Colorado Community Media earns honors in multi-state contest

Reporters picked up three first-place awards in SPJ competition


Colorado Community Media reporters won seven awards, including three first-place honors, in the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2020 Top of the Rockies Contest.

The contest matched papers from Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. Weekly and daily publications were grouped together, based on the size of the newspapers’ circulation, or number of papers distributed. Work entered in the contest was published in 2019.

SPJ is a national organization that advocates for high ethical standards for journalists, promotes journalism education and works to protect First Amendment rights.

The following awards for CCM were announced in mid-April:

Circulation class of 10,000-29,999

First place —Breaking news story: Jessica Gibbs, Alex DeWind, David Gilbert, Ellis Arnold, Nick Puckett, for coverage of the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting

First place — Marijuana general reporting: Jessica Gibbs, for “Family fights medical marijuana policy

Second place — General reporting (series or package): Jessica Gibbs, Alex DeWind, for sustained coverage of the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting

Third place — Feature story (short form): Alex DeWind, for “The perfect son,” about Kendrick Castillo, the student killed in the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting

Third place — Education (general reporting): Jessica Gibbs, for “Public funds for private schools

Circulation class of less than 10,000

First place — Education (enterprise reporting): Ellis Arnold, for “A united voice,” about mental health initiatives in the Cherry Creek School District

Second place — Education (general reporting): Casey Van Divier, for “Jeffco school district's bus driver shortage


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