Journalists Celebrate Great Local Reporting

The Society for Professional Journalists, Colorado Pro Chapter, honored excellence in reporting by more than a dozen news outlets and offered heartfelt tributes to three extraordinary achievements last night.

The annual awards banquet provided journalists from across the state a rare opportunity to celebrate their successes – stories that made a difference in people’s lives and turned political events on their heads – away from the stinging letters to the editor, anonymous call-in lines, and opinion pieces calling the reporter’s integrity into question. Neil Westergaard, editor of the Denver Business Journal, won the Lowell Thomas Journalist of the Year Award. A long-time Colorado journalist and editor, Westergaard received one of SPJ Colorado’s top honors named for Thomas, the legendary globetrotting newsman whose career spanned 50 years.

The Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award was conferred on Brad Bradberry for “extraordinary dedication to ethical, responsible journalist and professional integrity.” Bradberry was the publisher of the Evergreen Newspapers until he retired in September 2006.

The Denver Posts’ Miles Moffeit and Kevin Simpson won the Best of Show Award for “Teen Crime, Adult Time,” a gripping investigative report on the personal ramifications of Colorado’s eroded legal protections for teens accused of violent crimes and sentenced to life without parole.

Statewide newspapers and online news outlets were judged in 35 categories within three divisions, based on circulation. Look for profiles on our fellow award winners in the coming weeks.

Colorado Confidential won seven awards, sweeping one category:

1st Place Online Breaking News
Jason Bane and staff, Trailhead to Nowhere

2nd Place Online Breaking News
Staff, Primary Election Coverage, Multiple stories

3rd Place Online Breaking News
Wendy Norris, GOP Takes Legally Questionable Gift from Oil and Gas Group

1st Place Blog
Jason Bane, Political Gravy

3rd Place Online Photo Story
Leslie Robinson, Hush, Hush and on the QT: Part II

1st Place General Web Site Excellence

2nd Place Online Interactive

Hearty congratulations to all.

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