Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


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.

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.

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.

Oregon governor must ensure next public records advocate has free rein

When Oregon Gov. Kate Brown took office, she pledged to greatly increase government transparency.

And to that end, she created a public records advocate’s position, someone who would be an independent representative of the people in public records matters. In the time she served, Ginger McCall has helped journalists and Oregonians navigate the state’s public records law and obtain the records they requested.

That work not only promoted transparency, but also saved thousands of public dollars that could have been spent in lawsuits forcing compliance with the law.

But apparently McCall’s work was not popular with Brown’s staff. McCall resigned Sept. 9, citing interference from Brown’s staff. Memos from McCall show how the governor’s staff tried to interfere with her work.

SPJ Oregon Territory Chapter has already condemned the interference in McCall’s work and urged Brown to ensure the next advocate is given the free rein the position requires. And I join with them in calling for Brown to ensure the public records advocate is working on behalf of the public and not trying to protect Brown’s image.

EIJ 2019 wrap-up

We concluded an eventful convention in San Antonio Texas.

First, our region’s own Rebecca Tallent, a force of nature in her own right, was one of two recipients of SPJ’s Wells Key, the highest honor the society bestows. She earned it for her work on SPJ’s journalism Education Committee and her Press4Education program, which puts working journalists (including yours, truly) in classrooms to talk about what we do. Along with Becky, SPJ’s Office Manager, Linda Hall, received a Wells Key for her service to the society, particularly this year when there’s been turmoil in the office. As one who’s known Linda for years, she is SPJ’s Rock of Gibraltar.

We also had a regional meeting that was productive. You can watch it on the SPJ Region 10 Facebook page, where it was initially livestreamed and will remain. Our regional conference will be on April 4-5, tentatively in Seattle. If you have programming ideas, let me or Kaitlin Gillespie, Western Washington Pro president know. We also addressed issues we’ve had with communication between me and chapters, and while uncomfortable it was a good discussion. Accountability is a tenet of our ethics code and also part of my personal philosophy. I’ve made mistakes, and I am doing everything I can to rectify it moving forward. If you need to get hold of me, my email address is dmeyers@spj.org, my cell phone number is 509-379-7543 and I am on Twitter @donaldwmeyers, and my account is set up to receive direct messages from people who don’t follow me. (Yes, that’s a bit dangerous, but the benefits of accessibility far outweigh the risk of spam messages in my case.)

I am looking forward to working with you to make this a great year for Region 10.

Asking questions is not a crime

Asking questions is as natural to journalists as breathing.

But an Oregon legislator who also does double duty as a contracted county economic development director, apparently thinks that’s a crime — literally.

Republican State Rep. Greg Smith recently complained that reporters at the Malheur Enterprise were calling and emailing his employees too much. Smith, who is the director of the Malheur County Economic Development Department, said his employees were being sent email after hours and on weekends to their personal email accounts.

He said the Enterprise had been asked not to contact his employees outside business hours and only through a county email address.

At the time, the Enterprise was investigating why a car wash didn’t get the five-year exemption from property taxes its owners were promised in return for locating in Ontario, Ore. Smith, in his role as the economic development director, is responsible for negotiating property tax exemptions for businesses.

But instead of just griping about the coverage like any upset public figure usually does, Smith apparently went running to the county attorney claiming the Enterprise was illegally harassing him and his staff.

County Counsel Stephanie Williams said she asked the county sheriff to look into the allegation, but fortunately Sheriff Brian Wolfe said there was no crime to investigate, but only after suggesting the paper look at the statute on telephonic harassment.

While this may be considered a good ending, it’s still disturbing that government officials even entertained the idea of using criminal prosecution to silence journalists who held them accountable. That’s a stunt you’d expect to see in a totalitarian state, rather than in Oregon, where presumably the First Amendment applies in full force.

To his credit, Malheur Enterprise Editor Les Zaitz said he was not going to be bullied.

“This is an effort to get accurate information,” Zaitz told Oregon Public Broadcasting. “The public is entitled to that information — not only entitled to that information, it deserves it.”

But such tactics could easily have a chilling effect on journalists, who may debate whether pursuing a story is worth possibly going to jail.

But we are in an age where we need fearless watchdogs more than ever. With a president who has taken to discrediting any journalists who speaks truth to him, it’s not too much of a stretch to see local officials become more emboldened at trying to squelch the press.

What was telling was Smith saying he wanted “a cheerleader” to support his efforts. That’s not our job. We’re watchdogs, and our job is to hold the powerful accountable.

Reaching out to public officials is not harassment, as Smith claims. It’s due diligence, making sure the official gets to have his or her say. Sometimes that means reaching out to home phone numbers, personal emails, cellphones, even knocking on their front door.

As members of the Fourth Estate, we should follow Zaitz’s example and not let thin-skinned politicians and bureaucrats keep us from doing our job at holding government accountable.

Northwest Excellence In Journalism contest winners

WRITING, PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN (SMALL)

Best Photo Portfolio

Winner

Chinook Observer
Photo Portfolio 2018
Luke Whittaker

Comprehensive Coverage

Winner

Malheur Enterprise
Hidden Children – A series
Les Zaitz

Runner up

Rural Housing Coastal Pride
Emily Green

Crime and Justice Reporting

Winner

YES! Magazine
Two-Thirds of Americans Live in the ‘Constitution-Free Zone’
Lornet Turnbull

Runner up

Ashland Tidings (formerly Ashland Daily Tidings)
Underpaid police recruit now unemployed
Caitlin Fowlkes

Editorial & Commentary

Winner

Hillsboro Tribune
Editorial Entry
Editorial Board

Runner up

Seattle Business magazine
The Final Analysis: John Levesque
John Levesque

Feature Photography

Winner

Marguerite Casey Foundation Equal Voice News
Building Democracy: People and Purpose in San Diego County
Staff

Runner up

Marguerite Casey Foundation Equal Voice News
The Future Builders: A Native Community and Family Homes
Marguerite Casey Foundation

Food, Drink, Lifestyles and Travel Reporting

Winner

Willows Lodge Magazine
Flipping The Farm Model
Lauren Mang

Runner up

Seattle Weekly
Phnom Penh Noodle House’s Closure and the Loss of Cultural Flavor
Melissa Hellmann

General Excellence

Winner

YES! Magazine
The Decolonize Issue, Spring 2018; The Affordable Housing Issue, Summer 2018
Chris Winters, Shannan Lenke Stoll, Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz, Mark Trahant

Runner up

Chinook Observer
General Excellence
Matt Winters, Luke Whittaker, Alyssa Evans, Natalie St. John

Government and Politics Reporting

Winner

Malheur Enterprise
Huntington’s Cannabis Connection
Kristine de Leon

Runner up

Salem Reporter
Salem puts roof over chronically homeless, then adds care
Rachel Alexander

Graphics & Illustrations

Winner

YES! Magazine
Infographic: How the Oil Industry Is Pushing Plastic; Your Midterm Vote Matters Because You Can Support…; Hurry! Plant Milkweed: Return of the Monarch
Enkhbayar Munkh-Erdene

Runner up

YES! Magazine
5 Ways Small Actions Have Huge Power; An Illustrated Essay: Why I Love the Real Marjory Stoneman Douglas; How to Not Be (Completely) Depressed About Climate Change
Sarah Lazarovic

Health & Science Reporting

Winner

Cascadia Magazine
Coring the Forest
Paul Lask

Runner up

YES! Magazine
What Is Barbershop Therapy
Celeste Hamilton Dennis

Investigative Reporting

Winner

Seattle Weekly
Incarcerated and Infirmed: How Northwest Detention Center Is Failing Sick Inmates
Melissa Hellmann

Runner up

Street Roots
Fines and Fees: The Domino Effect
Joanne Zuhl

Long-Form Feature News Reporting

Winner

Oregon Business – oregonbusiness.com
Walking on a Knife’s Edge
Caleb Diehl

Photo Essay

Winner

YES! Magazine
12 Photos of the Migrant Caravan: Hope and Self-Determination
Rob Wilson

Runner up

South Seattle Emerald
We’re Still Here: Imagine Africatown Design Weekend Reunion on Union Dinner
Naomi Ishisaka

Portrait Photography

Winner

Super Lawyers Magazine
Dina Alexander Leans In
Rick Dahms

Runner up

Marguerite Casey Foundation Equal Voice News
Lifting Barriers: New Orleans Organizers Help People Regain Driver’s Licenses
Marguerite Casey Foundation

Social Issues Reporting

Winner

Marguerite Casey Foundation Equal Voice News
Election 2018: Will Florida Let 1.4M U.S. Citizens Vote in Democracy?
Staff

Runner up

Reporting
Idle oil, gas wells threaten Indian tribes while energy companies, regulators do little
Rebecca Clarren

Sports Action Photography

Winner

Cougfan.com
Mush: Coug sends Husky flying through the snow
Whittney Thornton

Runner up

Cougfan.com
Minshew sails to the pylon for six
Whittney Thornton

Sports Feature Story

Winner

Cascade Golfer magazine
Walking With Tigers
John Black

Runner up

Ashland Tidings (formerly Ashland Daily Tidings)
‘She’s just a rock’
Danny Penza

Sports Column

Winner

Ashland Tidings (formerly Ashland Daily Tidings)
One Historic Run; Mission Accomplished; Lithia Motors Pavilion is going to be so much fun
Danny Penza

Runner up

Cougfan.com
Barry Bolton’s CF.C Commentary
Barry Bolton

Sports Reporting

Winner

Cougfan.com
Coping with Tyler Hilinski’s death: facing the challenge at WSU
Barry Bolton

Runner up

Cougfan.com
7 intrepid WSU Cougar fans wouldn’t be stopped in trek ‘home’
Dylan Haugh

Spot News Reporting

Winner

South Seattle Emerald
Columbia City Ale House Employee Detained by ICE Agents
Carolyn Bick, Alex Garland

Runner up

Chinook Observer
Fire Ravages Long Beach Apartment Complex
Luke Whittaker

WRITING, PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN (MEDIUM)

Arts & Entertainment

Winner

Willamette Week
Roll of a Lifetime
Matthew Singer

Best Photo Portfolio

Winner

Albany Democrat-Herald
Mark Ylen’s portfolio
Mark Ylen

Business Reporting

Winner

Seattle Met
Spell Casters
Darren Davis

Runner up

Portland Business Journal
Reckoning for Oregon cannabis
Pete Danko

Column

Winner

South Sound magazine
In the Know
Joanna Kresge

Runner up

The Daily Astorian
Southern Exposure
R.J. Marx

Comprehensive Coverage

Winner

The Chronicle
Employee Alleged 9 Years of Sexual Harassment by Judge in Claim Settled Out of Court
Natalie Johnson

Runner up

InvestigateWest and Pamplin Media Group
Rattled: Oregon’s Concussion Discussion
Lee van der Voo, John Schrag, Holly Scholz , Shasta Kearns Moore

Crime and Justice Reporting

Winner

Willamette Week
Justified
Katie Shepherd

Runner up

Seattle Met
“Expiration Date”
Hayat Norimine

Editorial & Commentary

Winner

The Daily Astorian
Editorials: County manager should resign, Mitchell for state House (with reservations), one homeless student is too many
Daily Astorian editorial board

Runner up

Grants Pass Daily Courier
Signed editorials by Scott Stoddard
Scott Stoddard

Food, Drink, Lifestyles and Travel Reporting

Winner

Seattle Met
“The Complete Revised Guide to Pike Place Market”
Allecia Vermillion, Rosin Saez, Stefan Milne, Allison Williams

Runner up

Portland Business Journal
Wine label battle
Pete Danko

Feature Photography

Winner

Corvallis Gazette-Times
Waiting for trains, with love
Andy Cripe

General Excellence

Winner

Seattle Met
February and March
Staff

Runner up

Portland Business Journal
Suzanne Stevens

General News Photography

Winner

The Daily Astorian
Bird release
Colin Murphey

Runner up

Tri-City Herald
Cable Bridge inspection (Office with a view)
Bob Brawdy

Government and Politics Reporting

Winner

Willamette Week
The Walking Ted
Rachel Monahan

Runner up

InvestigateWest and Crosscut.com
Foster Kids Kept by State in Hotels at Record Rate
Allegra Abramo

Health & Science Reporting

Winner

Willamette Week
Taxing the Sick
Nigel Jaquiss

Runner up

Hot Rods
Rachel Monahan, Aaron Mesh

Investigative Reporting

Winner

Portland Business Journal
Toxic Nike culture
Matthew Kish

Runner up

Salem pastor resigns after church investigates claims of sexual misconduct by him, 3 others
Lauren Hernandez, Capi Lynn

Long-Form Feature News Reporting

Winner

Willamette Week
You’re Doing It Wrong
Nigel Jaquiss

Runner up

Kitsap Sun
‘Disoriented driver jailed’
Andrew Binion

Page Design

Winner

Grants Pass Daily Courier
River under siege; A healthy donor; Salute to veterans
Scott Stoddard

Runner up

Portland Business Journal
Portland Business Journal design
Craig Spencer, Briana Finney

Photo Essay

Winner

Albany Democrat-Herald
Mud Fest photo essay
Mark Ylen

Runner up

The Daily Astorian
Devastation in Paradise
Colin Murphey

Portrait Photography

Winner

Tri-City Herald
Firefighter saved family during Bofer Canyon fire
Bob Brawdy

Runner up

Portland Business Journal
Cathy Cheney – Susan Sokol Blosser
Suzanne Stevens

Short-Form Feature News Reporting

Winner

Kitsap Sun
‘Sorry Kitsap, we don’t have the country’s longest coastline’
Tad Sooter, Josh Farley

Runner up

Portland Business Journal
Downtown falcon patrol
Jon Bell, Cathy Cheney

Social Issues Reporting

Winner

InvestigateWest and Crosscut.com
Foster kids kept by state in hotels at record rate
Allegra Abramo

Runner up

The Daily News of Longview, Wash
Mobile home residents accuse owner of profiteering, harassment
Rose Lundy

Sports Action Photography

Winner

Kitsap Sun
Meegan M. Reid sports photo
Meegan M. Reid

Runner up

The Daily Astorian
Pole vault

Sports Feature Story

Winner

Kitsap Sun
‘Behind the scenes with Bremerton boys’
Jeff Graham

Runner up

Ellensburg Daily Record
Brock Ravet’s journey from a small town kid to basketball star heading to Gonzaga
Luke Olson

Sports Reporting

Winner

The Daily Astorian
Super Seagulls are champs again

Spot News Photography

Winner
Car into bank
Mark Ylen

Runner up
Tri-City Herald
Richland City Hall construction
Bob Brawdy

Spot News Reporting

Winner
Kitsap Sun
Port Orchard tornado
Kitsap Sun staff

Runner up
Grants Pass Daily Courier
River under siege
Jeff Duewel, Scott Stoddard

WRITING, PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN (LARGE)

Arts & Entertainment

Winner
Crosscut.com
Is this the buzziest artist in Seattle?
Mason Bryan

Runner up
The Daily Herald
Write a book in 30 days: Writers prepare for novel challenge
Evan Thompson

Best Photo Portfolio

Winner
The Columbian
Jucevic Portfolio
Alisha Jucevic

Runner up
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
KUOW Portfolio
Megan Farmer

Business Reporting

Winner
OPB
Portland’ s Toxic Harbor Cleanup Enters The Who-Pays-For-What Phase
Cassandra Profita

Runner up
The Columbian
The Waterfront Vancouver setting sail
Allan Brettman

Column

Winner
The Daily Herald
Groovy! The dude has a vinyl stash of, like, 97,000 records / This guy takes his parrot everywhere he goes in Everett / Captain Walmart isn’t make-believe, he’s a real superhero
Andrea Brown

Runner up
The Columbian
Pen is much bigger so I can write the best columns; NRA, some officials stretch credulity, abdicate humanity; Sensitivity, compromise called for in naming of park
Greg Jayne

Crime and Justice Reporting

Winner
The Register-Guard
Arson and an ambush
Chelsea Deffenbacher

Runner up
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
Five women accuse Seattle’s David Meinert of sexual misconduct, including rape
Sydney Brownstone, Isolde Raftery

Digital Innovation

Winner
The Register-Guard
‘Animal House,’ four decades later
Rob Denton, Dylan Darling, Chris Pietsch, Rob Romig

Runner up
The Register-Guard
Legacy of Tom Egan: ‘His death has saved lives’
Rob Denton, Jack Moran, John Heasly

Editorial & Commentary

Winner
Crosscut.com
Mossback on Northwest Life
Knute Berger

Feature Photography

Winner
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
As Told By Us
Megan Farmer

Runner up
The Columbian
Cherry Blossoms
Alisha Jucevic

Food, Drink, Lifestyles and Travel Reporting

Winner
Crosscut.com
Our mountains are under siege. Blame your selfie
Ted Alvarez

Runner up
The Columbian
Hiking the Washington Side, plus “Foot traffic not the only kind…” sidebar
Scott Hewitt

General Excellence

Winner
The Daily Herald
Two complete editions
Staff

Runner up
The Columbian
March 22, 2018; Sept. 16, 2018
Columbian Staff

General News Photography

Winner
Yakima Herald-Republic
Prayer walk
Evan Abell

Runner up
Yakima Herald-Republic
Wapato teachers strike
Amanda Ray

Government and Politics Reporting

Winner
Yakima Herald-Republic
Lawsuits, claims just the cost of doing business for Yakima
Kaitlin Bain

Runner up
Yakima Herald-Republic
Charges of intimidation, retaliation, corruption surround Wapato City Administrator
Kaitlin Bain

Graphics & Illustrations

Winner
The Columbian
Confronting the high cost of justice; “Can’t have two tigers on the hill”; Midterms will reveal area’s true colors
Merridee Hanson

Runner up
The Columbian
9,095: Clark outpaces Multnomah County for new residents; Two decades of dreams; Who gave it, who got it?
Romana Wood

Health & Science Reporting

Winner
Bend Bulletin
An urban-rural divide over gun suicide
Markian Hawryluk

Runner up
The Columbian
Drugs offer hope to opioid addicts
Jake Thomas

Investigative Reporting

Winner
Mail Tribune
Women Behind Bars
Vickie Aldous

Runner up
Yakima Herald-Republic
Charges of intimidation, retaliation, corruption surround Wapato City Administrator
Kaitlin Bain

Long-Form Feature News Reporting

Winner
Crosscut.com
Can gold mining save fading Washington town?
John Stang

Runner up
Bend Bulletin
Haunted by trauma
Markian Hawryluk

Page Design

Winner
The Columbian
To combat winter blues, try seeing red; Spruce up the environment; A determined stand (with jump)
Dave Magnuson

Runner up
The Columbian
A day to take off; 30 years strong; Shifting sand (with jumps)
Romana Wood

Photo Essay

Winner
The Columbian
A Determined Stand
Alisha Jucevic

Runner up

The Columbian
A new home
Nathan Howard

Portrait Photography

Winner
The Columbian
Nathan Kunz
Nathan Howard

Runner up
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
Marilyn Montufar
Megan Farmer

Short-Form Feature News Reporting

Winner
OPB
Endangered Lily Still Faces Challenges On Oregon’s South Coast
Jes Burns

Runner up
The Columbian
Farmers going nuts; Ridgefield couple replace pear orchard with hazelnuts, hoping to cash in on their increasing popularity (SIDEBAR: Filbert or hazelnut?)
Andy Matarrese

Social Issues Reporting

Winner
OPB
Longstanding Equity Issues At Clark College Alienate Staff, Students
Molly Solomon

Runner up
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
Some Seattle schools can pay for extra teachers. Should they spread the wealth?
Isolde Raftery

Sports Action Photography

Winner
The Daily Herald
Seattle Seahawks’ Doug Baldwin tips the football back toward himself to make a catch during 4th quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Olivia Vanni

Runner up
Mail Tribune
South vs Centennial
Andy Atkinson

Sports Feature Photography

Winner
The Columbian
National Anthem
Nathan Howard

Runner up
The Daily Herald
Tiffani Zagorski and Jonathan Guerreiro perform a lift during their free dance program at the 2018 Skate America competition on Oct. 21, 2018 at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett.
Olivia Vanni

Sports Column

Winner
Mail Tribune
Tee Talk
Tim Trower

Runner up
The Daily Herald
The WHL’s postseason playoff format has major flaws / It’s time for the Mariners to tear their roster apart / If you haven’t already, be prepared to fall in love with hockey
Nick Patterson

Sports Feature Story

Winner
Mail Tribune
A Fighting Chance
Tim Trower

Runner up
The Register-Guard
Playing through the pain
Steve Mims

Sports Reporting

Winner
Mail Tribune
A Leader By Example
Tim Trower

Runner up
South Medford places coach ‘on leave’
Kris Henry

Spot News Reporting

Winner
The Register-Guard
Arson and an ambush
Chelsea Deffenbacher

Runner up
The Bend Bulletin
Stormy Daniels performance cut short after drunk man throws wallet in her face
Kyle Spurr

Spot News Photography

Winner
Yakima Herald-Republic
White Swan Fire
Amanda Ray

Runner up
Yakima Herald-Republic
Apple truck spill
Evan Abell

WRITING, PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN (VERY LARGE)

Arts & Entertainment

Winner
The Seattle Times
Watch: Here’s how PNB’s ‘Swan Lake’ lead dancers tackle the notoriously difficult 32 fouette turns
Moira Macdonald, Corinne Chin, Ramon Dompor

Runner up
The Oregonian/OregonLive
LeGuin’s Legacy
Amy Wang

Business Reporting

Winner
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Rough and Ready
Gordon Friedman, Hillary Borrud

Runner up
The Oregonian/OregonLive
The Loyalty Game
Jeff Manning, Brad Schmidt

Column

Winner
The Seattle Times
Danny Westneat Metro columns
Danny Westneat

Runner up
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Columns by Samantha Swindler
Samantha Swindler

Comprehensive Coverage

Winner
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Ghosts of Highway 20
Noelle Crombie, Dave Killen, Beth Nakamura

Runner up

The Oregonian/OregonLive
Pac-12 missteps
John Canzano

Crime and Justice Reporting

Winner
Anchorage Daily News
Rethinking Alaska’s only maximum security prison
Marc Lester

Runner up
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Homeless arrests
Rebecca Woolington, Melissa Lewis

Digital Innovation

Winner
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Ghosts of Highway 20
Noelle Crombie, Dave Killen, Beth Nakamura

Runner up
The Seattle Times
The Wonder of the Fresh Hop
Lauren Frohne, Emily Eng, Frank Mina, Tan Vinh

Feature Photography

Winner
The Seattle Times
Henna For Eid
Alan Berner

Food, Drink, Lifestyles and Travel Reporting

Winner
The Seattle Times
Tales from the road: Confessions of a super-commuter
Rick Lund, Gabriel Campanario

Runner up
The Seattle Times
No Cookbooks Allowed: Seattle pop-up dinners celebrate immigrant home cooks
Tan Vinh

General News Photography

Winner
Reuters
National School Walkout
Lindsey Wasson

Runner up
Chinook Observer
Shop with a Cop
Luke Whittaker

Government and Politics Reporting

Winner
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Backtracking on test scores
Betsy Hammond

Runner up
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Shots Not Fired: A new Oregon law takes guns from people who may do harm
Gordon Friedman

Graphics & Illustrations

Winner
The Seattle Times
Emily M. Eng graphics and illustrations
Emily M. Eng

Runner up
The Seattle Times
Cover illustrations for The Seattle Times
Jennifer Luxton

Health & Science Reporting

Winner
The Oregonian/OregonLive
False Comfort
Fedor Zarkhin

Runner up
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Targeted
Bethany Barnes

Investigative Reporting

Winner
Northwest News Network
Investigation into Wash. State Rep. Accused of Improper Behavior
Austin Jenkins

Runner up
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Buried: The state hides how children die on Oregon’s watch
Molly Young

Long-Form Feature News Reporting

Winner
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Dear Della
Tom Hallman Jr.

Runner up
The Seattle Times
The Property: A family’s getaway cabin defined its dreams, until a tragic Sunday morning
Evan Bush

Photo Essay

Winner
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Ghosts of Highway 20
Beth Nakamura

Portrait Photography

Winner
The Seattle Times
Misty Living on the Street
Alan Berner

Runner up
Seattle Met
Earth-Feather Sovereign
Lindsey Wasson

Short-Form Feature News Reporting

Winner
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Sea of plenty? Native Alaskans celebrate indigenous whaling victory
Gregory Scruggs

Runner up
The Seattle Times and The Columbian
Teacher Diversity in Washington
Dahlia Bazzaz, Katie Gillespie, Emily Eng

Social Issues Reporting

Winner

The Oregonian/OregonLive
Targeted
Bethany Barnes

Runner up
The Seattle Times and The Columbian
Teacher Diversity in Washington
Dahlia Bazzaz, Katie Gillespie, Emily Eng

Sports Column

Winner
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Columns by John Canzano
John Canzano

Runner up
The Seattle Times
Why the Seattle City Council voted in favor of KeyArena but not Chris Hansen’s Sodo project 2. NHL expansion to Seattle will fuel Canadians’ fury at Gary Bettman, but he has helped the game 3. From organists to hard rock and back again
Geoff Baker

Sports Feature Photography

Winner
Getty Images
Satoko Miyahara
Lindsey Wasson

Runner up
The Seattle Times
Mutton Busters
Alan Berner

Sports Feature Story

Winner
Anchorage Daily News
Kamaka Hepa’s shot, from behind the Arctic Circle
Marc Lester

Runner up
The Seattle Times
Meet Red Badgro, the Best Northwest Athlete You’ve Never Heard Of
Scott Hanson

Sports Reporting
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Inside the Pac 12 replay center
John Canzano

Runner up
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Left Out
John Canzano

Spot News Photography

Winner
Chinook Observer
Woman clutches dog rescued from apartment fire
Luke Whittaker

Runner up
The Oregonian/OregonLive
MeToo Rally
Mark Graves

AUDIO, VIDEO (LARGE)

Sports Audio Reporting

Winner
KNKX Public Radio
These Women Hit 50. Then They Took Up Basketball
Jennifer Wing

Runner up
Northwest News Network
Track To Ice: Pacific Northwest Bobsledder On Verge Of Making 2018 Olympic Team
Tom Banse

Feature Audio Reporting

Winner
KNKX Public Radio
Unraveling The Mystery Of Why So Many African-Americans End Up Homeless
Will James

Runner up
OPB
Scientists Study ‘Singing Fish’ For Ways To Improve Human Hearing
Cassandra Profita

Feature Video Reporting

Winner
OPB
Oregon Field Guide: Urban Falconry
Jule Gilfillan

Runner up
Yakima Herald-Republic
Good Girls Club
Amanda Ray

Investigative Audio Reporting

Winner
KNKX Public Radio
School Officials and Tech Companies
Ashley Gross

Runner up
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
Her rapist was convicted because of a rape kit. So why are so many kits untested?
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, Gil Aegerter

Breaking Video Reporting

Winner

KRTV
Rising waters
Shannon Newth

Runner up
KTUU
7.0 Earthquake strikes Alaska, Ramp Collapses
Taylar Perez, Shawn Wilson, KTUU Staff

Sports Video Reporting

Winner

KTUU-TV
Operation Afghanistan: The Beautiful Game
Blake Essig, Albert Lutan

Runner up
KGW-TV
The end of high school football in Oregon?
Cristin Severance, Gene Cotton

Video News Series

Winner
KTUU-TV
“Are you Prepared?”
KTUU Staff

Audio News Series

Winner
Northwest News Network
Washington sent brain injury patients to Oklahoma, then all but forgot about them
Austin Jenkins

Runner up
KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
Along the Mother Road
Joshua McNichols, Carolyn Adolph, Kate Walters, Carol Smith

Investigative Video Reporting

Winner
The Oregonian/OregonLive
Ghosts of Highway 20
Dave Killen, Noelle Crombie, Beth Nakamura

Runner up

KIRO 7
A Terrifying Ride with Ted
Dave Wagner, Casey McNerthney, Michael Griffith, Peter Gamba

General News Audio Reporting

Winner

OPB
Woodburn Works Against Immigration Rhetoric To Build Trust In Police
Conrad Wilson

Runner up

KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio
Yes, light rail station escalators do break a lot. Here’s why
Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, Gil Aegerter

General News Video Reporting

Winner

The Oregonian/OregonLive
PERS explainer
Teresa Mahoney, Ted Sickinger

Runner up

The Seattle Times
The Lopez family’s tough decision
Corinne Chin, Ramon Dompor, Erika Schultz

Breaking News Audio Reporting

Winner

OPB
Fatal Oregon Wildfire Devastates Prime Wheat Country
Molly Solomon, Ericka Cruz Guevarra

Runner up

OPB
Armed Campus Police Shoot And Kill Black Man Near Portland State
Ericka Cruz Guevarra, Conrad Wilson, Amelia Templeton

AUDIO, VIDEO (SMALL)

General News Video Reporting

Winner

KBTC Public Television
Shorelines of Stone
Tom Layson

Runner up

EastIdahoNews.com
Transparency – even when it’s ‘troublesome’
Nate Eaton

Feature Audio Reporting

Winner

KNBA
Inuit throat singers, Silla, perform for their ‘cousins’ during their first AFN
Tripp Crouse

Runner up

KTOO
Avrum Gross: Gov. Hammond’s ‘long-haired hippie’ ally, attorney general and in-house antagonist
Jeremy Hsieh

Sports Audio Reporting

Winner

KTOO
Is testing Juneau’s student athletes for drugs and alcohol effective?
Kavitha George

Runner up

KLCC
Oregon Athlete’s Contribution a Revolutionary Flop
Barbara Dellenback

Investigative Audio Reporting

Winner

KTOO
Juneau shamanism retreat leader’s financial, cultural and spiritual legitimacy challenged
Scott Burton, Jacob Resneck

Runner up

KTOO
Ethics enforcers let former Juneau lawmaker’s unpaid ethics fines slide
Jeremy Hsieh

Audio News Series

Winner

KTOO & Alaska Public Media
Midnight Oil: The Big Thaw
Annie Feidt, Jennifer Pemberton, Liz Ruskin, Elizabeth Harball

Runner up

KLCC
Remembering Thurston Parts I-III
Brian Bull

Breaking News Audio Reporting

Winner

Northwest News Network
Radioactive Waste At Hanford Keeps Spreading
Anna King

Video News Series

Winner

Newschannel 21 KTVZ
Road Rants
Newschannel 21

Runner up

EastIdahoNews.com
East Idaho Survivors
Nate Eaton

General News Audio Reporting

Winner

KLCC
Corvallis Community Grapples with Increasing Homelessness
Brian Bull

Runner up

Jefferson Public Radio
How Do You Want Your Smoke?
Liam Moriarty

Feature Video Reporting

Winner

Newschannel 21 KTVZ
Lilly
Steve Kaufmann

Runner up

Newschannel 21 KTVZ
He Loves Me and I Love Him
Lauren Melink, Steve Kaufmann

We will do better

It would be an understatement to say that the June 1 board meeting was not one of the Society of Professional Journalists’ finest hors.

It was an embarrassment. There’s no other way to put it. But we are going to do better.

For those who mercifully missed it, the meeting included a shouting match between the president and the board on the question of who should head the search committee to find a new executive director. Many of us on the board, myself included, believed that Patti Gallagher Newberry, who will take the reins of SPJ in September, was the logical choice to head the committee. But the current president, Alex Tarquinio, believed that one of the SPJ Foundation Board members would be a better choice, as they would be dealing with the new director for several years, compared to one year for Newberry.

Disagreements are not new on the board. I was there for the whole Helen Thomas affair. But it never turned into a shouting match. We usually try to disagree without being disagreeable. We could disagree in the board room, but still break bread at dinner afterward.

In the aftermath, one of our directors made multiple calls for Tarquinio’s impeachment, which he followed up with, shall we say, a rather inappropriate comment about why he was in SPJ.

Did Tarquinio not behave badly? Yes. Do I think it was an impeachable offense? No, and I say this as someone who had to vote someone off an SPJ chapter board after they were arrested for serious crimes.

But we will do better. We must. We are striving to make sure that meeting notices will get out before a meeting, so both we and you can be better informed on the meeting issues, as well as promote the same degree of transparency that we demand of government.

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