A belated (but hearty) congrats to The Indy staff

The Colorado Independent team (Photo by Evan Semón)
The Colorado Independent team (Photo by Evan Semón)

Time got away from us in the wrap-up of the legislative session, so before the rush of the Denver municipal runoff elections overtakes us, we must pause to say congratulations to our team for their great showing in the 2019 SPJ Colorado Pro chapter’s Top of the Rockies contest earlier this month.

On the politics beat: First place for political news coverage went John Herrick for his package of stories on the six pivotal state legislative races where the battle for control of the Senate was fought. First place for political enterprise reporting for our series explaining the 13 ballot initiatives went to reporters Alex Burness, Corey Hutchins, Tina Griego, Lars Gesing, Shannon Mullane and Forest Wilson. Both Shannon and Forest interned with us and we’re especially glad to see their work recognized. 

Mike Littwin took first in news columns for his pieces on Steve Lebsock, the disgraced former state representative, Walker Stapleton’s campaign for governor and the Denver Post rebellion. (Indy Editor Susan Greene took second there for columns that included her “The fight for a free press gets real”.) Tina took first in news feature writing for her piece on rural transit, and Susan for investigative/enterprise reporting for her story on Anadarko oil and gas company higher-ups coming forward to describe a company culture they said put profit over safety.

The crew also won second place awards for public service reporting, headline writing, spot news photography, and ag and environment writing.

Congratulations to all, including our behind-the-scenes team of Mary Winter, Alison Cooper and Mark Castillo, all of whom make the magic happen.

Here’s the complete list of Indy winners:

Politics General Reporting: 1st Place, “The Toss Up” by John Herrick

Politics Enterprise Reporting: 1st Place, “Series on Ballot Explainers,” by Alex Burness, Forest Wilson, Corey Hutchins, Tina Griego, Shannon Mullane, Lars Gesing

News Column: 1st Place, “Politics and the free press,” Mike Littwin

News Column: 2nd Place, “Secrets of the justice system and the human heart,” Susan Greene

Column Personal/Humor: 2nd Place, “Littwin gets to the heart of the matter,” Mike Littwin

Ag and Environment Reporting/Enterprise: 2nd Place, “Parched,” Susan Greene

News Feature: 1st Place, “62 buses, 60 drivers, 9,000 square miles …,” Tina Griego

Public Service: 2nd Place, “The Colorado Independent’s Fight for Transparency,” Susan Greene and Alex Burness

Headline Writing: 2nd Place, Mike Littwin and Corey Hutchins

Investigative/Enterprise Reporting: 1st Place, “Former Anadarko brass slam brass for safety risks, callousness,” Susan Greene

And, finally, in Spot News Photography: 2nd Place, “Primary night celebration,” to Evan Semón. 

Jared Polis greets supporters after winning the Democratic primary in June. (Photo by Evan Semón)


The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.