Steamboat Springs At the end of last weekend’s Colorado Press Association annual convention and awards banquet, a speaker urged the newspaper editors and publishers assembled at the Sheraton Downtown Denver to go back to their communities and brag about their accomplishments during the previous year.
I don’t think most readers care about newspaper awards. They care about getting timely, accurate and relevant news about their community. I’d like to think the latter leads to the former, and perhaps that’s why I take pride in the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s success in the award contests we enter each year.
Putting together the awards submissions is a painstaking, time-consuming process each fall. But it’s made worthwhile when the hard work of our staff is recognized by our peers in other states. It’s not an accident that the Pilot & Today has been named the best overall newspaper in its circulation class for eight of the past nine years. It’s the result of the folks in every department who spend their days, nights and often weekends in the office, putting together a free daily newspaper for Routt County. I’d like to highlight a few of the editorial department’s accomplishments during the 2009-10 contest period:
■ Photographer John F. Russell and reporter Luke Graham spent three weeks in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and they produced a mind-boggling number of stories and photos. It was the first time we sent two staff members to the Olympics. We picked a pretty good year to do it.
■ Sports reporter Joel Reichenberger is a gifted writer, but he’s also a spectacular photographer. He won numerous photography awards this year, including first place in photo portfolio. Those awards were addition to what he won for his writing, including first place in the sports story category.
■ Matt Stensland has done it all at the Pilot & Today. His sports photos of the Sailors football team’s run to the state championship in 2009 and his dramatic news photos of events such as the Robert and Rhonda Cash shooting earned him well-deserved awards this year. I expect his writing to be recognized next year, when we submit to judges his two-part series on SmartWool.
■ Mike Lawrence’s coverage of the Steamboat 700 vote — particularly his work on our Steamboat 700 Voter Guide — won first place in the public service and special section categories.
■ It took me two years to wrap my head around public school financing when I started as the education reporter here in 2002. Current education reporter Jack Weinstein nailed the challenging topic and won first place for best education story.
■ Our copy editing and page design desk, led by News Editor Nicole Miller, won numerous awards for best informational graphic, headline writing and page design. Laura Mazade won her first award, a second-place feat for news page design.
■ Veteran reporter Tom Ross never gets shut out during awards season. This year, Ross was recognized for his business writing with a third-place award in the best business story category.
■ Arts and entertainment reporter Nicole Inglis was with the Craig Daily Press for most of the 2009-10 contest period. She won first and second place for best agriculture story and first place for best education story. I imagine her name will be on a best feature story award a year from now.
These are just a few of the people whose work was recognized at the CPA convention this year. They’re part of a larger team effort that makes the Pilot & Today what it is. I’m proud of them, and I’m proud to be a part of what they accomplish each and every day.
Brent Boyer is the editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. He can be reached at 970-871-4221 and bboyer@SteamboatToday.com