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Start gathering your best work from the last year, because it’s time for Top of the Rockies 2018!

The contest opens Friday, Dec. 15. The contest’s portal will be posted on our contest page that day.

The contest will remain open until Saturday, Jan. 20. Judging will be held from Feb. 6 to March 6, and the Top of the Rockies 2018 award ceremony is slated for April 21, 2018 in Denver.

About the 2018 categories

Following our fantastic turnout in 2017, the SPJ Colorado Pro board decided to make several adjustments in categories to reflect modern newsroom practice.

Starting this year, almost all categories are now open to broadcast, print and digital entries. You’ll be up against the best from all platforms in the region, not just your fellow print reporters or broadcast journalists.
We’ve also added a religion category because we realized there’s been some great work on the topic.
And the most requested topic we heard from 2017 was a podcast category, so you got it. We added a general excellence category for podcasts. There’s general excellence in web, radio and TV, too.
These categories are also listed on our contest page.

2018 CATEGORIES

GENERAL NEWS

 

  • General Broadcast Excellence in Radio: A single broadcast
  • General Broadcast Excellence for Television: A ingle broadcast, not to exceed 15 minutes.
  • General Podcast Excellence: A single podcast episode.
  • General Website Excellence: Judged on the excellence of content, interactivity, design, navigation, multimedia and community tools.

 

  • News Reporting, Single Story: Spot or Scheduled. Single news story (and related sidebars, if applicable). This includes all but sports, education, political, legal affairs and business reporting.
  • Breaking News Story: A single story or package of a breaking news event occurring over a 24-hour period.
  • General Reporting, Series or Package: A series of stories on one topic or a package of stories that runs simultaneously (submit all stories).
  • Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.
  • News Feature: Includes profiles, analysis and other news stories written in a feature format.
  • Public Service: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional coverage on a topic or issue that is important to the community.
  • Special section: A package of stories exploring one issue in depth.
  • Personal/Humor Columns: Submit 3 columns per entry.
  • News Columns: Submit 3 columns per entry.
  • Editorials: Submit 3 editorials per entry.
  • Headline writing: Submit 3 headlines with the accompanying articles.
  • Information graphic: Submit a graphic with the accompanying article.
  • Front page design: A front page or cover of your publication.
  • Single page design: A single page or a section cover of your publication.
  • Feature page design: A single page or feature cover of your publication.

SPECIALIZED REPORTING

    • Sports General Reporting: Single story, package or series.
    • Sports Columns: Submit 3 columns per entry.
    • Sports Enterprise Reporting: An article, or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.
    • Business General Reporting: Single story, package or series.
    • Business Enterprise Reporting: An article, or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.
    • A&E and Food Reporting News or feature. A single story or a series on dining and nightlife, film, television, music (classical or popular), art, architecture, theater or dance.
    • A&E and Food Criticism: Submit 3 columns or reviews.
    • A&E and Food Enterprise Reporting: A single story, package or series.
    • Education General Reporting: A single story, package or series.
    • Education Enterprise Reporting: An article, or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.
    • Politics General Reporting: A single story, package or series.
    • Politics Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.
    • Legal General Reporting: A single story, package or series.
    • Legal Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

 

  • Science and Technology General Reporting: A single story, package or series.
  • Science and Technology Enterprise Reporting: An article, or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.
  • Environment or Agriculture  Reporting: A single story, package or series.

 

    • Environment or Agriculture Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.
    • Health General Reporting: A single story, package or series.
    • Health Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

 

  • Marijuana General Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories.
  • Marijuana Enterprise reporting: An article, or a package or sies of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or exceptional effort.
  • Religion General Reporting: A single story, package or series.

 

  • Agriculture General Reporting: A single story, package or series.
  • Agriculture Enterprise Reporting: An article or a package or series of stories on one topic that demonstrates exceptional enterprise or investigative effort.

ONLINE

    • General Website Excellence: Judged on the excellence of content, interactivity, design, navigation, multimedia and community tools.
    • Blog: Honoring an important or insightful perspective unique to the Web. Three submissions per entry.

 

  • Mobile Applications: A mobile application created by a news organization that delivers news or information on a particular issue or event.

 

  • Multimedia Story: A cohesive Web package that can include words, photos, graphics, audio, video and/or graphics.

PHOTOJOURNALISM

  • Spot News Photography: One or more photos on a breaking news story.
  • News Photography: One or more photos on a news story.
  • Feature Photography: One or more photos where original subject matter is enhanced by the presentation or imagination of the photographer.
  • Sports Photography: One or more photos on a sports subject.
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Grand Junction CORA event

About a dozen local journalists, defense attorneys, paralegals and private investigators showed up Sept. 14 for an SPJ-sponsored event on the Colorado Open Records Act and the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act in Grand Junction. Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, spoke about practical applications of the laws that safeguard access to public records, about recent cases featured on his blog and about resources members of the public can use when they’re initially denied public information.

The event followed a campus visit to Colorado Mesa University, where turnout was slim but conversation with students was robust.

GJCORAevent

Jeff Roberts addresses a group of professionals in Grand Junction Sept. 14.

SPJ Colorado Pro is joining the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Online News Association, the Denver Press Club and the Colorado Association of Black Journalists for a summer happy hour on Wednesday, August 30 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Open Media Foundation at 700 Kalamath Street in Denver..

The purpose in holding this event is two-fold:

1. Our groups operate independently but have a similar mission — to promote journalism and provide networking, educational and professional opportunities for our members. We thought it might be a great idea to gather under one roof to celebrate our strengths, encourage engagement and educate each other about the events and professional development opportunities available to journalists in Colorado.

2. We would like to acquaint our members with the facilities and services available to journalists at the Open Media Foundation. The non-profit foundation provides training, tools and affordable, high-end media and technology services to nonprofits, governments and individuals so they can “represent their own voice in the media conversation, engage in their community and bring about the change they wish to see in the world.”During the event, we will serve light food and drinks. By purchasing a drink ticket, members will also be able to enjoy several varieties of wine and beer.
We look forward to meeting you at the Summer Journalism Happy Hour!
Jeff Roberts

Jeff Roberts of Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition

Jeff Roberts of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition will present a program on open records Sept. 14 in Grand Junction. The event, sponsored by SPJ Colorado Pro, will be free and open to the public.

WHEN: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, 2017

WHERE: The Mesa Room at Central Library Grand Junction, 443 N. 6th St., Grand Junction.

WHAT: Join SPJ Colorado Pro and the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition for a talk by Jeff Roberts on the Colorado Open Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act. Refreshments will be served.

WHO: Jeff Roberts is the executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. Before joining the non-profit in July 2013, he worked in journalism and public policy, according to his organization. Jeff was at The Denver Post from 1984-2007 as a reporter, assistant city editor and data journalism specialist on The Post’s projects team. He later spent four years at the University of Denver’s Center for Colorado’s Economic Future. Early in his career, he was a reporter at the News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla. Roberts earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University.

R.S.V.P.: Not necessary

David BaronFormer NPR science correspondent David Baron, an ardent eclipse chaser, will talk about the upcoming total solar eclipse on August 21 and about a similar event that occurred long ago. His new book, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World, tells the true story of a total eclipse that crossed the American West—including Denver—in 1878.

Join us from 5:30 to 7 p.m. July 26 at The Denver Press Club, 1330 Glenarm Place in Denver.

** This event is a being held as part of a partnership between the Denver Press Club and the SPJ Colorado Pro chapter. Please considering joining and getting involved with our organizations.

Colorado Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

Board of Directors election 2017-18

Deadline to vote: 5 p.m. Friday, June 23

Directions: Read carefully the bios and position statements of the candidates. Then send an e-mail with a subject line “SPJ vote” with your votes to Deb Hurley at dchurley@aol.com. There are no candidates for president-elect or treasurer, but you may write in a candidate’s name. The board has four at-large board member positions open and six candidates. Please vote for up to four at-large candidates, and you are also welcome to submit write-in candidates. send in names of write-in candidates. The board of directors has the authority to appoint people to positions that are not filled through the election process.

If you have questions, contact elections chair Deb Hurley at 303-601-8098.

President-elect candidate

Please send in any write-in candidate

Treasurer

Please send any write-in names

Board of directors

Four positions are up for election, and there are six candidates. Please vote for up to four.

Nicholas Coltrain

 

NickColtrain headshot copy

Nicholas Coltrain

I have committed various acts of journalism across the country, including at newspapers in Nevada, Idaho, Delaware and Georgia, before landing at the Fort Collins Coloradoan. In that time, I’ve covered agricultural communities, scandals at nursing homes, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and with downtown development authorities and the growing pains seen at various college towns, all with zeal and with every tool we have, from databases to shoe leather. Currently, I cover a smattering of Fort Collins and Larimer County issues, including the state legislature, happenings with the federal government and our congressional delegates and Colorado State University. My reporting on gender-based pay inequity at CSU spurred state Sen. John Kefalas’ reform of state open records laws, as well as helping a quarter of female full professors at CSU receive raises. SPJ graciously awarded me its First Amendment Award this year for that work.

 

Statement

In short, I’m a zealot when it comes to the press and the important role it plays in society. A position on the board would be a great platform for helping to further that zealotry, promote camaraderie and further our profession both internally and make the case for it to the public at large. Plus, the award was an incredible honor and it would be a privilege to contribute to SPJ Colorado Pro from its board.

 

Abigail Edge

 

Denver and Boulder Headshot Photography

Abigail Edge

Abigail Edge is a British freelance journalist who has lived in Denver since 2015 and is only just adjusting to the constant sunshine. She writes about news, social justice and digital culture for publications including the Guardian and the Independent. Previously technology editor at Journalism.co.uk, Abigail also worked as an online editor for two of the UK’s biggest regional news outlets. In 2008 she won a Scott Trust Scholarship to earn a master’s degree in journalism at City University, London, while reporting for the Guardian. She is a trainer with the SPJ-Google News Lab Network and leads the Colorado chapter of Hacks/Hackers. In her free time, Abigail is locked in a perpetual battle to keep up with her New Yorker subscription.

 

Statement:

I’ve been an SPJ member since January and am also a trainer with the SPJ-Google News Lab Network, teaching newsrooms around the country how to most effectively use Google tools in their reporting. An active member of the Denver journalism community, I run Hacks/Hackers Colorado – a meetup for journalists and technologists – and am a member of The Denver Press Club and the Lighthouse Writers Workshop. I want to be on the SPJ Colorado board because I believe in the power of community and collaboration to help shape stories that inform, engage and inspire – something that we should all, as Colorado journalists, strive to achieve. And as journalists in one of the so-called “flyover states,” we have to fight harder than most to get recognition for our work. 

 

Sandra Fish

 

Sandra Fish

Sandra Fish

Sandra Fish is a data journalist specializing in politics and government. She’s worked as a reporter at the Florida Times-Union and the Orlando Sentinel, and worked as an editor and reporter at the Boulder Daily Camera for 11 years. She was a journalism instructor at the University of Colorado for eight years. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, PoliticsDaily, Al Jazeera America, Roll call, CPR and KUNC. Fish worked as a data journalist at New Mexico In Depth for almost three years.

 

 

Statement:

I’m interested in helping the SPJ board partner with other organizations to strengthen journalism training and collaboration in Colorado, and with neighboring states. I want to use my past experience on the board, as well as my experience as president of Journalism and Women Symposium, to help make SPJ Colorado stronger.

 

Tony Flesor

 

Headshot - Tony Flesor copy

Tony Flesor

Tony is the managing editor of Law Week Colorado, a weekly publication that falls somewhere between a trade journal and a newspaper that covers the courts, judicial branch and legal industry. Tony has won awards for his reporting on ethics complaints against a rural district attorney and the representation of immigrants in Colorado detention centers. His work at Law Week involves writing on news in the legal world as well as managing the newsroom and website for Law Week Colorado. In addition to reporting for Law Week Colorado, he has also freelanced for a city magazine in Columbia, Mo., and has bylines on other websites, newspapers and magazines. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He got involved in journalism after earning bachelor’s degrees in English and communications, and working with nonprofit organizations focused on literacy. He has always pursued writing, but after developing an interest in government and the duty of journalists, he decided to pursue the profession himself. Tony has lived in Denver for four years, and when not working, Tony enjoys exploring Colorado’s mountain trails, lounging around Denver parks and finding new books to read.

 

 

Statement:

I am running to be an SPJ board member because I believe in the role of journalism in society, the duty of journalists to uphold the ethics and best practices of the profession and the power a strong professional community can have in helping us achieve those ideals. I believe that the free press is a core part of American democracy. And as the power of the press and the credibility of journalists are called into question, it is important now, more than ever, that members of the press continue to do good work and show the value of journalism. In showing that value, I believe journalists should improve their skills, maintain their credibility and, overall, do good work. And I believe that the value of SPJ is that it brings us, journalists, together and offers opportunities to improve our work on an individual level through good programming. The role of SPJ is essential in our professional development, and by establishing a collegial community of journalists, we all have more opportunities to learn skills, gain support in our work and network to progress our careers. On an individual level, a local level and a societal level, SPJ’s role is essential.

 

Adrian D. Garcia

 

profile

Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia was elected to the SPJ Colorado Pro board in 2015 and currently serves as treasurer. He covers commercial trends and developments as business and data reporter for Denverite.com. In 2014, he graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder, (Go Buffs!) having studied journalism, psychology and entrepreneurship. His previous experience includes reporting for the Fort Collins Coloradoan, Denver Post, I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS and his hometown paper The Pueblo Chieftain.

 

 

Statement:

I would like to be re-elected to an at-large seat on the Colorado SPJ Pro board to continue advancing the chapter’s mission of promoting traditional journalism values and principles in today’s media landscape. I am particularly interested in bringing journalists in Northern Colorado, millennials and those with diverse backgrounds into the conversations about how journalism is evolving across the state and country. During the last two years, I have helped the chapter give thousands of dollars to aspiring journalists and organized some of the most successful Top of the Rockies in the chapter’s recent history. I look forward to seeing what the chapter can do next.

 

Marcus Hill

Marcus Hill copy

Marcus Hill

I’ve been a full-time reporter since 2012, and I’m interested in turning my passion for sports into something bigger further down the road in my career. I played basketball in high school, and I ran track and cross country and developed a love for all three. I knew that once high school was over, however, I wouldn’t make it on a college team. Ever since my final year of high school and first year of college (2008) I’ve worked to hone my skills as a writer and journalist. I’m not perfect nor do I ever expect to be. I do attack everything I do with passion and 100 percent effort, whether I completely understand what I’m doing or have to learn it on the fly. Though I’m more of a spectator when it comes to sports, I turned that passion and desire I used to have to be a great competitor into a passion and desire to become a great journalist. In recent years, it’s become the desire to show people journalists aren’t out just for a story – we want to know details of everyone we encounter.

 

Statement:

I’m interested in filling one of the board of director positions for Colorado SPJ to illustrate some of the great journalism people are capable of on the west side of Colorado. I understand that much emphasis is put on bigger city journalism, but I want to help the board become better acquainted with small-town/community journalism. Salida and many of the cities out here in the western area of Colorado have much to offer, and I hope not only to demonstrate that with my work in journalism but also with my work on the board. Keeping Colorado journalism moving in a positive direction as well as helping the board develop ideas to do so is something I believe I’m capable of doing. Many understand the importance of the press and the role we play in keeping people such as politicians, business owners, businesses, etc., in line with open communication. I’d like to be part of something big and innovative, and I feel that is possible as a board member of Colorado SPJ.

 

 

SPJ Colorado Pro Elections Chair Deb Hurley is calling for self-nominations for the six positions up for election on the board: four directors at-large, the treasurer and the president-elect.

Board meetings are held monthly, and board members may attend in person or via conference call. Board members may reside anywhere in Colorado, and must be members in good standing with national SPJ and the Colorado Professional Chapter.

To indicate your willingness to run for a position and to serve on the board, please email Deb your name, the position you are running for, a photo, a biography of no more than 250 words and a statement of no more than 200 words explaining why you want to be on the board. Deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 14. Send self-nominations to dchurley@aol.com​. 

The election information will be e-mailed to all members of the Colorado Pro Chapter on June 19. Members will have until 5 p.m. Friday, June 23, to cast ballots in this all-electronic election.

If there are no contested elections, Deb will declare that an election is not necessary and declare those candidates the winners of the election.

If you have any questions about the process, the duties or how you can get involved with the Colorado Pro Chapter — whether as a board member or as a volunteer — please contact board president Kara Mason at karalmason@gmail.com.

Open positions

Position: President-elect
Term of office: 1 year; this person automatically becomes president of the chapter in 2018
Duties: The president-elect acts in the absence of the president and works closely with the president to oversee the chapter; learns the workings of the chapter in preparation to become president.

Position: Treasurer
Term of office: 2 years
Duties: The treasurer shall oversee all monies of the chapter and shall disburse funds upon proper authorization of the chapter’s officers; keep records of all receipts, disbursements and balances; report monthly on the financial condition of the chapter to the board.

Position: Members of the board of directors
Term of office: 2 years
4 positions are open
Duties: The board is responsible for the general direction and planning of chapter activities. Board members are required to attend board meetings and participate in the chapter’s professional development and programming efforts. A member of the board may also be appointed to chair one of several committees coordinating the work of the chapter, including membership, communications, programming, ethics and advocacy.