Journalists at The Colorado Independent took home six honors— including two first-place awards for investigative and enterprise reporting— in this year’s Top of the Rockies awards from the regional Society of Professional Journalists.
Editor Susan Greene won first place in the category of investigative and enterprise reporting for her series of stories on Clarence Moses EL’s 29-year fight to clear his name. “Twenty-nine years, two months, and 28 days,” she wrote in part. “That’s how long it took Clarence Moses-EL to disentangle himself from a rape he didn’t commit, a 48-year prison sentence for a wrongful conviction, and the web of deceit spun by Denver authorities.”
Greene’s work on the stories for The Colorado Independent also won first place in the category of legal enterprise reporting. Greene also won second place in news column writing for her December 2016 piece “The sad death of the happiest man in Denver,” about Sylvester Tally, “the affable, inquisitive and perpetually upbeat fixture at Denver’s city and county buildings who was extraordinarily talented at making friends.”
Reporter Kelsey Ray earned a second-place honor in enterprise reporting on the environment for her in-depth May 2016 story “The Invisible Plume: Why coal mine methane is worth looking at,” about Arch Coal’s West Elk Mine— Colorado’s single biggest methane polluter. “It spews more of the greenhouse gas each year than the state’s largest oil and gas operator— enough to power almost 30,000 homes,” Ray wrote. “A proposed expansion would push its already massive methane emissions even higher. So why is the otherwise tough-on-methane Hickenlooper administration supporting it?”
Managing editor Tina Griego won third place in news column writing for her September 2016 piece “Gone to Market: Returning to a city being remade and undone by gentrification.” Listen to Griego discuss her column on Colorado Public Radio’s statewide show Colorado Matters.
Journalist Corey Hutchins won second place in political enterprise reporting for his April 2016 in-depth story “Colorado is in Americans for Prosperity’s ‘persuasion universe’” about what the Koch-backed group is saying to voters out in the suburbs and doing to influence lawmakers under the gold dome of the Colorado capitol.
News organizations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico competed for awards that were announced Friday during a ceremony at The Denver Press Club.
Photo by Corey Hutchins