, some of which border on violent themselves.

In a 22-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon issued a temporary order barring the federal agents from willfully targeting, threatening or intimidating journalists who were covering the protests, as well as legal observers.

Simon rejected the U.S. Justice Department’s arguments that it was too hard for the officers to tell the difference between journalists and violent protesters, as well as the assertion that journalists did not have a right to access above the public to the closed-off areas.

“When wrongdoing is underway, officials have great incentive to blindfold the eyes of the Fourth Estate. The free press is the guardian of the public interest, and the judiciary is the guardian of the press,” Simon wrote.

Unfortunately, farther up Interstate 5, King County Superior Court Judge Nelson Lee believes journalists should be the Seattle Police Department’s eyes rather than those of the public.

Lee upheld a subpoena ordering the Seattle Times, KIRO 7, KING 5, KOMO 4 and KCPQ 13 to turn over all unpublished photos and unaired video and outtakes from coverage of a May 30 demonstration downtown.

Police say they are seeking the video and photos to identify who stole firearms from SPD vehicles that were set afire during the demonstration.

Lee claimed that the police had met the burden of overcoming the state’s shield law by demonstrating that the information was “highly material and relevant” and that all other reasonable means were exhausted.

First, let me say that stolen weapons are a serious matter. But it’s also no excuse to force journalists to surrender information that is protected by the state’s shield law.

It is highly unlikely that police have exhausted all reasonable efforts to get the information from other sources. For example, there are social media posts, surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses and homes and plain old shoe-leather detective work. Police could also offer a reward for information that will loosen someone’s lips enough to finger the suspects.

Forcing journalists to turn over footage, photos and other information gathered in the process of reporting undermines journalistic independence and puts journalists in danger.

A shield law recognizes the Fourth Estate’s role as an independent observer capable of bearing record to government’s actions and informing the public of what they do. In order to do that, journalists need protection from turning over their work materials, unpublished information or names of confidential sources to government.

It’s akin to the privilege we grant clergy, doctors and lawyers not to disclose things they were told by those they work with. While it may frustrate police and prosecutors, those privileges ensure that society works and justice is served.

The same goes for journalists. Allowing us to protect information ensures that we can do our jobs of holding the powerful accountable and helping those who are wronged.

If this subpoena is allowed to stand, it will make journalists’ jobs much harder — and dangerous.

There are already reports of protesters attacking photojournalists  because they don’t want their pictures taken. If journalists are forced to give information to the police, we will be seen as merely informants for the government and targeted even more for violence.

To follow that path to its conclusion, it would mean journalists would likely not want to cover a demonstration for fear of violence, and thus deprive both sides of an independent observer who can stand as a witness for what happened on both sides.

Unless police Chief Carmen Best and Mayor Jenny Durkan exercise some common sense and withdraw the subpoena, we have to hope that an appeals court judge has more courage than Judge Lee.


Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism 2020 winners

Congratulations to those who won awards in this year’s contest, as well as those who entered.

WRITING, PHOTO & DESIGN

LARGE NEWSROOMS

ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT AND LIFESTYLES

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Art Space”

Amy Wang — The Oregonian/OregonLive

Runner Up

“Billy Rancher”

Doug Perry — The Oregonian/OregonLive

BREAKING NEWS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“South Lake Union crane collapse kills 4”

Staff — The Seattle Times

Runner Up

“Spokane climber Jess Roskelley missing and presumed killed by avalanche in Canadian Rockies; David Lama, Hansjorg Auer also presumed dead”

Eli Francovich — The Spokesman-Review

BUSINESS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Polluted By Money”

Rob Davis — The Oregonian/OregonLive

Runner Up

“Amazon Squeezes Merchants”

Spencer Soper, Ben Brody — Bloomberg News

COLUMN

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

Column 1, Column 2, Column 3

Shawn Vestal — The Spokesman-Review

Runner Up

Column 1, Column 2, Column 3

Naomi Ishisaka — The Seattle Times

COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“No Mercy”

Noelle Crombie, Kale Williams, Beth Nakamura, Dave Killen— The Oregonian/OregonLive

Runner Up

“Homelessness”

Molly Harbarger — The Oregonian/OregonLive

CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Fleeing Justice”

Shane Dixon Kavanaugh — The Oregonian/OregonLive

Runner Up

“Prison Doctor and Deaths”

Jim Brunner — The Seattle Times

DIVERSITY REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Leaving her mark: Native high schooler uses state track meet to raise awareness for missing and murdered women”

Megan Rowe — The Spokesman-Review

Runner Up

“Immigration policy”

Naomi Ishisaka — The Seattle Times

EDUCATION REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“UW finds star athlete’s sexual assault allegation credible, but athletic executive quietly moved on”

Asia Fields — The Seattle Times

Runner Up

“Reading Instruction in Washington State”

Katherine Long — The Seattle Times

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL DISASTER REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Polluted By Money”

Rob Davis — The Oregonian/OregonLive

Runner Up

“A Western Alaska village, long threatened by erosion and flooding, begins to relocate”

Marc Lester — Anchorage Daily News

FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“A Tiger With a Toothache”

Alan Berner — Seattle Times

Runner Up

“On Parade”

Kathy Plonka — Spokesman Review 

FEATURE, HARD NEWS

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“No Return: the Final Voyage of the Destination”

Hal Bernton — Seattle Times

Runner Up

“Multiple Women Recall Sexual Misconduct and Perceived Retaliation by Gordon Sondland“

Julia Silverman, Fiona McCann, Portland Monthly staff — ProPublica staff

FEATURE, SOFT NEWS

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“30 years after the Paddle to Seattle, Tribal Canoe Journeys represent healing and revival”

Crystal Paul — Seattle Times

Runner Up

“Seattle’s last buffalo soldier, 98, doesn’t want black regiments’ history to ‘fade out’”

Crystal Paul — Seattle Times

GENERAL NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Boeing 737 Max”

Lindsey Wasson — Reuters

Runner Up

“Bridge Bandit”

Greg Gilbert — Seattle Times

GRAPHICS & ILLUSTRATION

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“The Moon Landing: 50 Years Later

Mark Nowlin, Jennifer Luxton — Seattle Times

Runner Up

“Gabriel Campanario illustration portfolio”

Gabriel Campanario — Seattle Times

HEALTH AND SCIENCE REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Homeless with HIV”

Molly Harbarger — The Oregonian/ Oregon Live

Runner Up

“It’s Alive”

Sandi Doughton — Seattle Times

HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Cancer Cloud”

Brad Schmidt — The Oregonian/ Oregon Live

Runner Up

“Project Homeless”

Vianna Davila, Sydney Brownstone, Scott Greenstone, Jonathan Martin — Seattle Times

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Lawless”

Kyle Hopkins — Anchorage Daily News

Runner Up

“No Mercy”

Noelle Crombie, Kale Williams, Beth Nakamura, Dave Killen — The Oregonian/Oregon Live

MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Beyond the Border”

Corinne Chin, Erika Schultz, Nina Shapiro, Tyrone Beason — Seattle Times

Runner Up

“Her Story: Our Story”

Seattle Times staff — Seattle Times

PHOTO ESSAY

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Life After a Hate Crime: the Recovery of DaShawn Horne”

Megan Farmer — KUOW

Runner Up

“The Highline Bears”

Alan Berner — Seattle Times

PHOTO PORTFOLIO

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Beyond the Border”

Erika Schultz — Seattle Times

Runner Up

Megan Farmer — KUOW

POLITICS & GOVERNMENT REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Polluted By Money” 

Rob Davis — The Oregonian/Oregon Live

Runner Up

“Fight for Legislative Records”

Rachel La Corte — Associated Press

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Armed and Ready”

Dan Pelle — The Spokesman-Review

Runner Up

“Curator of Birds”

Alan Berner — Seattle Times

PRINT PAGE DESIGN

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Hostile Waters: Orcas in Perile”

Frank Mina — Seattle Times

Runner Up

“The Shot”

Ralph Water — The Spokesman-Review

REPORTING SERIES

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Polluted By Money”

Rob Davis — The Oregonian/Oregon Live

Runner Up

“How Cost Cutting Brought Boeing to the Brink and Cost 346 Lives”

Peter Robinson, Julie Johnson — Bloomberg/Bloomberg Businessweek

SPORTS ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Gobbled Up”

Tyler Tjomsland — The Spokesman-Review

Runner Up

“Bouncing Back”

Dan Pelle — The Spokesman Review

SPORTS COLUMN

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

Column 1, Column 2, Column 3

John Canzano — The Oregonian/Oregon Live

Runner Up

Column 1, Column 2, Column 3

John Blanchette — The Spokesman-Review

SPORTS FEATURE

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Faatui Tuitele Left Home But It Never Left Him”

Mike Vorel

Runner Up

“The Shot”

John Blanchette — The Spokesman-Review 

SPORT FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Eyes of a Swimmer”

Greg Gilbert — The Seattle Times

Runner Up

“Joshua Bessex -sports feature”

Joshua Bessex — The News Tribune

SPORTS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Adidas”

Brad Schmidt, Jeff Manning — The Oregonian/ Oregon Live

Runner Up

“The Rise and Fall of a King (The Complicated Legacy of Felix Hernandez”

Corey Brock — The Athletic

SPOT NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Crane Collapse”

Lindsey Wasson — Reuters

Runner Up

“Standing in Honor”

Kathy Plonka — The Spokesman-Review

TECHNOLOGY REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Convoy, the ‘Uber’ for Trucking Tries to Navigate Some Uber-Scale Problems”

Dina Bass — Bloomberg News

Runner Up

“Amazon Squeezes Merchants”

Spencer Soper, Ben Brody — Bloomberg News

MEDIUM NEWSROOMS

GENERAL EXCELLENCE

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

The Daily Herald of Everett

Runner Up

The Columbian

ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT & LIFESTYLES REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Life for Dead Poets: Bend Painter Addresses Suicide in New Exhbit”

David Jasper — The Bulletin

Runner Up

“Revolution is a Marathon”

Shannon Gormely — Willamette Week

BREAKING NEWS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“1 dead, 2 wounded in shooting: Trauma specialists’ training put to test; Shooting timeline”

Jessica Prokop, Calley Hair, Kaitlin Gillespie, Jack Heffernan — The Columbian 

Runner Up

“WA Rep. Matt Shea engaged in ‘domestic terrorism,’ helped plan Matheus standoff, investigation finds”

Melissa Santos — Crosscut

BUSINESS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Coffee roasters ‘piece of history’ in Yacolt”

Will Campbell — The Columbian

Runner Up

“Vigor Selects Vancouver/ Series

Alan Brettman — The Columbian 

COLUMN

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Race & Place”

Glenn Nelson, Crosscut

Runner Up

“Working in Clark County column”

Lyndsey Hewitt — The Columbian

COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“On the Margins”

David Kroman — Crosscut

Runner Up

“Love and rage”

Christian Hill — The Register-Guard

CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“The trial of William Talbot II”

Caleb Hutton — The Daily Herald of Everett

Runner Up

“Living with a label”

Chelsea Deffenbacher — The Register-Guard

DIVERSITY REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Historic Black Panther newspapers find a home in the Central District”

Margo Vansynghel — Crosscut

Runner Up

“VPS Student Discipline Series”

Kaitlin Gillespie — The Columbian

EDITORIAL & COMMENTARY

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Race and Equity” 

Glenn Nelson — Crosscut

Runner Up

“Editorials”

Gary Nelson — Medford Mail Tribune 

EDUCATION REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Face cuts, Seattle school librarians fight to save their budget”

Liz Brazile, Matt M. McKnight — Crosscut

Runner Up

“It gives us hope: Why Yakima County families choose homeschooling — and what it looks like”

Janelle Retka — Yakima Herald-Republic

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL DISASTER REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Chronicling the last years of a North Cascades glacier”

Zachariah Bryan — The Daily Herald of Everett

Runner Up

“Challenging the ‘new normal’ in the wildfire-ravaged Methow Valley

Manola Secaira — Crosscut

FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Razor Clamming”

Dorothy Edwards — Crosscut

Runner Up

“A family in costume”

Olivia Vanni — The Daily Herald of Everett

FEATURE WRITING, HARD NEWS

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“For Vancouver man, every day is a chance to make a difference”

Wyatt Stayner — The Columbian

Runner Up

“The Road to Ruin”

Kaylee Tornay — Medford Mail Tribune

FEATURE WRITING, SOFT NEWS

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“The monks of white salmon”

Patty Hastings — The Columbian

Runner Up

“The Unlikely Style Icon Teaching Older Women to be Fashion Rebels”

Celeste Hamilton Dennis — Narratively

GENERAL NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“River Walk”

Amanda Ray — Yakima Herald-Republic

Runner Up

“Delivering in the Snow”

Matt McKnight — Crosscut

GRAPHICS & ILLUSTRATION

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

Romana Wood — The Columbian

Runner Up

Rick Vodicka — Willamette Week

HEADLINE

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Headline Writing Brandon Sawyer”

Brandon Sawyer — Portland Business Journal

Runner Up

“Top Headlines”

Robert Galvin — Medford Mail Tribune

HEALTH AND SCIENCE REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“There are effective HIV Treatments: Why are people still dying of AIDS?”

Markian Hawryluk — Bend Bulletin

Runner Up

“Alt-Vaxx”

Rachel Monahan — Willamette Week

HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“‘Heartbreaking’: Seattle’s homeless are getting sicker and shelters are struggling to keep up”

David Kroman — Crosscut

Runner Up

“Recent evictions, police activity could end decades of homeless camps in Wallace Marine Park”

Connor Radnovich, Jonathan Bach — Statesman Journal

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Troubled kids, troubled system”

Lucy Thompkins, Seaborn Larson, Cameron Evans, Gwen Florio — Missoulian 

Runner Up

“Serial rapists targeted women on Aurora, this woman got justice”

Kate Walters, Isolde Rafferty — KUOW

MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Running with the dogs”

Mark Freeman, Ryan Pfeil — Medford Mail Tribune

Runner Up

“WA farmers and laborers are struggling under the H-2A guest worker program — and it may get worse”

Lilly Fowler, Jen Dev — Crosscut

PHOTO ESSAY

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Still Fighting”

Tommy Martino — Missoulian

Runner Up

“A day in the life of Maya Reddy, 16-year-old competitive archer”

Dana Sparks — The Register-Guard

PHOTO PORTFOLIO

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

Nathan Howard — The Columbian

Runner Up

Joshua Bessex — The News Tribune

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“WA foster kids sent to out-of-state group homes with checkered records”

Allegra Abramo — InvestigateWest

Runner Up

“County’s public records policy ‘invites potential abuse,’ state advocate says”

Shaun Hall — Grants Pass Daily Courier

PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Miss Montana Pilot”

Sara Diggins — Missoulian

Runner Up

“Tom Hansen”

Dorothy Edwards — Crosscut

PRINT PAGE DESIGN

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

Jacie Landeros — The Daily Herald of Everett

Runner Up

Jessica Abell — Missoulian

REPORTING SERIES

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Education and the path to prosperity”

Keila Szpaller, Cameron Evans — Missoulian

Runner Up

“Flores Family Series”

Jessica Prokop — The Columbian

SPORTS ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Seahawks vs. Rams”

Evan Abell — Yakima Herald-Republic

Runner Up

“Zillah-Granger”

Evan Abell — Yakima Herald-Republic

SPORTS COLUMN

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Sports & Culture”

Glenn Nelson — Crosscut

Runner Up

“Bill Speltz’s sports columns”

Bill Speltz — Missoulian

SPORTS FEATURE

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Rally from Despair”

Meg Wochnick — The Columbian

Runner Up

“South Salem runner helps special needs teammate finish his first cross country race”

Pete Martini, Anna Reed — Statesman Journal

SPORTS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“The growing trend of sport specialization: Is it worth it?”

Cameron Van Til — The Daily Herald of Everett

Runner Up

“An 18-year-old’s path to announcing pro baseball”

Cameron Van Til — The Daily Herald of Everett

SPOT NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Medium Newsroom

First Place

“Scene of a Shooting”

Matt McKnight — Crosscut

Runner Up

“Fire line”

Jamie Lusch — Medford Mail Tribune

TECHNOLOGY REPORTING

First Place

“Inside Portland’s Use of Controversial Mobile Location Tech from Google Sibling”

Kate Kaye — Geekwire and RedTail

Runner Up

“The world’s first commercial electric aircraft could take off in the PNW”

Beatriz Costa Lima, Jen Dev, Sarah Hoffman — Crosscut

SMALL NEWSROOMS

GENERAL EXCELLENCE

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place 

“The B-Town (Burien) Blog”

Scott Schaefer, Michael Brunk, Shane Griffiths, Theresa Schaefer — South King Media

Runner Up

News-Times

ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT AND LIFESTYLES REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Don’t Fear the Reaper”

Rick Levin — Eugene Weekly

Runner Up

“Women in Music section”

Samantha Wohlfeil, Nathan Weinbender, Dan Nailen — The Inlander

BREAKING NEWS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Sunnyland principal murdered, remembered”

Denver Pratt — The Bellingham Herald

Runner Up

“Salem’s economy takes a jolt as 1,000 jobs disappear with NORPAC collapse”

Staff — Salem Reporter

BUSINESS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Nike’s Global Tax Paradise”

Matthew Kish — Portland Business Journal

Runner Up

“Unions: Growing gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ driving strike activity”

Mallory Gruben — The Daily News

COLUMN

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Director’s Desk”

Kaia Sand — Street Roots

Runner Up

“Racial Justice Collection”

Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3

Zenobia Jeffries Warfield — YES! Media

COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Port of Astoria reboots”

Edward Stratton — The Astorian

Runner Up

“Oregon Foster Care Crisis Coverage”

Libby Dowsett-Freelance, Joanne Zuhl – Street Roots

CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Driving While Indian”

Jason Buch, Joy Borkholder — InvestigateWest

Runner Up

“The Broken System”

Gina Scalpone, Emily Goodykoontz — Eugene Weekly

DIVERSITY REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Finding space in the “whitest city” in America”

Malia Spencer — Portland Business Journal

Runner Up

“Alaska Native language groups convene to translate census materials”

Tripp Crouse — KNBA

EDITORIAL AND COMMENTARY

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Editorial Writing”

Street Roots Editorial Board — Street Roots

Runner Up

“3 Stories in Data”

Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz, Lornet Turnbull, Erin Sagen, Miles Schneiderman — YES! Magazine

EDUCATION REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Salem-Keizer teachers face repeated injuries at the hands of students, documents show”

Rachel Alexander — Salem Reporter

Runner Up

“20 Feet Away: He wasn’t the next school shooter but what if he had been?”

Caitlyn May — Albany Democrat-Herald

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL DISASTER REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“National Bison Range Investigation”

Patrick Reilly — Missoulian

Runner Up

“Coming Down the Pipe: Saving Washington’s Salmon May Require Replacing Tens of Thousands of Culverts, and Nobody Knows Where the Money Will Come From”

Alex Brown — The Chronicle

FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Dragland Empire”

Young Kwak — The Inlander

Runner Up

“Fall on the Road to Mount Rainier”

Jared Wenzelburger — The Chronicle

FEATURE WRITING, HARD NEWS

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Homeless outreach program REACH asks to change its relationship with the city’s Navigation Team”

Ashley Archibald — Real Change

Runner Up

“Family reunites, offers hope for others battling addiction”

Laura Guido — Whidbey News-Times

FEATURE WRITING, SOFT NEWS

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“One valley too far:’ How 110 soldiers survived the Mount St. Helens eruption”

Alex Bruell — The Daily News

Runner Up

“We’re still here: Art exhibit shows creativity flourishes in those living with dementia”

Lisa Edge — Real Change

GENERAL NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Hundreds ‘Back the Blue’ at R.A. Long Park for DeRosier family”

Courtney Talak — The Daily News

Runner Up

“Welcome Home Daddy”

Meegan M. Reid — Kitsap Sun

GRAPHICS AND ILLUSTRATION

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

Entry 1, Entry 2

Enkhbayar Munkh-Erdene — YES! Magazine

Runner Up

Jon Williams — Real Change

HEALTH AND SCIENCE REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Century after Spanish flu ‘nightmare,’ pandemic remains concern”

Kyle Odegard — Albany Democrat-Herald

Runner Up

“The Core Elements”

Chey Scott — The Inlander

HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Homeless Solutions Series”

Taylor Perse, Morgan Theophil — Eugene Weekly

Runner Up

“Portland Street Response”

Emily Green — Street Roots

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Pierce County Medical Examiner”

Kari Plog, Will James — KNKX

Runner Up

“Smith builds moneyed empire”

Les Zaitz, Pat Caldwell, Kristine de Leon — Malheur Enterprise

MULTIMEDIA STORYTELLING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Making sense of the 2019 Montana Legislature with data visualization and news apps”

Eric Dietrich — Montana Free Press

Runner Up

“I Am a Future Ancestor: An Indigenous Perspective on Healing”

Josue Rivas, Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz — YES! Magazine

PHOTO ESSAY

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Pearl Harbor U.S. Navy Musician Francis E. Dick returns home, honored with funeral”

Courtney Talak — The Daily News

Runner Up

“Life, Death and Dignity”

Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3

Wes Sauer — Real Change

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Smith builds moneyed empire”

Les Zaitz, Pat Caldwell, Kristine de Leon — Malheur Enterprise

Runner Up

“Oregon cannabis tax: Aiming low”

Pete Danko — Portland Business Journal

PRINT PAGE DESIGN

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

Briana Finney — Portland Business Journal

Runner Up

Derek Harrison — The Inlander

REPORTING SERIES

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“NINE INTO SIX: In one place, Salem Reporter’s 5-part series on challenges of local schools”

Rachel Alexander — Salem Reporter

Runner Up

“Life, Death and Dignity”

Ashley Archibald — Real Change

SPORTS ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Carson Littlepage is stripped of the ball by Thackery”

Ellen Morris Bishop — Wallowa County Chieftain

Runner Up

“Max Borghi: Houston, we have lift off”

Whittney Thornton — Cougfan.com

SPORTS COLUMN

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“The Lobster Dives Deep on WSU”

Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3

Marshall Lobbestael — Cougfan.com

Runner Up

“Inside Coug Nation with Barry Bolton”

Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3

Barry Bolton — Cougfan.com 

SPORTS FEATURE

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Can the People Wanting to Bring Major League Baseball to Portland Succeed Where Others Have Failed?”

Sports Feature — Robert Ham

Runner Up

“Heart and soul: Strength coach Tyson Brown is WSU’s secret weapon”

Barry Bolton — Cougfan.com

SPORTS REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Participation numbers falling for many schools in Oregon”

Jarrid Denney — Corvallis Gazette-Times

Runner Up

“Emotions flow after monumental SK win”

Jeff Graham — Kitsap Sun

SPOT NEWS PHOTOGRAPHY

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Fatal Centralia House Fire”

Jared Wenzelburger — The Chronicle

Runner Up

“Family loses Warrenton home to fire”

Hailey Hoffman — The Astorian

TECHNOLOGY REPORTING

Writing, Photo & Design, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Beach may be best way to prepare for the worst”

Cindy Yingst, Peggy Yingst – The Columbia Press

Runner Up

“Drones could help farmers inspect crops from above”

Jacqueline Allison — Skagit Valley Herald

MAGAZINES

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT REPORTING

Magazines

First Place

“The Secrets of Mount Rainier”

Allison Williams — Seattle Met

Runner Up

“Winter Fun”

Allison Williams — Seattle Met

BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS REPORTING

Magazines

First Place

“The Battle of Seattle”

Tony Dear & Brian Beaky — Cascade Golfer magazine

Runner Up

“Checking Out: Amazon, Microsoft, and the Future of Automated Grocery”

Stefan Milne — Seattle Met

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL DISASTER REPORTING

Magazines

First Place

“Losing Lake Coeur d’Alene”

Emily Benson — High Country News

Runner Up

“The Octopus from Outer Space”

James Ross Gardner — Seattle Met

FOOD AND RESTAURANTS REPORTING

Magazines

First Place

“Chef of the Year”

Andi Prewitt — Willamette Week

Runner Up

“Seattle’s New Restaurant Rush”

Allecia Vermillion, Rosin Saez — Seattle Met

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

Magazines

First Place

“Women Erased”

Hayat Norimine — Seattle Met

Runner Up

“To Fix Its Housing Crunch, One U.S. City Takes Aim at the Single-Family Home”

Noah Buhayar — Bloomberg Businessweek

PERSONAL PROFILE

Magazines

First Place

“Women to Watch”

Shelby Rowe Moyer — South Sound Magazine

Runner Up

“Tell Us Something Storytelling Event: Marc Moss”

Reilly Neill — Montana Press Monthly

PHOTOGRAPHY

Magazines

First Place

“Sun’s Out, Suds Out”

Brian Breneman, Michael Novak — Portland Monthly

Runner Up

“Krushing It”

Holly Andres, Eden Dawn — Portland Monthly

PRINT PAGE DESIGN 

Magazines

First Place

“Climate Change in Glacier Park”

Reilly Neill — Montana Press Monthly

Runner Up

“The Secrets of Mount Rainier, Seattle’s New Restaurant Rush, Summer by Boat”

Jane Sherman — Seattle Met

TECHNOLOGY REPORTING

Magazines

First Place

“The Most Valuable Company (for Now) Is Having a Nadellaissance”

Austin Carr, Dina Bass — Bloomberg Businessweek

Runner Up

“Checking Out: Amazon, Microsoft, and the Future of Automated Grocery”

Stefan Milne — Seattle Met

AUDIO

LARGE NEWSROOMS

CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTING

Audio, Large Newsroom

First Place

“She called 911 and said she was suicidal. Then she was charged with a crime”

Patricia Murphy, Liz Jones — KUOW

Runner Up

“Urge to Kill”

Ashley Korslien, Zachary Carver, Mila Mimica, Destiny Johnson — KGW

DIVERSITY REPORTING

Audio, Large Newsroom

First Place 

Abrupt retirement of African American captain highlights lack of diversity in state patrol”

Austin Jenkins — Northwest News Network

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL DISASTER REPORTING

Audio, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Got time? You can avoid ‘flygskam’ (Swedish for flight shame)”  

John Ryan, Liz Jones — KUOW 

Runner Up

“Seattle is really good at recycling. Maybe a little too good”

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, Gil Aegerter — KUOW 

FEATURE REPORTING, HARD NEWS

Audio, Large Newsroom

First Place

“The Roots Of An Oregon Farm Bankruptcy”

Kate Davidson — Oregon Public Broadcasting

Runner Up

“As Amazon Gets Bigger, Sellers Feel the Squeeze”

Spencer Soper, Brad Stone — Bloomberg News

FEATURE REPORTING, SOFT NEWS

Audio, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Chasing Horses”

Emily Cureton — Oregon Public Broadcasting

Runner Up

“It’s carpool karaoke (and free Tylenol) with this Seattle night driver”

Casey Martin, Liz Jones — KUOW

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS REPORTING

Audio, Large Newsroom

First Place

“A toilet is your face.’ Seattle ponders the perfect public pissoir”

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, Gil Aegerter — KUOW

Runner Up 

“Pop In Your Headphones, Oregon Lawmakers Have Discovered Podcasting”

Dirk VanderHart — Oregon Public Broadcasting

HEATH AND SCIENCE REPORTING

Audio, Large Newsroom

First Place 

“Lasting Impact”

Sergio Olmos, Emily Harris, Lee van der Voo, Investigate West, Pamplin Media Group, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

Runner Up

“Russian social media fuels vaccine anxiety as measles spreads in Washington state”

David Hyde, Gil Aegerter — KUOW

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

Audio, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Booked And Buried: Pacific Northwest’s Mounting Jail Death Toll”

Conrad Wilson, Austin Jenkins, Tony Schick, Ryan Haas — Oregon Public Broadcasting

Runner Up

“White kids usually get the most recess in Seattle. Black kids, the least”

Ann Dornfeld, Liz Jones — KUOW

REPORTING SERIES

Audio, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Urge to Kill”

Ashley Korslien, Zachary Carver, Mila Mimica, Destiny Johnson — KGW

Runner Up

“Bundyville: The Remnant”

Leah Sottile, Ryan Haas — Oregon Public Broadcasting

SMALL NEWSROOMS

DIVERSITY REPORTING

Audio, Small Newsroom

First Place 

“We Out Here: From Chicago to Sumpter, Oregon with Portia Mittons”

Tiara Darnell — Independent Producer

Runner Up

“Oppressed By Wildfire”

April Ehrlich — Jefferson Public Radio

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL DISASTER REPORTING

Audio, Small Newsroom

First Place

“In rural Alaska, school districts deal with a legacy of unaddressed contamination”

Rashah McChesney — KTOO

Runner Up

“The McKenzie: A Resilient River”

Rachael McDonald — KLCC

FEATURE REPORTING, HARD NEWS

Audio, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Oregon Lawmakers Consider Expansion of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law”

Chris Lehman — KLCC

Runner Up

“He just wanted to be remembered.’ Friends, family share memories of magnetic local boxer”

Posey Gruener — KNKX

FEATURE REPORTING, SOFT NEWS

Audio, Small Newsroom

First Place

“The Northwest’s Star Wars Church”

Dyer Oxley — NW NERD Podcast

Runner Up

“Seattle man connects with his homeless neighbors, one toilet at a time”

Gabriel Spitzer — KNKX

HEALTH & SCIENCE REPORTING

Audio, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Finding Fixes: Preventing Youth Addiction”

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, Nicolle Galteland, Alisa Barba, Finding Fixes and InvestigateWest

Runner Up

“For Rogue Valley Seniors Needing Mental Health Treatment, Medicare Offers Little Help” 

Erik Neumann — Jefferson Public Radio

REPORTING SERIES

Audio, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Finding Fixes: Season Two” 

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, Nicolle Galteland, Alisa Barba, Finding Fixes and InvestigateWest

Runner Up

“Cruise Town”

Jennifer Pemberton & KTOO News Staff

VIDEO

LARGE NEWSROOMS

FEATURE, HARD NEWS 

Video, Large Newsroom

First Place

“‘Give me five coffins’: Seeking asylum at the border”

Corinne Chin — The Seattle Times

Runner Up 

“Suffering Silently”

Beth Verge — KTUU

FEATURE, SOFT NEWS

Video, Large Newsroom

First Place

“12 brothers they never had”

Beth Verge — KTUU

Runner Up

“Coffin Cruisers”

Samantha Swindler — The Oregonian/OregonLive

GENERAL ASSIGNMENT

Video, Large Newsroom

First Place

“A Distant Refuge: Rohingya Genocide Survivors In Portland”

Arya Surowidjojo, MacGregor Campbell, Stephani Gordon, Jan Boyd — Oregon Public Broadcasting

Runner Up

“How much is a life worth?”

Lauren Frohne — The Seattle Times

GENERAL ASSIGNMENT, WITHIN 24 HOURS

Video, Large Newsroom

First Place

“A daughter’s disappearance, a father’s worst fears”

Jill Burke — KTUU

Runner Up

“Sounders Shake Video” 

Megan Murnane, Amy Moreno — KING 5 TV

INVESTIGATION 

Video, Large Newsroom

First Place

“29 Hours: A Crash, a 911 call… and the rescuers that never arrived”

Jill Burke, Eric Sowl, Kim Daehnke — KTUU

Runner Up

“An overburdened staff and Alaska’s most vulnerable children”

Jill Burke, Eric Sowl, Leah Schwartz — KTUU

REPORTING SERIES

Video, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Inside Woodlawn” 

Cristin Severance, Gene Cotton, John Tierney — KGW

Runner Up

“One Year Later: The Quake, the Aftermath, the Recovery”

Staff — KTUU

SPORTS REPORTING

Video, Large Newsroom

First Place

“Culver coach back on sidelines, thanks to transplant”

Max Goldwasser — KTVZ 

Runner Up

“Girls hockey is growing in Washington — and it isn’t dependent on boys programs anymore”

Beatriz Costa Lima — Crosscut

SMALL NEWSROOM

FEATURE, HARD NEWS

Video, Small Newsroom

First Place 

“Ending the Backlog”

Andrea Lutz, Paul Humphrey — KTVQ

Runner Up

“Deer Ridge inmates led beyond walls to forgiveness”

Max Goldwasser — KTVZ

FEATURE, SOFT NEWS 

Video, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release”

Tom Layson — KBTC-TV

Runner Up

“These searchers have dogged determination”

Max Goldwasser, Tyson Beauchemin — KTVZ

GENERAL ASSIGNMENT, NO TIME LIMIT

Video, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Deer Ridge Correctional Institution: Out of Darkness Walk”

Arielle Brumfield — KTVZ NewsChannel 21

Runner Up

“Montana’s ‘state of freight’”

Andrea Lutz, Brandon Sullivan — KTVQ

REPORTING SERIES

Video, Small Newsroom

First Place

“Urban Climate Change Adaptation Series”

Jesse Nichols — Grist

Runner Up

“Protecting Montana’s Firefighters”

Margaret DeMarco — KRTV


Region 10 Mark of Excellence Award Winners

Unfortunately, coronavirus postponed our regional conference where we would normally announce the winners, and there was a goof from National on the original winner’s list.

Here is the corrected list of winners from our region. The first-place winners go on to the national contest.

Newspapers


Breaking News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Dismissed professor coverage – by Kyle Pfannenstiel and Brandon Hill, University of Idaho

Finalist: Rain floods businesses in downtown Pullman – by Luke Hudson and Oliver McKenna, Washington State University

Finalist: Classes continued in attempt to restore sense of normality – by Jack Belcher and Alexa Murdock and Mariah Valles, Central Washington University


Breaking News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Memories full of joy, passion – by Julia Battishill, Seattle Pacific University

Finalist: Disappearance and death of Owen Klinger – by Madison Pfeifer, University of Portland

Finalist: GU students protest Board of Trustee member Timothy Barnard – by Mila Yoch and Riley Utley, Gonzaga University

General News Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Genesis Hansen arrest (series) – by Delaney Shea, Vada Shelby, Michael Eubanks and Tanveer Sandhu, Oregon State University

Finalist: Arrest helps Whitman County woman fight meth, heroin addiction – by Latisha Jensen, Washington State University

Finalist: False active shooter incident – by Mariah Valles, Jack Belcher, Alex Murdock and Hanson Lee, Central Washington University

General News Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 students

Winner: DACA students await Supreme Court decision – by Madison Pfeifer, University of Portland

Finalist: A city split in two: Students travel to the border wall – by Gabi DiPaulo, University of Portland

Finalist: Youth lead global climate movement – by Mya Nicholas, North Idaho College 


In-Depth Reporting (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: UW is still recovering from the Great Recession more than a decade later. Is it ready for another? – by Grace Harmon, Elizabeth Turnbull, Devon McBride and Manisha Jha, University of Washington

Finalist: ‘A Wasteful Life’ sustainable series – by Sydney Brown, Washington State University

Finalist: Minding the gap: UM center spearheads brain injury research for vets – by Paul Hamby, University of Montana

In-Depth Reporting (Small) 1-9,999 students

Winner: Analysis: Tuition increases don’t tell the whole story – by Austin De Dios, University of Portland

Finalist: Diversity and inclusion progress report: INCOMPLETE – by Dora Totoian, University of Portland

Finalist: Living between worlds – by Taylor Munoz, Seattle Pacific University


Feature Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Lance Cpl. Thomas Parker: Inmate No. 3023132, Bib No. 4109, University of Montana

Finalist: Missoulians open homes to strangers to foster community connection – by Mandy Godwin, University of Montana 

Finalist: The rise and fall of the UW College Republicans – by Jake Goldstein-Street, University of Washington


Feature Writing (Small) 1-9,999 Students
Winner: Curb your enthusiasm: Should you really pet that dog? – by Catherine Cieminski, University of Portland

Finalist: Faculty celebrates community and leadership for F-Gen Day – by Dora Totoian, University of Portland

Finalist: More than my stature: Navigating life with dwarfism – by Delaney Vetter, University of Portland

General Column Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students

Winner: Lexi Johnson, Oregon State University

Finalist: Kyle Wilkinson, Central Washington University

Finalist: Haley Daarstad, Oregon State University

General Column Writing (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Emily Klein, Gonzaga University

Finalist: Bella Tollestrup-Wimbish, Seattle Pacific University

Finalist: Annika Gordon, Dora Totoian and Carlos Fuentes, University of Portland

Sports Writing (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: 11 years later: Remembering trio that rounded bases together – by Bryce Weedman and Will Yi, Central Washington University

Finalist: Ten seconds of opportunity: One ‘surreal’ moment – by Evan Baughman and Jarred Bierbrauer, Oregon State University

Finalist: Kagan creates culture, focus for team – by Matthew Brooks, Oregon State University

Sports Writing (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: The infallible approach of GU women’s basketball’s newest starter – by Ian Davis-Leonard, Gonzaga University

Finalist: Jacobo Reyes: Broad experience, a steady presence and a tough choice – by Jamison White, University of Portland

Finalist: Mary Cain’s slam on Nike sheds light on her year at University of Portland – by Kyle Garcia, University of Portland

Sports Column Writing

Winner: Josh Kirshenbaum, University of Washington

Finalist: Kyle Garcia and Morgan Wahler, University of Portland

Finalist: Alex Luther, Oregon State University


Editorial Writing
Winner: Dora Totoian, Delaney Vetter and Gabi DiPaulo, University of Portland

Finalist: Cassandra Hays, Mariah Valles, Nicholas Tucker, Austin Lane, Central Washington  University

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper

Winner: The Daily Evergreen – by Staff of The Daily Evergreen, Washington State University


Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper
Winner: The Daily UW – by Staff of The Daily UW, University of Washington
Finalist: The Barometer – by Staff of The Barometer, Oregon State University

Finalist: The Argonaut – by Staff of The Argonaut, University of Idaho


Magazines

Non-Fiction Magazine Article
Winner: After the storm – by Landon Groves, Western Washington University

Finalist: Holey turtles! – by Melody Kazel, Western Washington University

Finalist: Invasion of the habitat snatchers – by Olivia Marsh, Western Washington University

Best Student Magazine
Winner: Prism: Return – by Staff of Prism: Return, Oregon State University
Finalist: Blot Magazine – by Staff of Blot Magazine, University of Idaho

Finalist: BYLINE – by Staff of BYLINE Magazine, University of Montana

Art/Graphics

Breaking News Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students

Winner: Climate strike protest – by Sara Diggins, University of Montana

Finalist: Deputy Thompson memorial – by Shawna Hettick, Central Washington University

Finalist: Missing and murdered – by Sara Diggins, University of Montana

Breaking News Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Climate strike crowd – by Jennifer Ng, University of Portland

Finalist: Border wall protest – by Luke Kenneally, Gonzaga University

Data Visualization

Winner: Littered – by Krista Kok, Mason Elliott, Matthew Conrardy and Bailee Wicks, Central Washington University

Feature Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students

Winner: 2019 Las Vegas Bowl Fremont Street rally – by Lydia Ely and Conor Courtney, University of Washington

Finalist: Preparing for takeoff – by Sara Diggins, University of Montana

Finalist: Being Native American – by Zahn Schultz, Madeline Wilson, Jenae Harris and Krista Kok, Central Washington University

Feature Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Gloves and determination of steel – by Luke Kenneally, Gonzaga University

Editorial Cartooning

Winner: Teagan Kimbro, Central Washington University

Finalist: Chloe Guillot, Seattle Pacific University

General News Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students

Winner: Seeley Lake Veterans Day ceremony – by Hunter Wiggins, University of Montana

Finalist: MMIW vigil – by Sara Diggins, University of Montana

Finalist: Community pushes for sustainability – by Mariah Valles, Central Washington University

General News Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Sacred sounds – by Blake Dahlin, Seattle Pacific University

Finalist: Cirque Zuma Zuma – by Taylor Bentley, Gonzaga University

Finalist: DACA candlelight vigil – by Molly Lowney, University of Portland

Photo Illustration (Large) 10,000+ Students

Winner: Vapergate – by Sara Diggins, University of Montana

Finalist: Erasing our voices – by Nyjah Gobert, Oregon State University

Finalist: Veg*n – by Matthew Conrardy, Molly Nutt, Bailee Wicks and Lexi Phillips, Central Washington University


Sports Photography (Large) 10,000+ Students
Winner: Football wins senior night – by Erick Branner, Oregon State University

Finalist: Holmes’ first career goal sends Huskies to the second round – by Conor Courtney, University of Washington

Sports Photography (Small) 1-9,999 Students

Winner: Reaching new heights – by Matt Repplier, Gonzaga University

Finalist: Soccer team celebrates after a goal – by Brennan Crowder, University of Portland

Finalist: Falcon header – by Blake Dahlin, Seattle Pacific University


Radio

Radio Feature

Winner: Falling in love for three minutes: A woman in transition finds her place on the dance floor – by Regina Fitzsimmons, University of Montana

Radio In-Depth Reporting

Winner: To catch a predator fish – by Maxine Speier, University of Montana

Radio News Reporting

Finalist: Period. – by Lindsey Jensen and Carissa Slater, Washington State University


Television

Television Breaking News Reporting

Winner: Deputy Thompson memorial – by Daisy Hernandez, Central Washington University

Television General News Reporting
Winner: From Puerto Rico to Washington, dogs find their forever homes – by Jasmine Darakjy, Washington State University 

Finalist: Think twice breathalyzer – by Griffin Rerucha, University of Montana

Finalist: Plastic bags for football security – by Tessa Nadeau, University of Montana


Television Feature Reporting
Winner: Chris Sin Limites – by Jasmine Darakjy, Washington State University

Finalist: A collaboration of science and art – by Hsing-Han Chen, Cameron Sheppard, Marissa Conklin and Megan Balint, Washington State University

Finalist: ROTC community service – by Tessa Nadeau, University of Montana

Television In-Depth Reporting

Winner: Trash talk: Montana’s recycling challenge – by UM Student Documentary Unit, spring 2019, University of Montana

Television Sports Reporting

Winner: Transgender runner, June Eastwood – by Tessa Nadeau, University of Montana


Best All-Around Television Newscast
Winner: Murrow News 8 – Nov. 21, 2019 – by Staff of Murrow News 8, Washington State University

Finalist: UM News – by UM News Class, Fall 2019, University of Montana

Finalist: Murrow News 8 – April 10, 2019 – by Staff of Murrow News 8, Washington State University

Best All-Around Television News Magazine

Winner: Spotlight: Political engagement – by Staff of KBVR-TV, Oregon State University

Online

Online News Reporting
Winner: Missing – by Marnie Craig and Luke Nicholson, University of Montana

Finalist: Struggle for justice – by Jazzlyn Johnson and Dan Ennis, University of Montana

Finalist: Lights out at the leopold – by Hailey Hoffman, Western Washington University 

Online Feature Reporting
Winner: Darkitecture and disorientation – by Sara Diggins, University of Montana

Finalist: The lights, the script and the wardrobe – by Ajay Davis, Brennan Crowder and Elizabeth Lyons-Best, University of Portland

Finalist: ‘Feet like bullets’ – by Michael Merlo and Sara Diggins, University of Montana

Online In-Depth Reporting

Winner: Left behind – by Jordynn Paz and Eli Imadali, University of Montana

Online Sports Reporting

Winner: Bobby – by Noah Schmick and Jakob Thorington, Washington State University

Finalist: Shredding winter – by Jiakai Lou, University of Montana

Finalist: 100 years of yellow – by Grace Arnis, Washington State University

Online Opinion & Commentary

Winner: Connor Henricksen, Washington State University


Best Affiliated Web Site
Winner: PULSE Magazine – by Staff of PULSE Magazine, Central Washington University

Finalist: The Observer – by Staff of The Observer, Central Washington University

Best Use of Multimedia
Winner: Trout conservation in the Teanaway watershed – by Zahn Schultz, Kyle Wilkinson, Anthony Cole and Madeline Wilson, Central Washington University

Podcast

Podcast

Winner: The heron project – by Allyse Sullivan, Western Washington University

Finalist: Zeneth of housing – by Molly Todd, Western Washington University

Finalist: Raptors in recovery – by Questen Ingrahm and Nate Sanford, Western Washington University

Videography

Online/Digital News Videography

Winner: Missoula strikes for the climate – by Quinn Corcoran, University of Montana

Finalist: Struggle for justice – by Dan Ennis, University of Montana

Online/Digital Feature Videography

Winner: Behind the scenes of The Penelopiad – by Elizabeth Lyons-Best, University of Portland

Finalist: The good, the bad, and the “gooey” – by Makani Moses, Western Washington University 

Finalist: Cooking with Kaimin, Episode 1: Korea – by Jiakai Lou, University of Montana

Online/Digital Sports Videography

Winner: Rural football in America – by Spencer Vik, Noah Schmick, Jakob Thorington and Kayla Bautista, Washington State University

Finalist: On the water: Winter kayaking – by Jiakai Lou, University of Montana

Broadcast News Videography

Winner: WSU – ROTC training – by Christian Duplessie and Elijah Clayton, Washington State University


COVID-19 and SPJ

I hope everyone’s doing what they can to stay healthy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you know, out of an abundance of caution, we have postponed our regional conference until Oct. 31. Let’s hope that this will be over by then, giving us a really good reason to celebrate the great journalism that is coming out of the Pacific Northwest during this trying time.

At this point, the Excellence in Journalism convention in Washington, D.C. is still a go.

This also means that we won’t have a luncheon to honor the winners of the Mark of Excellence Award in our region. They’ll get their certificates by mail, but to maintain some sense of public recognition, I plan to do a Facebook Live on the region page to read off the winners.

For chapter leaders, the deadline for annual reports is now June 10, due to the fact that all of us are preoccupied with covering COVID-19 at the same time trying to keep ourselves and families safe and healthy.

When this is all over, we’ll be able to look back at the body of work we have done keeping our communities informed on the state of the pandemic, improving the signal-to-noise ratio out there, and maybe even finding stories to give people a respite from worries of the day.

Good luck to everyone.


Washington bill to restrict access to employee birthdates does more harm than good

This statement was sent to the Washington State Senate Committee on State Government, Tribal Relations and Elections

Committee members,
My name is Donald W. Meyers, and I am the regional coordinator for the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s oldest and broadest journalism group. The region I represent covers the Pacific Northwest, including Washington state. I am also a working journalist with more than 30 years of experience in weekly and daily newspapers.
I am also an identity theft victim. I know firsthand the upheaval having one’s identity stolen and misused can create in a person’s life. In my case, I was nearly arrested, hounded by bill collectors and had restricted access to my own money as the result of someone impersonating me.
Speaking both on behalf of the Society of Professional Journalists and personally, I am opposed to Second Substitute House Bill 1888. While it appears to be based in good intentions on the surface, it only serves to add another restriction on information the public needs to hold government accountable and does absolutely nothing to protect people from identity theft.
This bill was primarily drafted because the SEIU did not want its members receiving what it perceives as anti-union messages from the Freedom Foundation. The arguments about identity theft and protecting people from stalking and domestic abuse appear to be an attempt at scaring the Legislature to take action that overrides a decision of the state’s highest court.
Rather than abridging the Public Records Act to silence an opponent, the SEIU should instead respond with its own messages to refute the Freedom Foundation’s arguments. As Justice Louis Brandeis said in Whitney v. California, the remedy to bad speech is more speech, not enforced silence.
Having access to birthdates and photos serves a vital public good. It is a way of verifying someone’s identity. That is crucial when reporting on court proceedings or investigating corruption in government. For instance, without birthdates, it would be difficult to compare a list of school bus drivers against people who have DUI convictions. It provides a way to differentiate between people with identical names.
While the current bill offers an exemption for the news media, that is troubling in the current climate of hostility toward journalists coming from all levels of government. It creates a way to deny journalists access to information by someone who, for whatever reason, decides that an outlet does not fit their definition of a journalist.
As for the issues of identity theft, a birthdate is not as vital a piece of information as some would think. The true key piece of information is the Social Security number, which is already has legal safeguards in place. Likewise, it is unlikely that an identity thief is going to use the Public Records Act, which would create a paper trail that could be easily traced. Instead, they use phishing schemes and dumpster diving to get the information they need. In my case, my Social Security number was lifted from a class roster at a private university that was passed around so students could check in for the day’s class.
There are also mechanisms in place that safeguard information on people who are experiencing domestic violence or stalking that do not require creating yet another exemption to the Public Records Act.
And in the unlikely event someone does use a public record for stalking or identity theft, there are already laws in place to prosecute such behavior. There is no need to enact a law that infringes on people’s exercise of a lawful right.
I would recommend that this bill not be passed, as it only restricts people’s access to necessary public record. It harms the public’s good while providing no genuine benefit in return.
I thank you for your consideration.

Donald W. Meyers,
Region 10 Coordinator
Society of Professional Journalists


It’s contest time

The Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest is accepting entries for its annual contest. The contest is open to all journalists in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. There are multiple categories, and divisions are based on the size of your newsroom staff, however you are allowed to enter in a higher category if you want to take on the big organizations. To enter, click here.


SPJ condemns CWU policy requiring approval of interview questions

I sent the following letter to the president of Central Washington University in response to reports that journalists at The Observer were required to submit interview questions in advance before being allowed to interview university staff and athletes.

President James L. Gaudino,

Central Washington University

Barge Hall 314

Ellensburg, WA 98926

Nov. 12, 2019

President Gaudino,

I am the regional coordinator for the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism association in the United States. One of our core missions is advocating for the rights of all journalists.

I am concerned about reports about how departments at Central Washington University are handling interview requests from journalists with The Observer and Central News Watch. Specifically, I find the practice of asking journalists to submit questions in advance for approval by department staff before an interview is granted to be antithetical to the principles of transparency and accountability in public institutions.

According to several news reports out of Ellensburg, staff members in the Student Wellness Center and the Athletic Department have told journalists at The Observer that interview requests would only be granted if the questions are submitted in advance and approved.

In the case of the Athletic Department, this practice was used to bar journalists from interviewing former athletes about the departure of softball coach Mike Larabee. Why the department would restrict interviews with people who are no longer under its purview is a mystery to me. As a result of this policy, the story on Larabee’s departure lacked the perspective of his current and former players. 

This situation is especially appalling given that this issue was supposedly addressed in April, when it was agreed that the journalists would provide the context of the subject they were working on.

Speaking from my own experience as a professional journalist for more than 30 years, submitting interview questions in advance for approval is unheard of, especially when the person making the request is a public employee. There are several reasons for this.

First, it can be seen as a form of censorship. By requiring “approval” for the questions, it allows the subject to decide the content of the story by screening out information that may not fit with the party line. This was probably best illustrated by Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs Tyler Unsicker’s comment, as reported by The Observer, that the department didn’t want “athletes to say anything that would make them look bad to the community.”

The First Amendment clearly prohibits government officials from restricting speech or the press, and this policy appears to restrict both. Staff and others are barred from speaking openly on subjects of concern to the community, and the news outlets are restricted in the information they can publish.

Second, it restricts the flow of information by precluding follow-up questions or following the facts if they may lead off the path marked by pre-approved questions. As The Observer pointed out in its editorial, someone may say something that sheds new light on the matter and warrant follow-up questions, something that would not be possible if the interview were to be scripted by university officials.

Third, it raises the question about whether the answers being provided are genuine. Was the interview subject coached beforehand and told what answers to give in advance, or are they speaking genuinely from their knowledge and experience on the subject.

Finally, this practice shows a lack of faith in the staff and, in the case of the Athletic Department,  its athletes. These are people who are supposed to be experts in their particular fields, based on education, knowledge and experience. In the case of Larabee’s departure, who could better explain the contributions he made to CWU’s program than the athletes he worked with? It would also be safe to assume that the staff at the Wellness Center would have experience with student health issues and should be able to speak about them, or recommend someone with more expertise. After all, CWU is a university and should be staffed by experts in their particular fields.

I also find disturbing the reported comments by Director of Athletic Communications Will McLaughlin that The Observer journalists “are still just students” and the Athletic Department has the authority to dictate how they go about doing their reporting. We consider The Observer staff to be colleagues and fellow journalists who are entitled to the same rights and privileges as professional journalists. We don’t see a “children’s table” in journalism.

The Observer and Central News Watch staff conduct themselves in accordance with the standards of our profession. The only difference between them and a professional journalist is their degree of experience and paychecks. Do they make mistakes? Of course. But so do professional journalists, but we all strive for accuracy and quickly correct mistakes when they are made.

Such comments, as well as requiring them to jump through hoops shows a disdain for the profession. It is bad enough that the president of the United States publicly disparages journalists. We do not need to have it coming from people who are employed by a public institution of higher education, especially one that is committed to the pursuit of knowledge and truth.

I urge you to make it clear to all departments in the university that requiring questions in advance of granting interview requests is not appropriate, and that the staff of the campus news outlets be treated with  the same professional respect accorded to other news outlets.

If you would like to discuss this with me, you may call me at 509-379-7543 or email me at dmeyers@spj.org

Sincerely,

Donald W. Meyers,

Region 10 Coordinator,

Society of Professional Journalists


CBP harassment of journalists affront to free press principles

If it were an isolated incident, what happened to journalist Ben Watson at Dulles International Airport would be shocking.

But the treatment the Defense One writer and U.S. Army veteran was not an isolated incident, which makes it appalling. There are several cases of U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers harassing journalists, searching computers and phones and maintaining files on journalists who cross the border.

Watson related his own incident where he was coming back from a reporting assignment in Denmark. The CBP agent took his passport and when Watson said he was a journalist, the agent then said, “So, you write propaganda, right?” Watson said no, but the agent kept repeating the question and Watson could only leave when he agreed that he wrote propaganda.

It’s the kind of stunt you see with schoolyard bullies, not sworn law-enforcement officers.

But there have been other incidents as well.

In February, a Buzzfeed journalist was questioned about his organization’s coverage of President Donald Trump and Robert Muller’s investigation of the president. CBP officials later apologized.

A freelance journalist was detained by border agents for hours at a Texas airport.

British journalist James Dyer was called part of the “fake news media” by a CBP officer at LAX and asked if he worked at CNN or MSNBC.

“He aggressively told me that journalists are liars and are attacking their democracy,” Dyer said in a tweet about the incident.

And, closer to home for us, Canadian journalist Ed Ou was detained for six hours while flying from Vancouver, B.C., to cover protests in the United States in 2016. Officers took his cellphones when he refused to unlock them, and when he got them back he suspected they were tampered with and data was downloaded from them.

This is behavior you’d expect in a totalitarian dictatorship, not the country that, until recently, was seen as the standard bearer for the rights of a free and independent press.

In Watson’s case, the CBP issued a statement saying that it is investigating the “alleged inappropriate conduct” and that it does not tolerate such behavior by its employees. Which is what it said in Dyer’s case.

It’s fairly obvious that agents are following the lead of Trump, who has admitted to disparaging journalists in an effort to discredit them when they write stories that hold him accountable for his actions.

As an officer in the Society of Professional Journalists, I condemn these actions. It is unlikely that the agency will make any changes on its own, so Congress needs to step in and use its oversight authority to put an end to these abuses.

And, as journalists, we need to stand up and call out these abuses when they do occur, and not allow this administration to intimidate us from seeking truth and reporting it.


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