Free Press takes 9 awards in regional contest

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The Four Corners Free Press won nine awards in the four-state Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies competition for work done in 2017. Winners were announced at a ceremony on Denver on April 20.

The Free Press swept the Personal/ Humor Column category, with Zach Hively taking first, David Feela second, and editor Gail Binkly third for collections of columns. About Hively’s work, the judge said, “Quirky and hilarious, these columns felt authentic and fresh. The writer’s relatable topics and uniquely funny angles on them made his work a standout.”

Sonja Horoshko took first place for front-page design for “Homeless in Cortez” on the cover of the March 2017 issue. The judge wrote, “Bold graphics in eye-catching design. Reader is told immediately of four dimensions of Homelessness in Cortez.”

Horoshko also placed second in the Business General Reporting category for “Coal-fired furor,” in July, about the renewal of a lease for the Navajo Generating Station power plant in Arizona.

Horoshko also took second in Legal General Reporting for “Dividing Lines” in December, about newly redrawn voting districts in San Juan County, Utah.

Austin Cope took second place in Investigative/Enterprise Reporting for “Under Wraps” in October, an examination of unused exhibit space in a new $2 million visitor center at Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

Binkly placed second in the Environment: General Reporting category for “Too Close for Comfort” in June, an article about Ute Mountain Ute opposition to a renewal of the lease for the White Mesa uranium mill in Utah.

And Carolyn Dunmire took second in A&E and Food Criticism for her Four Corners Foodie column.

The Free Press competes in the category for media outlets with circulation of under 10,000. That includes print, online, radio and TV.

Some other media outlets competing in the same division included the Durango Herald, Deming Headlight, Mountain Independent, Clear Creek Courant, Jackson Hole News and Guide, Colorado Springs Business Journal, Albuquerque Business First, Canyon Courier, Southern Ute Drum, InnovatioNews, Longmont Times-Call, Wyofile and more.

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From May 2018.