First Place: Ryan Kost, The State Press, Arizona State University.
Second Place: Jennifer Girardin, The State Press, Arizona State University.
Third Place: Heather Wells, The State Press, Arizona State University.
Kost took first place for “University’s cooling costs not looking so hot.”
“We really enjoyed reading Ryan’s piece because he showed great tenacity and ingenuity,” the judges wrote. “He wrote a comprehensive article and held university officials’ feet to the fire even when they attacked his research methods. But what’s best is that he impacted policy and exposed a gross waste of public funds. Way to go!”
“NAFTA: debate far from over,” by Girardin won second place.
The judges said they found this article to be “very thoroughly reported and well written. The author took what could have been a dull topic and kept it moving with expressive language and nice details.”
Wells placed third for “Arizona seeks trade south of the border.”
The judges called this piece “solidly reported and nicely written. The reporter also provided enough context so that even those of us who are unfamiliar with Arizona and Mexico’s economies could understand why there is great interest from both sides of the border in solidifying and expanding business ties.”
The category drew 9 entries.
First Place: Megan Irwin and Matthew Ekstrom, The State Press, Arizona State University.
Second Place: Erika Wurst, The State Press, Arizona State University.
Third Place: Amanda Keim, The State Press, Arizona State University.
Irwin took first place for “After the storm.”
The judges said they “liked the article because it provided good details about the lives of the students affected by Hurricane Katrina and provided readers with some idea of what it must have been like to live through such a disaster.
“We also liked the packaging – very eye-catching – and the fact that Megan turned the project around quickly despite the fact that she got little help from university administrators.”
Wurst came in second for “Education, jobs give rise to a Mexican middle class.”
“We enjoyed reading this article because it spotlighted a segment of Mexico’s population that most of us hear very little about,” the judges wrote. “We hear so much about illegal immigrants trying to escape poverty, it’s eye opening to see this other side of life across the border.”
“Common Ground,” by Keim took third place.
The judges said they selected this piece “because it was sensitively written and covered a lot of the emotional angst the subjects went through in coming to terms with their homosexuality and religious beliefs. It also provided some surprising and disturbing details regarding the Catholic Church. Well-executed and nicely written.”
The category drew 12 entries.
First Place: Beth Cochran, The State Press, Arizona State Univerity.
Second Place: Kevin Fixler, Clarion, University of Denver.
Third Place: James Schmehl, The State Press, Arizona State University.
The judges awarded Cochran first place for “Tempe, Cardinals ready to part ways.”
The judges wrote that they “selected this piece because it was nicely written and included lots of history and economic facts. The story also included some surprising details, such as the fact that neither the city nor the university would lose money due to the team’s departure.”
Second Place went to Fixler for “Lady luck strikes twice for Phoenix man on Derby Day.”
“This sports column was a hoot,” the judges wrote. “The series of lucky breaks the subject of the article got were unbelievable and kept us reading until the end. We laughed out loud and found ourselves exclaiming, ‘No way!’ Nice writing.”
Schmehl won third place for “ASU getting strong returns from recruiting investments.”
“The article was thoroughly reported and detailed an aspect of the college sports world that is unfamiliar to many people,” the judges wrote. “The anecdotal lead was also very nice and made it clear, even to sports neophytes, why spending money on recruiting pays off.”
The category drew 12 entries.
The contest was judged by a panel of reporters at The Sun in Baltimore, Md.: Lynn Anderson, general assignment reporter; Stephen Kiehl, popular culture reporter; Melissa Harris, Howard County police and federal workers; Brent Jones, general assignment reporter; Sumathi Reddy, general assignment reporter; Jill Rosen, downtown development reporter.