The Four Corners Free Press received four awards, three of them first place, in the 2020 Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies competition.
The contest is open to all forms of news media in four states – Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – and was for work published or presented in 2019 .
The contest drew a record number of entries. The Minnesota Pro Chapter of SPJ and the Chicago Headliners Club judged all categories, except the four individual honors (which aren’t listed here). They were judged by the SPJ Colorado Board.
“The judges were impressed with the quality of the work,” said Deb Hurley Brobst, a board member for SPJ Colorado Pro who coordinates the contest, in a release.
The Four Corners Free Press competes in the print category for circulation under 10,000. Other competitors in that category included the Durango Herald, Farmington Daily Times, Albuquerque Business First, Jackson Hole News & Guide, Longmont Times Call, St. George News, Southern Ute Drum, Colorado Springs Business Journal, Moab Sun News, and more.
Free Press editor Gail Binkly took first in ag and environment general reporting for an article headlined, “Move over for e-bikes.”
Zak Podmore (who is now a reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune) took first place in politics general reporting for “A seat at the table.”
Carolyn Dunmire of Cahone, Colo., captured first place (for the third year in a row) in arts/entertainment/food criticism for her Four Corners Foodie column.
And David Feela, who has contributed to the Free Press since its inception and has won awards previously, placed third in personal/humorous column writing for three of his columns.