The East Valley Tribune won a first-place award for staff reporting and newswriting excellence and also took second place for general excellence in its category Saturday at the Arizona Newspapers Association’s Better Newspapers Contest.
Other first-place wins include awards for departmental news and copy writing excellence as well as editorial page excellence.
Reporter Mike Sakal won the first-place award for best column, feature or criticism for his first-person account of a day working as a beer vendor at a Chicago Cubs spring training game in Mesa. Sakal and photojournalist Tim Hacker also took first in the division’s multimedia storytelling category for their piece profiling the courtroom sketch artist in the case of Tucson shooting suspect Jared Loughner.
Education reporter Michelle Reese took third place in best sustained coverage or series for her articles about Tempe school closures. Sports reporter Kyle Odegard also took third for best team, sport or sports beat coverage with his reporting on Gilbert Christian athletics. Former managing editor Bob Romantic was honored with third place for best column, analysis or commentary for the Tribune editorial endorsing Proposition 420 to keep Chicago Cubs spring training in Mesa.
“This year’s ANA awards continues a long tradition of the Tribune being recognized as one of the best newspapers in the Southwest,” said new Tribune publisher Terry Horne. “I’m very proud of this recognition for the Tribune’s editors and reporters. They are among the best in the business.”