HT takes home 10 awards, ‘Service to the First’ honor in statewide competition

This photo entry by Caitlin Walker won Best Feature Photograph in the Better Newspaper Contest for 2019, sponsored by the Colorado Newspaper Association.

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The Rio Blanco Herald Times has earned 10 awards in the Colorado Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest for 2019. The contest includes entries from news organizations statewide and is judged by members of a different state’s press association. Entries are divided into classes based on circulation. The HT is in Class 2.

Co-owner Caitlin Walker earned first place awards for Best Feature Photograph, Best Automotive Ad, Best News Media/House Ad Promotion, and second-place awards for Best News Media/House Ad Promotion, Best Small Space Ad, Best Informational Graphic.

Walker and her brother Lucas Turner, news director at KDNK radio in Carbondale, won first place for Best Editorial Multimedia for their piece on Henry and Kris Arcolesse of Ma Famiglia’s, and Walker and co-owner and editor Niki Turner took second place in the same category for a feature on Claude and Peg Wood’s Mountain Honey operation.

Tiffany Jehorek earned the second-place award for Best Sports Photograph.

Niki Turner also took second place in Best Serious Column Writing.

The Northwest Colorado Hunting Guide received first place for Best Editorial Special Section – Glossy, and the Adventure Colorado magazine earned second place in the same category.

In addition, the HT is the recipient of the 2019 Service to the First award, considered one of the most prestigious journalism awards in the state.

Turner’s collaborative work with Colorado Independent editor Susan Greene covering the story of the December 2018 officer-involved shooting of Daniel Pierce prompted the judge to comment, “What amazing coverage. Investigating and telling the story of the officer-involved shooting is exactly the type of work that other media outlets do not do, but local newspapers do which means so much to the community.”

“The Service to the First award is intended to honor a news organization’s or person’s service to the First Amendment’s guarantee of a free press, including, but not limited to, fighting the threat of censorship in America, overcoming uneasiness with regard to press credibility, combating government secrecy at all levels, and instilling in the public an appreciation of its need as well as its right to know,” according to the Colorado Press Association.

Greene received the award in 2018 for a First Amendment fight to unseal documents that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This year’s convention was supposed to be held in Glenwood Springs, for the first time in the organization’s 100-plus year history, but was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

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By HT Staff