Sentinel staffers win awards

Despite being moved into a new category that includes the two largest newspapers in the state, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel won numerous honors Friday night from the Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters annual awards contest.

Among them were first-place honors for reporter Mike Wiggins in beat reporting for his coverage of city government and graphic artist Robert Garcia for an informational graphic on the city’s roundabouts.

The contest judges said this about Wiggins: “This reporter scratched well below the surface of the news happening on his beat to transform some dry institutional issues into interesting, readable and informative news stories.”

For the first time, the Sentinel was included in a newly created category of daily newspapers with a circulation of more than 30,000. That meant not only did the Sentinel compete against similar-sized papers as the Boulder Daily Camera, but also the much larger Denver Post and Colorado Springs Gazette.

In previous years, those larger news organizations had been in a category of 100,000-plus-circulation newspapers along with the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News, which closed last year.

“We believe that our readers deserve the best journalism, and this just reinforces our belief that we have some of the best journalists out there,” Sentinel Managing Editor Laurena Davis said.

In addition to its first-place awards, the Sentinel claimed second place in four categories: investigative reporting by Gary Harmon; continuing photo coverage by Dean Humphrey; spot news by Harmon, Wiggins, Emily Anderson, Richie Ann Ashcraft, Patrick Bahr and Kent Mincer; and online special package by the Sentinel’s Web team.

The Sentinel also won honorable mention awards for: beat reporting by Harmon; editorial by Bob Silbernagel; online breaking news by the Web team; and spot news story by Harmon, Amy Hamilton and Cassie Hewlings.


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