Division Category Place Newspaper Writer(s) Entry Title Judge’s Comments
A Deadline Reporting 1st The Seattle Times Paige Cornwell, Agueda Pacheco-Flores, Christine Clarridge, Evan Bush, Hal Bernton, Dominic Gates, Daniel Beekman, Matt Day Horizon Air worker takes plane from Sea-Tac Airport, crashes on island in south Puget Sound Great story and follow through. Sources were varied and story was told in a compelling way. You can feel the passion in the work. Also, the multimedia inclusion was well done. And dealing with regulations and aircraft mechanics that are not commonly know was handled in a way that allowed other layman to understand.
A Deadline Reporting 2nd The Spokesman-Review Chad Sokol Liberty State supporters raise funds at event after tense ‘silent protest’ by ex-Matt Shea backers Interesting topic that was handled with the kind of objective spot reporting that shows and doesn’t tell. Accompanied by great photo. The only change I would have tried to create would be to push more of the confrontation up in the story, but it would be minor overall.
A Deadline Reporting 3rd The Oregonian Molly Young Hart family death ruling This was tough to read in a good way, it showed a strength of writing in a subject that even the seasoned reporter is struck by. Good flow, structured the facts in a way that answered my questions just as I thought them. Well done.
B Deadline Reporting 1st The Daily Herald Caleb Hutton DNA on a boot leads to arrest in 1972 murder of Jody Loomis A detailed and poignant story written about the arrest of an accused killer 47 years later. Excellent, dramatic and vital reporting for the community who now may rest easier. Well done.
B Deadline Reporting 2nd The Columbian Katie Gillespie B.G. teachers ratify contract Teacher strikes have a huge impact on communities and demand thorough coverage. This article delivers it. Solid work.
B Deadline Reporting 3rd The Columbian Jerzy Shedlock Friends mourn man shot by police Extensive reporting details a mentally ill man’s tragic death and illustrates broader questions about medical care. Kudos.
A & B Debby Lowman Award for Distinguished Reporting of Consumer Affairs 1st The Oregonian Fedor Zarkhin, Lynne Terry False Comfort A superbly researched and presented investigative piece on a topic of wide-spread public interest. This offers everything a family member of a dementia patient should know about dealing with memory care facilities. An extraordinary public service.
A & B Debby Lowman Award for Distinguished Reporting of Consumer Affairs 2nd The Seattle Times Mike Baker Debt collectors that ‘sue, sue, sue’ can squeeze Washington state consumers for more cash This entry was a close second. It is well-written and uses data to tell a compelling story of abuses and the need for legislative remedies. A compelling investigative piece.
A & B Debby Lowman Award for Distinguished Reporting of Consumer Affairs 3rd The Columbian Jessica Prokop Motel 6 deal may aid deported man This story takes a court ruling and brings it to life from the perspective of the featured family. A very sad and emotionally-compelling piece. Well done.
A Distinguished Coverage of Diversity 1st The Seattle Times Nina Shapiro He’s Mexican. She’s American. Deportation forced this Washington state family to make a choice. Reporters made me walk in their shoes. I felt their anguish, their fear, and their pain. What will remain with me, “I don’t have a life in Mexico. I have nothing...my whole life’s here. That’s my world.”
A Distinguished Coverage of Diversity 2nd The Seattle Times Lauren Frohne, Erika Schultz, Corrine Chin, Bettina Hansen Her Story: Our Story Powerful. Intriguing.
A Distinguished Coverage of Diversity 3rd The Seattle Times Dahlia Bazazz, Mohammed Kloub Teacher diversity in Washington state Much too real for all students not just the K-12 system.
A Distinguished Coverage of Diversity 3rd The Columbian (joint project with The Seattle Times) Katie Gillespie Teacher diversity in Washington state Much too real for all students not just the K-12 system.
B Distinguished Coverage of Diversity 1st The Columbian Jessica Prokop, Wyatt Stayner, Jake Thomas Mothers fight for mentally ill Powerful! Emotional, great coverage!
B Distinguished Coverage of Diversity 2nd Yakima Herald-Republic Tammy Ayer The Vanished Great lead. Truthful. Proactive.
B Distinguished Coverage of Diversity 3rd Times-News Bowen West, Gretel Kauffman Treading the waters of gender identity: A major milestone arrives for transgender people in Idaho Informative.
A Enterprise Reporting 1st The Oregonian Noelle Crombie, Dave Killen, Beth Nakamura Ghosts of Highway 20 This is the kind of reporting news organizations need to be doing more regularly. It is obvious resources were dedicated to this twisted tale. The writing of Noelle Crombies is simply outstanding. It captures the essence of how this case went on for years, with many people knowing what really happened, yet either choosing not to do anything or being powerless. The epilogue is an outstanding touch to what was truly a fascinating read. This is a job very well done. The Oregonian executives should be proud of this effort and reward those involved accordingly.
A Enterprise Reporting 2nd The Seattle Times Hal Bernton No return: The final voyage of the Destination Even though "Deadliest Catch" has made crabbing a well-known way of life, this story paints the true picture. The writing of Hal Bernton grabs at your heart and goes beyond the boats and the crabs to the heart of the matter — the people, their emotions and how living this life is both rewarding and dangerous. The in-depth nature of this story makes a great read. Long form journalism is far from dead. This proves that beyond a reasonable doubt. A great entry.
A Enterprise Reporting 3rd The Seattle Times Lynda V. Mapes, Seattle Staff Hostile Waters This series isn’t third place; but those are the rules. The time and effort, as well as funding, spent on this series shows the dedication of the news organization and its reporters. We all know about orcas, but who knew how it all began and what is happening now? Everyone does now, thanks to this outstanding series. A job well done.
B Enterprise Reporting 1st The Columbian Jessica Prokop, Patty Hastings The making of a man of God Absolutely riveting series. Deep, incisive reporting and artful writing. Design, photos and graphics are all exceptional. Stories were supremely balanced. Could this be a miniseries on HBO? Bravo.
B Enterprise Reporting 2nd The Chronicle Carrina Stanton Homeless Among Us Detailed reporting, evocative writing. Frames the homeless issue with key facts, findings — and sensitivity.
B Enterprise Reporting 3rd The Columbian Jessica Prokop Zoom in on the body camera debate; Spokane police see benefits of body cameras A deep, deep dive into a current issue of high importance to an increasing number of communities in the U.S. The pros and cons of police cameras are examined carefully and critically. Writing is excellent. A true community service.
A Feature Writing 1st The Seattle Times Sandi Doughton How Seattle fought the plague of AIDS A beautifully told story with a lot of humanity and human connection in addition to hard news about funding for AIDS research. Facts and figures are woven in alongside stories of people’s suffering, making for a wide-reaching and powerful story.
A Feature Writing 2nd The Seattle Times Larry Stone Summiting ‘Savage Mountain’: The harrowing story of these Washington climbers’ K2 ascent Even though the reader knows how this story will end, there is drama and suspense. The people are developed into complete and complicated characters, willing to revisit with honesty how tough their summit expedition was, and their own flaws. This is a story more about human conflict and connection under stress than about a mountaineering expedition.
A Feature Writing 3rd The Seattle Times Scott Greenstone What an Olympic medalist, homeless in Seattle, wants you to know Documenting one woman’s rise and fall and ongoing struggles, this story uses one person’s story to illustrate a larger challenge and convey how homelessness can affect anyone, even a successful athlete.
B Feature Writing 1st The Columbian Calley Hair We don’t know. Do you? Loved it. First off, if the headline doesn’t catch you nothing will. A feature story with a lot, I mean a lot of investigative work — that’s catchy too. It’s 2019 and I’m judging a story written in Oct. 2018 ... wondering, did the reporter ever find out the ownership (pun) and why it’s been there for more than a decade?
B Feature Writing 2nd The Chronicle Alex Brown Grove of the Matriarchs’: Centuries-Old Trees Thrive Off the Beaten Path in Gifford Pinchot How interesting that the Forest Service employees had no knowledge of the “Grove of Matriarchs” and remarked that it’s something Squires discovered and named it himself. Nice touch adding the anecdote about your pitch to your editor. Very descriptive writing of the flora and terrain. Your narrative is delightful: “I look left and gasp.”, “it feels like being at the bottom of an elevator shaft.”, “a neighborhood that’s been mostly undisturbed for ages.”, “have escaped the Disneyland parade of tourists that gawk at Mount Rainier’s ancients” Perfect photos to represent the scale of the behemoths. I thoroughly enjoyed your writing style and the story. Well done!
B Feature Writing 3rd Grants Pass Daily Courier Scott Stoddard Steak or chicken? Either way, you’ll eat like a trail boss at this Lake County outpost Is it a restaurant review or a feature story? Or both? Either way — the writing and tale of the place got me hooked. Perfect photo of the long stretch of road on the way to get there.
A Investigative Reporting 1st The Oregonian Rob Davis Polluted By Money What a great in-depth series. This is what all investigative reporting should look like. First, the reporter(s) followed the money, then they talked to people who were affected personally by the fallout. This piece definitely shines a light on a huge issue in a state that most outsiders view as a safe, clean, healthy place to live. So much for that utopia.
A Investigative Reporting 2nd The Spokesman-Review Chad Sokol Families reeling after three men hang themselves with bedsheets in Spokane County Jail during past year This was excellent reporting. The personal family stories really tied this together. It illustrates not only the issues the person being jailed faces, but also the issues the family left behind has to deal with, as well as the jail guards. If there’s a will, there’s a way and this story illustrates that in a very personal, tragic way.
A Investigative Reporting 3rd The Oregonian Fedor Zarkhin State fails mentally ill This investigative piece proves it’s all about the Benjamins. I wanted to know how they decide which mentally ill patients get treated. Good investigative reporting.
B Investigative Reporting 1st The Chronicle Alex Brown Timberland Admins Planned Randle Library Closure for Months, Silenced Staff Who Tried to Warn Public This entry was a clear leader in the contest, even though parts 4 and 5 did not show complete stories. Parts 1 and 2 stood out the most, but remaining parts showed good follow through. The coverage was a powerful story about a volatile community issue involving secret plans to close a local library. It was one of the few entries in the field to include real investigation.
B Investigative Reporting 2nd Yakima Herald-Republic Kaitlin Bain Wapato wrongdoing This is a second entry related to the same issue of problems with the city governance structure in Wapato. While I liked the other series a little more overall — possibly because it was more detailed, I rate this one slightly higher because there is evidence that the newspaper brings or is trying to bring new information to the table rather than relying solely on the investigations by sources. Both are excellently written and informative. It is unfortunate that the publication seems to have missed the genesis of the problem when the city council changed the city government style and hired the new city administrator “in the dark of night.”
B Investigative Reporting 3rd The Chronicle Will Rubin East County Bus Service On Track to Continue, Despite Do-or-Die Rhetoric A fact-filled series on who knew what and when when two transit agencies were merged, perhaps unnecessarily. Shows good evidence of bringing in diverging sources to help understand the issue.