SPJ Pro Colorado Chapter Seeks Board Nominations

Deb Hurley Brobst. the elections chair for the Colorado Professional Chapter of SPJ, is calling for self-nominations for the five positions up for election on the board in 2022: four directors at-large and the secretary.
 
Board meetings are held monthly. 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 e-mail Deb at deb.hurley.brobst@gmail.com with your name, the position you are interested in, 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. Friday, May 27.

If more than four people indicate their interest in serving on the board of directors or if two or more people indicate their interest in serving as secretary, election information will be e-mailed to all members of Colorado Pro on Wednesday, June 1, and members will have until 5 p.m. June 4 to cast their ballot. If there are no contested elections, I will declare those who have self-nominated to be new members of the board.
 
If you have any questions about the process, the duties or how you can get involved with Colorado Pro — whether as a board member or as a volunteer — please contact Deb at 303-601-8098 or at deb.hurley.brobst@gmail.com.

Position: Secretary
Term of office:
2 years
Duties: The secretary maintains a log including meeting dates, meeting minutes, pertinent business transacted; maintains an up-to-date roster of all members with notation of their status regarding local and national dues; sends out meeting notices and other communications as directed by the president or as required by the national Society.
 
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 programming.

Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter announce Top of the Rockies Award Recipients

The 2022 Top of the Rockies journalism contest awards were announced at a reception April 9 at the Denver Press Club.

Seventy-five media outlets plus a dozen freelancers from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico entered this year’s contest, submitting 1,507 entries, an increase of 15% over the 2021 contest. The contest is sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists’ professional chapters in the four states and is administered by the Colorado Pro chapter.

“Top of the Rockies showcases the best in journalism from 2021, and it is evident that journalists in the four-state region are doing excellent work,” said Deb Hurley Brobst, the contest coordinator. “Every year, I am thrilled at the strong news reporting, feature writing, photography and design that is taking place in cities of all sizes in our region.”

The full list of winners can be viewed below.

Society of Professional Journalists Announce Mark of Excellence Award Winners

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) have announced the winners of the Mark of Excellence Region 9 awards. Region 9 comprises Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

MOE Awards entries are judged by professionals with at least three years of journalism experience. Judges were directed to choose entries they felt were among the best in student journalism. If no entry rose to the level of excellence, no award was given. Any category not listed has no winner.

School divisions are based on student enrollment, including both graduate and undergraduate: Large schools have at least 10,000 students and small schools have 9,999 or fewer students.

Certificates will be mailed next week to schools.

Newspapers

Breaking News Reporting:

Winner: Decker Westenburg; The Daily Universe; Brigham Young University “Former BYU professor charged with sexually abusing a student pleads not guilty”
Finalist: Kayleigh Silverstein, Jack O’Leary; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “22 Forever: U campus community gathers at candlelight vigil to honor student-athlete Aaron Lowe”
Finalist: Ernesto Cisneros, Luis Rios and Hannah Zamora; The Round Up; New Mexico State University: “Resident assistants raise concerns about pay and working conditions”

General News Reporting:

Winner: Cassidy Wixom; The Daily Universe; Brigham Young University; “BYU, Utah women find healing amid high rates of sexual assault”
Finalist: Noelle Mason; Rocky Mountain Collegian; Colorado State University: “Reflecting on research: A year of COVID-19 at CSU”
Finalist: Cinthia Cortez; The Mirror; University of Northern Colorado: “UNC students, community members experience difficulties at University Flats”

InDepth Reporting:

Winner: Cassidy Wixom; The Daily Universe; Brigham Young University: “Vatican pronouncement highlights clash between gay marriage and religious freedom”
Finalist: Sarah Earnshaw; The Signpost; Weber State University: “Mine of local legend sealed”
Finalist: Abhilasha Khatri and Haley Utendorfer; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Native American Heritage Month: Recognizing history and moving forward”

Feature Writing:

Winner: Drew Reynolds; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Land art, vandalism and Utah’s natural environment”
Finalist: Emily White; The Utah Statesman; Utah State University: “Undetected light”
Finalist: Rachel Lorenz; Albuquerque Journal Metropolitan State University of Denver: “Back to the Fairgrounds: After a year away, NM State Fair vendors are optimistic despite challenges”

Sports Column Writing:

Winner: Jackson Payne; The Daily Universe; Brigham Young University: Sports columns

Sports Writing:

Winner: Joseph Hovey; The Daily Universe; Brigham Young University: “A bond and brotherhood: How 7 returned missionaries are thriving with Stanford football”

Editorial Writing:

Winner: Editorial Board; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Campus police, college tuition, divestment”
Finalist: Aya Hibben: The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Women’s safety, the Gabby Petito case, Olympic athletes”
Finalist: KC Ellen Cushman; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Nonviolent offenders, plea deals, junk science”

General Column Writing:

Winner: Megan Cowdell; The Utah Statesman; Utah State University: “Tackling student, local and national issues”
Finalist: Sydney Kincart; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Kincart on MMIW, Deznat and the LDS church”
Finalist: KC Ellen Cushman; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah; “Cushman on domestic violence, tax rhetoric, stereotypes about sex”

Arts/Fashion Journalism:

Winner: Lee Kedem; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah; “Met Gala 2021 a fashion spectacle but at the expense of safety?”
Finalist: Paige Gardner; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Examining environmental traditions through maize with artist Jorge Rojas”
Finalist: Rachel Lorenz; The Denver North Star; Metropolitan State University of Denver: ‘North Denver theaters “Keep The Arts Alive”‘

Cultural Criticism:

Winner: Megan Fisher and Luke Jackson; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Film and television critiques”
Finalist: Emma Feuz; A-TV News; Utah State University: “Diwali Unites”
Finalist: Paige Gardner, Tervela Georgieva, India Bown and Hannah Keating; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: Performing arts critiques

Food/Restaurant Journalism:

Winner: Tri Duong; CTV: Collegian Television; Colorado State University; “Yum Yum’s Lebanese restaurant is a Fort Collins institution”
Finalist: Hattie Williams and Zeya Highley; CTV: Collegian Television; Colorado State University: “CTV Cooks: Burger battle”

Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper:

Winner: Staff; The Signpost; Weber State University
Finalist: Staff; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah
Finalist: Staff; Rocky Mountain Collegian; Colorado State University 

Magazine

Best Student Magazine:

Winner: Staff; The Bold Magazine; University of Colorado Boulder
Finalist: Staff; The Daily Universe; Brigham Young University
Finalist: Jenna Duke; Talon Magazine; Community College of Denver

Online

Best Independent Online Student Publication:

Winner: Staff; Arapahoe Pinnacle; Arapahoe Community College

Arts and Graphics

Breaking News Photography:

Winner: Jack Gambassi; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah” “22 Forever: U campus community gathers at candlelight vigil to honor student-athlete Aaron Lowe”
Finalist: Sarah Earnshaw; The Signpost; Weber State University: “Inauguration Day stays quiet”
Finalist: Grayson Reed; Rocky Mountain Collegian; Colorado State University: “Contention captured: Preachers on the plaza”

General News Photography:

Winner: Devin Cornelius; Rocky Mountain Collegian; Colorado State University: “Colorado Air Show”
Finalist: Gwen Christopherson; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Utah’s fossil fuel industry: Is divestment possible?”
Finalist: Brooklyn Kilgore; The Signpost; Weber State University: “COVID testing”

Feature Photography:

Winner: Tri Duong; Rocky Mountain Collegian; Colorado State University: “Excited for the show”
Finalist: Brooklyn Critchley; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Buening: protect our pollinators”
Finalist: Molly Thomas; Talon Magazine; Community College of Denver: “Bring a good camera and wear the right shoes: lessons From a protest”

Sports Photography:

Winner: Milo Gladstein; Rocky Mountain Collegian; Colorado State University: “Logging”
Finalist: Jack Gambassi; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Utah Men’s swim and dive falls to No. 2 California in hard fought dual meet”
Finalist: Dallin Wilks; The Daily Universe; Brigham Young University: “Victory touchdown”

Photo Illustration:

Winner: Sydney Stam; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “The Chrony sports desk’s favorite athletes of all time”
Finalist: Skyler Pradhan; Rocky Mountain Collegian; Colorado State University: “Water bottle”
Finalist: Cyan Larson; The Daily Utah Chronicle; University of Utah: “Kincart: Another blow to the Voting Rights Act should spark worry”

Videography

Broadcast/Online News Videography

Winner: William Bultez; A-TV News; Utah State University: “Veterans vigil”
Finalist: Natalie Devereaux; CTV: Collegian Television; Colorado State University: “Family-owned businesses struggle with shortages”
Finalist: Kenneth Frederick; CTV: Collegian Television; Colorado State University: “Houska blood drive”

Broadcast/Online Feature Videography

Winner: Robbie Patla; CTV: Collegian Television; Colorado State University: “CSU bug zoo”
Finalist: Tom Isaacson; CTV: Collegian Television; Colorado State University: “All Sales Vinyl”
Finalist: Ren Wadsworth; CTV: Collegian Television; Colorado State University: “Cam the Ram”

Broadcast/Online Sports Videography:

Winner: Ashley Pasley; The Daily Universe; Brigham Young University: “From Santiago to Tokyo: A BYU swimmer’s journey to the Olympics”
Finalist: Sarah Murphy; A-TV News; Utah State University: “Trash car racing”

Podcast:

Winner: Staff; The Revolution, Rev 89; Colorado State University: “Pueblo Talking on La Frontera”
Finalist: Staff; The Revolution, Rev 89; Colorado State University: “Pueblo Bulls Ice”

Television

Television Breaking News Reporting:

Winner: Staff; A-TV News Utah State University: “October storm hits Logan”

Television General News Reporting:

Winner: Natalie Schiller; DU Media; University of Denver: “Sexual assault rates on college campuses higher than you might think”
Finalist: Joe Belnap; Universe Live; Brigham Young University: “Distracted driving dangers plague Provo”
Finalist: Sam Walker; A-TV News; Utah State University: “Spider goats”

Television Feature Reporting:

Finalist: Linneya Gardner, Haley Birt; DU Media; University of Denver: “Artist Santiago Jaramillo connects community and heritage”
Finalist: Linneya Gardner; DU Media; University of Denver: “Photography professor finds personal connection with 1917 family album”
Finalist: Sarah Murphy; A-TV News; Utah State University: “Sarah says thanks”

Television In-Depth Reporting:

Winner: Jonathan May; A-TV News; Utah State University: “Biden riles Catholics”
Finalist: Carly Wasserlein; Universe Live; Brigham Young University: “Provo moves to more sustainable power practices”
Finalist: Ally Arnold O’Rullian; Universe Live; Brigham Young University: “Campus safety: Testing campus resources”

Television Sports Reporting:

Winner: Sarah Murphy; A-TV News; Utah State University: “Trash car racing”
Finalist: Emma Feuz; A-TV News; Utah State University: “NBA coach retires”

Best All-Around Television News Magazine:

Winner: Staff, A-TV News; Utah State University: “Cache Rendezvous”

Best All-Around Television Newscast:

Finalist: Universe Live Staff; Universe Live; Brigham Young University

SPJ Colorado Pro announces conference lineup

The Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter is pleased to announce the lineup for the spring 2022 Region 9 conference, “Face to Face: Local Journalism in a Virtual World,” April 8-9 at the Auraria Higher Education Campus in Denver.

The two-day conference will feature 30+ journalists and experts from across the region.

Sessions include: Freelancing 101, Resume Workshop, Podcasting + Local News, Social Media Reporting + Shameless Self-Promotion, Solutions Journalism, Mental Health in Journalism, How to Get a Journalism Job, Government by Zoom, Diversity in Newsrooms & Sources, Investigative Journalism 101, How They Got the Story and A Half-Century in Photos.

Virtual tickets are $50 and will include livestream access to all sessions. In-person tickets are $75 and include light refreshments, a swag bag and entry to the Top of the Rockies awards reception at the Denver Press Club on Saturday night.

Student registration is free.

More information is available on Eventbrite. Please send questions to SPJColorado@gmail.com.

SPJ Colorado Pro stands with Regis Jesuit High School student journalists

The Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter and Colorado Student Media Association strongly condemn the firing of two Regis Jesuit High School journalism advisers and the censorship of student journalists over an opinion column published in the now-retracted winter edition of the student magazine. 

In the column, students followed the abiding standards of responsible journalism to argue in favor of keeping abortion legal in the United States.

Spurring this debate, in a publication affiliated with the Catholic Church no less, is well within the spirit of the Society of Professional Journalists’ preamble. We believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. 

The retaliation Regis Jesuit students and teachers were subjected to by school administrators is a chilling example of what happens when those in positions of power fundamentally misunderstand the importance of free speech and a free press, both of which are enshrined in our country’s First Amendment alongside freedom of religion.

While we recognize there is little legal protection or recourse for student journalists at a private institution, the retaliatory actions and censorship by Regis Jesuit High School administration are  unacceptable and contradict a fundamental principle of both faith and journalism: the pursuit of truth. 

We stand in support of Regis Jesuit High School’s student journalists and call on school administrators to establish a policy that ensures student journalists can seek truth and report it without interference, censorship or fear of retaliation.