We’re thrilled to pass on word from the National Press Foundation this morning that The Colorado Independent has won the Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting. The honor is given each year in recognition of exemplary print, broadcast or online reporting “that illuminates and advances the understanding of mental health issues and treatments for the illness.”
The winning submission is “Through the Cracks,” an investigation by Indy Editor Susan Greene and Niki Turner, editor of the weekly Rio Blanco Herald Times newspaper, into the Rangely Police Department’s fatal shooting of Daniel Pierce. Officers knew Daniel suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was in acute crisis the days leading up to his killing.
“The breadth and depth of the reporting was spectacular,” the judges said. “Through the lens of one tragic police-shooting, this collaborative journalism project was able to peel back the layers to show how warning signs are ignored, how rural towns are unequipped to handle mental illness and how families struggle with too few choices.”
The award was created to honor the memory of Carolyn C. Mattingly, a Potomac, Maryland, philanthropist and activist, in the aftermath of her 2014 death.
The collaboration between our two outlets was the first in what will become regular partnerships Susan and Indy Managing Editor Tina Griego will be undertaking with news outlets throughout Colorado on important stories those outlets may not have the resources to cover alone. Here’s a video of Susan and Niki talking about their collaboration.
“Reporting ‘Through the Cracks’ with Niki convinced me that stories are stronger and smarter — and that they have more impact — when news teams unite,” Susan said.
She will be spending much of this spring and summer traveling the state covering mental health and civil rights repercussions of the COVID crisis as part of COLab, The Indy’s new partnership with the Colorado Press Association and Colorado Media Project. Please support her reporting and celebrate this terrific honor by donating to our nonprofit newsroom today.
Thank you, as always, for having our backs. And please stay safe out there.
Ed note: This originally went out as a newsletter to our readers.