Alaska Press Club Awards for work produced in 2020
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DivisionCategory JudgeFirst Place OrganizationFirst Place Entry TitleFirst Place CommentsFirst Place CreditsSecond Place OrganizationSecond Place Entry TitleSecond Place CommentsSecond Place CreditsThird Place OrganizationThird Place Entry TitleThird Place CommentsThird Place CreditsOverall Competition Comments
All MediaBest Travel ReportingJenelle ShrinerAlaska's News SourceA buggy, boggy, brilliant hike to Tolovana Hot SpringsReally enjoyed watching this piece. Love that you captured the sights, the sounds, (and the BUGS) of this journey. I've never wanted to walk 10 miles more in my life. Patrick Enslow, Charlie Sokaitis, Taylor Clark, Taylar Perez, Cheyenne MathewsKTOO Public MediaCruise Town, Season 2, Ep. 3: UncruiseGreat idea, interesting content, really enjoyed listening!Jennifer PembertonAlaska's News SourceHitting Alaska's "Haul Road"Beth Verge, Sean Maguire
All MediaBest News PhotoStephanie MullenAnchorage Daily NewsAmanda's Funeral Painful image. Conveys the horror of loss so clearly. Emily MesnerAnchorage Press'Your Voice Matters' rallyO'Hara ShipeAnchorage Daily NewsMid-air crashLoren Holmes
TelevisionBest FeatureJoan Cartan-HansenAlaska's News Sourcee-SkateThe first place entry was very well done. It had strong writing, good videography and a sense of humor. Good job!Samie Solina, Mike NederbrockNo WinnerNo winnerNo winnerAlaska's News SourceAlaska's MermaidTaylor ClarkThe first place entry was very well done. It had strong writing, good videography and a sense of humor. Good job!
All MediaBest Sports Photo Stephanie MullenAnchorage Daily NewsSki raceLove the intensity in this one. Loren HolmesWrangell SentinelWolves host Haines for last home games of the seasonCaleb VierkantNo Winner
All MediaBest Scenic Photo Stephanie MullenAlaska MagazineIcy PaddleStunning image. This sums up Alaska beauty and the colors are amazing. Sean NeilsonKetchikan Daily NewsSNOWY SUMMITMan, Alaska is beautiful!Dustin SafranekPetersburg PilotBald eagle and Petersburg MountainJohn Havrilek
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Long FeatureMichael RoehrmanEdible Alaska Snout to TableThe reporter takes readers on a heartfelt yet unsentimental journey - showing them a process many may not have experienced themselves. It fulfills one of journalism's missions to take readers places they may never be and does so in a compelling way.Jennifer Nu, Sarah LewisAnchorage Daily NewsSo negative, yet so positive: At nearly 40 below zero, Fairbanks knows how to chillWhat could have been a rote weather story is elevated by the breadth of residents interviewed and experiences chronicled - all punctuated with beautiful photography that enriched the reading experience. Marc LesterChilkat Valley NewsThe Crowes' crow answers to Kevin, enjoys beach walksA charming story dotted with telling details.Kyle Clayton
RadioBest Reporting on Government or PoliticsPaul FlahiveKCAW Radio (Sitka)Tongass 'Roadless Rule' exemption leaves subsistence users feeling left behindThe story raises good questions about the impact of policy changes in the Tongass and the overwhelming unpopularity of such a move by outsiders. Erin McKinstryAlaska Public MediaWhat are the city's plans after controversial building purchases in Anchorage? Here's what we know.A thorough explainer of municipal plans to increases services to the homeless and how those plans face widespread disapproval by some living near by. Kavitha GeorgeKRBD (CoastAlaska)GOP House hopeful Leslie Becker gets rocky reception during Metlakatla campaign stopGood use of sound, brings the listener into a contentious moment in a campaign. Eric Stone
TelevisionBest Reporting on the COVID-19 PandemicJoan Cartan-HansenAlaska's News SourceSwim club gets creative against COVID-19Nice way to look at a community's reaction to dealing with COVIDBeth VergeAlaska's News SourceDoctors, nurses among first Alaskans to receive Covid-19 vaccineDaniella Rivera, Mike Nederbrock, Eric SowlNo Winner
RadioBest Audio Program or PodcastBob Collinswww.outherepodcast.comOut Here Podcast Season 2: Farming in a Changing WildernessWhat was special about this entry was EFFORT. The degree of writing, the storytelling, the interviews, the photography were top notch. It was succinct and didn't waste any time in effectively telling the story. A great pleasure to listen to it.Erin McKinstry49 Writers Active Voice PodcastVered Mares, Writers Block Bookstore and Cafe'Outstanding topics and fine interviewing techniques. Katie BauslerCrude MagazineCrude ConversationsAmong the best entrants in terms of tackling topics headon. Terrific writing.Cody Liska
All MediaBest Solo JournalismPaul KeaneAlaska's News SourceEric Sowl: Solo JournalistEric SowlAlaska Public MediaThe sweeping impacts of COVID-19 from feeding children to nursing homesTegan HanlonAlaska's News SourceBeth VergeBeth Verge, MMJNicely done by everyone. Eric Sowl really brought home the human element in his reports.
TelevisionBest NewscastPaul KeaneAlaska's News SourceDecision 2020: Election night in AlaskaMike Ross, Rebecca Palsha, Taylar Perez, Tracy SaboAlaska's News SourceThe Morning Edition: Thanksgiving EditionAriane Aramburo, Charlie Sokaitis, Howie Gordon, Austin Sjong, Mike Nederbrock, Taylar Clark, Tracy SinclareAlaska's News SourceThe Channel 2 NewsHour: Covering Alaska Coast to CoastElinor Baty, Channel 2 News StaffElections are always tough to cover because it is a pure, unscripted live event. You can prepare all you want, but there is always something that's going to throw a curve at you. It was nicely done coverage, especially of a tricky election on the national scene.
All MediaBest Investigative ReportingCheryl ThompsonAnchorage Daily NewsAlaska's attorney general sent hundreds of 'uncomfortable' texts to a female colleagueThis series is what investigative reporting is all about: holding the powerful to account. By revealing that the attorney general sent hundreds of inappropriate text messages to a junior state employee, it forced the AG to resign. Bravo.Kyle HopkinsKYUKLKSD Said It Was Blindsided By Principal's Arrest. Except He'd Been Investigated Twice Before.Really good in-depth reporting. This troubling pattern of sex abuse by a principal was an eye opener--particularly since he had been investigated twice before and nothing happened. I also thought putting into context how widespread sex abuse is in the state was smart. Well done. Greg Kim, Kyle HopkinsAnchorage Daily News43 people have been killed by Alaska law enforcement officers in the last 5 1/2 years. Here's what we learned by examining each case. (Two stories)I love a good police shooting investigation. This one painted a troubling picture, including that the officers involved in fatal shootings were rarely--if ever-- prosecuted. Michelle Theriault BootsThese investigations each had their strengths, but the top three I chose really stood out: a public official whose job it is to prosecute wrongdoing was himself caught doing something untoward; a popular principal had been investigated twice for sexually abusing students and nothing happened; and an examination into police shootings in Alaska paints a troubling picture.
All MediaBest Breaking News or Same-Day FeatureCorey FlintoffAlaska's News Source"I forgive you"The story stood out because of its structure, which combined video from the 2017 crime and indictment, court-room scenes and an interview with the victim. The result was clear, effective and moving storytelling. Daniella Rivera, Rachel McPherronKTOO Public Media'Half-melted boots and buckets': Juneau campers fight wildfire until help arrivesThis story used the compelling image of half-melted boots to convey the danger to campers fighting a wild fire. It made good use of an interview with one of the participants. The writing and delivery were excellent. Rashah McChesneyKTVA TV (Anchorage)Saving Cool CatThis piece from the Iditarod was beautifully shot and edited. The reporter captured an emotional moment on the part of the musher, and wisely let it play out in real time. The reporter's writing and delivery were sympathetic but restrained. Heather Hintze, Daniella RiveraI was dubious about reviewing TV, Radio and print entries in the same category, but I find that each medium can stand on its own. Two print obituaries in this group were quite strong. Two feel-good TV features stood out because they were so well shot and edited. A radio piece about an NTSB report, potentially very dry material, was presented with remarkable interest and clarity. I chose the three top stories on the basis of effective storytelling, accomplished within the very short timeline that makes journalism exciting.
RadioBest Single Story ReportingBob CollinsAnchorage Daily NewsSpecial Report: Anchorage Faces a Homelessness Crisis and It May Be Getting WorseIt's hard not to be entirely hopeless after reading a report with such breadth, detail, and imagery. It is an easy winner in this category.Paula DobbynKYUKA String Of Attacks Leaves Dozens Of Bethel Chickens DeadI just loved the "it was a massacre" intro cut. The reference to "the chicken community" made me chuckle, although I don't think it was supposed to. The story kept moving forward . A few minutes in, we find out who the criminal is. Then we are tantalized through their capture with very colorful writing. Good and general use of sound which were all limited to brief sentences.

Look, this may not be what people consider an earth shattering story, but THIS is how you tell a story and keep an audience listening and engaged with the story being told.
Greg KimKSTK (CoastAlaska)For Union Bay sinking survivor, losing everything but his life has been 'sort of liberating'A very masterful job of writing and storytelling by the reporter, who guided the participants -- first the helicopter rescue crew, then the boater -- through their stories . Very good use of sound. The story kept moving forward and every time I had a question about the situation, the reporter had the angle.

I particularly liked the audio cut near the end where the guy says, "guess I won't be doing that anymore" and kind of chuckles a bit. If I had one minor edit, it would've been that I would've ended the story there. But it's just as well I wasn't the editor because it ended in a more productive way.
Sage SmileyI think in about five years of judging this contest, this category was the most competitive and quality-filled category top to bottom. I would think there would be more entries in a category like this.
RadioBest Sports Reporting (Radio)Tom GoldmanKHNSSkagway hosts 34th annual Buckwheat International Ski ClassicGreat story. A fun topic told well with sound. Henry's writing and delivery are spare, but they work. It helps that he injects humor as well. He packed a lot into 3 or so minutes. and a nice slice of Alaska.Henry LeasiaKYUKChefornak Boys And Girls Both Win LKSD District Basketball Championship To Go To StateThis was straight game reporting, but Greg did it well and used sound effectively. It was great to hear native voices. I got a strong sense of what H.S. bball means in small town Alaska...and it means a lot!Greg KimKUAC Radio, Fairbanks02-08-20 Yukon Quest Updatethis was a good telling of a scary story. Lex did a very nice job of taking the listener along on the mystery. Some of the tape was unintelligible but I got the point. Remember to get your mic as close as you can!Lex Treinen, Dan Bross
All MediaBest Food ReportingGretchen McKayAnchorage Press Alaska's food security and Covid-19: The Last Frontier's long history with natural and human-caused disasters Terrific reporting, engaging prose that ties it all together in an interesting and informative way. Good job.John CreedEdible Alaska Growing into the NeighborhoodA thoughtful piece about an important subject, with great reporting. Addie StudebakerAlaska's News SourceCombating Covid negativity, one food review at a timeA fun slice of life. Taylor Clark
Print-SmallBest Short FeatureJustin HinkleyAK Leaf MagazineOnion Down a DreamFrom the opening lines, I know the character and his environment in just a few well-written lines, and it makes the turn of his fate all the more exciting to read. Great, great writing.O'Hara ShipeAnchorage Daily NewsShe brings more than just the mail': West Anchorage residents say goodbye to longtime mail carrier Morgan Krakow takes us on a walk with this retiring postal carrier, introducing us to the family she's developed on her route and telling us so much about the carrier by letting us see her through the eyes of those who love her.Morgan KrakowAlaska HomeArtist Profile: Romney DoddA great feature bookended by charming turns of phrase. Amy NewmanGreat writing all around made this one of the most difficult contests I've ever been asked to judge. Alaska should be proud of the great storytellers she's produced.
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Magazine FeatureMichael TaylorAlaska MagazineEpic Love: Adventures in outdoor wedding photographyAmazing images and a writer who knows how to interview for surprising narrative combine to make this an a wonderful feature.Kaylene Johnson-SullivanAlaska Business MonthlyTaking a StandAn important and difficult topic, thoroughly researched and on target for the audience, made this story rise slightly above others in the competition.Vanessa OrrAOPA Pilot MagazineWitness to Change~Aviation's Role to Documenting Climate Change in AlaskaWhile the introduction was a little slow, the pace picks up with a series excellent pilot interviews, on a topic important and familiar to Alaskans. The photos complement the story well.Katie WriterAll features submitted this year were thoroughly professional, with good quotes, excellent research, and writing that pulled readers along. It was tougher than in past years to pick the winners, because all were worthy of recognition. The winner, "Epic Love," edged out the others because it was such an usual story, and the photos and writing were wonderfully intertwined to create a complete feature package.
RadioBest Sound-Rich FeatureCorey FlintoffKSTK (CoastAlaska)Wrangell's boat parade floats on despite the stormThis short piece held a lot of interest with a variety of well-recorded sound and strong writing. The reporter made skillful use of sound for audio punctuation and transitions. Sage SmileyKYUKIn Mertarvik And Newtok, Nothing Gets In The Way Of BasketballThis piece used the sound of two makeshift basketball surfaces to tell a story of a community that's in the process of relocating. One young player waxes lyrical about his love for the home-made court.Greg KimAlaska Public Media'No justice, no peace!': Thousands demonstrate in Southcentral against racism and police killingsThis piece used sound to convey the tensions but good intentions surrounding a Black Lives Matter protest in Palmer. Ends on a moving note of protestors singing.Lex TreinenThis year's winning entries were generally short, but they combined a good variety of sound with stories that had emotional resonance. The reporters used very particularized ambient sound to take the listener to unique environments.
TelevisionBest Specialty News ProgramJenelle ShrinerAlaska's News SourceOne Alaska: Out FutureRebecca Palsha, Lori Townsend, Tracy Sinclare, Charlie Sokaitis, Eric SowlAlaska's News SourceSeeking JusticeTracy Sinclare, Rebecca Palsha, Daniella Rivera, Eric Sowl, Colin Lamar, Jeff DowdAlaska's News SourceRoad Trippin': A Summer to OurselvesElinor Baty, Rebecca Palsha, KTUU Staff
All MediaBest Social Media PresenceJenelle ShrinerAlaska's News SourceAlaska's News SourceElizabeth Roman, Gilbert Cordova, Cheyenne Mathews, Malia Batro, News StaffEdible Alaska @EdibleAlaskaAmy O'Neill Houck, Jeremy PatakyCordova TimesThe Cordova Times Facebook pageZachary Snowdon Smith, Vivian Kennedy, Annette Potter, Margaret Bauman
RadioVern McCorkle Award for Best Business ReportingTom BanseKHNSCOVID-19 almost sank the Haines bookstore. A local author's national fans saved sales.Good opening scene. Powerful personal story. Uplifting and surprising tale that offered more emotional punch than all the other category entries.Claire StrempleKCAW Radio (Sitka)In a down market, Alaska fishermen avert disaster by feeding families in needHigh quality sound recording combined with a good topic and clear writing put this entry in top 3. Broad range of sourcing was noticeable, too.Erin McKinstryKTOO Public MediaWhy does a barrel of Alaska oil cost less than a pizza…and a cheap six-pack?Good writing and very good delivery of narration. This piece hewed closest to the Planet Money benchmark for creative business reporting.Rashah McChesneyIt was a pleasure to hear good business reporting from almost every corner of the Alaska public radio system.
All MediaBest Alaska History ReportingTom CondonAlaska's News SourceThe fight to preserve a piece of Alaska's historyNot every old building is historic, and telling the difference can be a challenge, as can saving them. This piece nicely illustrates the challenges inherent in historic preservation. Taylor ClarkKTOO Public MediaWhat Alaskans learned from 'the mother of all pandemics'Taut and timely telling of the devastation of the 1918 flu epidemic in Alaska. Lets the facts carry the story. Pablo Arauz PeñaEdible Alaska Basic & Primal | Remembering the Food, Drink, and Revelry of Eastchester FlatsNicely evokes a lost era, a story of race and place. Could have used more context - this happened to Black neighborhoods in the lower 48 as well -- but still a good story. Ian Hartman, Frederick JohnsonI thought a couple of stories belonged in other categories, and a couple needed a bit more editing (which may be a commentary on the state of the media industry) . But they were all fun to read.
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Sports or Outdoors ColumnMichael TaylorHomer NewsReeling 'Em In: Skill level of some fish filleter is surreal; Silver action is picking up in Anchor River; Nick offers tip for catching those cohosGood writing about fishing echoes good fishermen with wry critiques based on experience, understated but spot-on description, and occasional surprising comparisons that make you bark with laughter.Nick VarneySkagway NewsFish ThisExcellent use of dialog and good description add to the story-telling feel of this readable column.Andrew CremataHomer NewsOut of the Office: Trails that wind, hearts that find; There and back again; and Out of your bubbleA very relatable column that celebrated both the joys and blisters of hiking in Alaska.Megan PacerAll of the columns were personable and well thought-out. Unfortunately, some very good entries were discounted because they had not included the required three columns per author; this is not a best essay category, but rather it recognizes a columnist who can produce continually good pieces. The winners did that with all three examples of their work.
Television,Radio,Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Arts ReportingEmily MieureKHNSKlukwan weaver receives national honorClaire's writing and use of sound made me feel like I was in the weaving room with Lani. No detail was too small and the way Claire used the river outside the window in relation to the art in the beginning, throughout and end of her reporting was clever. Her narrative about Lani's mother and grandmother's hands was emotional and thoughtful. A clear first place winner. Well done.Claire StrempleAnchorage PressAccidental SavantMatt's writing draws you in from the beginning. It's a clever lede with a conversational narrative throughout.
I don't see bylines on the photos, so I assume they're provided, but I think the piece could have benefited from original photography.
Matt HickmanKTVA TV (Anchorage)Frontiers: Carving Out the StoryThis was a beautiful feature about Joe and it really highlighted his art. The close ups of his carving was satisfying and I liked the use of music at the beginning and end.
Sometimes Joe was hard to understand, and I think the piece could have benefited from subtitles in some places.
Rhonda McBride, Will Mader
TelevisionVern McCorkle Award for Best Business ReportingDeborah HorneKTVA TV (Anchorage)Frontiers: McCarthy offers unique pairing of nature and historySo beautifully done! Wonderful job by the photographer. Nice job all around.Heather HintzeAlaska's News SourceNot my bill: The meter mix-upGood get getting an aggrieved person. That made the story work. Good job!Jill Burke, Eric Sowl, Kim DaehnkeAlaska's News SourcePandemic triggers Anchorage cargo business boomNicely shot. Very good information. Beth Verge, MMJ
TelevisionBest Reporting on Government or PoliticsDeborah HorneAlaska's News SourceAlaska's governor stays silent on scandalVery nice job. Every angle was explored. Showed persistent work by news crew. Bravo!Daniella Rivera, Rachel McPherron, Colin LamarNo WinnerNo WinnerFrontiers: Census was a wonderfully done show. But it seemed to be in the wrong category. It is not a single story - as i define it. It is a show on a single topic. It feels unfair to compare this to the other story in this competition. So while I rated it highly, I did not place it in the winning column.
Print-Small,Print-LargeVern McCorkle Award for Best Business ReportingBrian McCroneArctic TodayA simmering Aleutian volcano could provide the breakthrough geothermal energy project Alaska has been waiting forReally well-written. Captivated throughout on a timely subject that takes renewable energy and goes somewhere unexpected. Wish all the photos were Arctic Today's's own. Embed me some video of these hot springs or the volcano and it's even better. Yereth RosenAlaska CannabistRural Alaska dispensaries face some high hurdles to successLacks a nutgraph. Has good sources throughout. Gets deep into the issue: what makes it difficult for these businesses and why.Julie StrickerAnchorage Daily NewsIn downtown Anchorage, a longtime family restaurant clings to hopeWell-told tale, using a safe storyline and familiar characters.Emily GoodykoontzTough call after the first-place choice. Some near misses (blockchain / cruise ships / salmon) were close to top three.
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Public Safety ReportingBrian McCroneAnchorage Daily NewsAs warden, he tried to radically change the culture of Alaska's maximum-security prison. It led to his exit.This story is The Godfather 2 of Alaska crime/courts stories of recent years. As a sequel to the important 2018 profile of Bill Lapinskas, it rivals the original in breadth and substance. Together, the two stories are must-reads for Alaskans who care about thoughtful government. Hopefully, Gov. Dunleavy reads the two pieces together.Michelle Theriault BootsChilkat Valley NewsFloods, slides pummel Haines, rebuilding beginsLots of good reporting here. Wish it was a bit more cohesive at the top. Important story well-covered, but reads like breaking news writing.Kyle Clayton Skagway NewsKlondike Highway closed after fuel spill"A German hitchhiker was found trudging through his 10th mile of snow when Crampton decided to set him up with some of her friends for the night." This is the third to last graph of the story. It should've been the lead. This story has wonderful details at the end. Should've flipped it around when writing it.Aly DeAngelus
Print-LargeBest ProfileMichelle MaxwellPeninsula Clarion'Time to be a beginner again'The profile really gave the reader a sense of Holt's personality, his work, and how his accomplishments impacted and benefited the community. Good use of sourcing and story structure.Jeff HelminiakAnchorage Daily NewsA graffiti artist and Army soldier is making his mark on Anchorage streets and JBER halls The surprises throughout the story about this man's journey really made it an interesting and thoughtful read. Clear writing, good story structure.Marc LesterPeninsula Clarion solid, well-sourced appreciation really let the reader understand his accomplished life. Especially appreciated the honest and raw comments from the wife, which added some imperfection/humanity to the telling of his life.Jeff Helminiak
All MediaBest Illustration or GraphicMike CampbellEdible Alaska All About JuniperKristin LinkFairbanks Daily News-Miner"Nuggets: Yukon Traffic Jam - Eagle, AK (circa 1900)"Jamie SmithFairbanks Daily News-Miner"Nuggets: Hibernate With A Good Book"Jamie Smith
All MediaBest Media WebsiteMike CampbellAlaska Business Monthlywww.akbizmag.comGreat, clean design. Easy to navigate.Tasha AndersonKTOO Public MediaKTOO.orgWell designed for the great amount of content presented. Great categorization of stories on the homepage. KTOO NewsAnchorage Daily Newsadn.comStaff
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Culture ReportingChristina MyerEdible Alaska Delicious RepresentationThought provoking on multiple levels. Makes the reader think about their relationship with their own culture's traditional foods ... AND want to try herring eggs.Vera Starbard (Tlingit/Dena'ina) Capital City WeeklyPlanet Alaska: Winter Medicine Makes the reader feel as though they are on the hunt for medicinal elements with Vivian, and wish she could be around the corner when the next sniffle strikes.Vivian Mork Yeilk'Edible Alaska Camels to Salmon: a journey in food from Somalia to AlaskaA wonderful look at how such a defining element as food is incorporated into the life of someone who has been part of many cultures. Fascinating.S. Hollis Mickey
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Page Layout & DesignBrian McCroneAnchorage Daily News'Unheard'Powerful collection of images, showing breadth of reporting. Very well organized. Kevin Powell, Anne Raup, David HulenCordova TimesThe Cordova TimesVery active image in what feels like perfect space for it. Really like how headline comes from the wake.Annette PotterKetchikan Daily NewsRobert Rice Page Layout: Nov. 25, 2020Neatly packed front page. Lots of news but not overwhelming. Nice graphic. Like the use of color blocks to separate stories.Robert Rice
Print-Small,Print-LargeSuzan Nightingale Award for Best ColumnistMichael TaylorCapital City WeeklyPlanet Alaska These read like traditional stories celebrating Sámi and Tlingat cultures, but they also remain relevant, as any column should, to current events. Together these columns seem like the beginnings of a good book.Vivian Mork Yeilk', Vivian Faith PrescottAnchorage PressSympathy for the honkiesMatt Hickman is a talented writer with a wicked sense of humor, unafraid to tackle controversial topics. (Note: his three entries were not submitted as a single group, making the judging more complicated.)Matt HickmanSkagway NewsA house divided: keeping our family togetherMelinda Munson successfully ties light-hearted personal stories to serious issues facing her community and the nation.Melinda MunsonIn terms of subject and technical skill, the top three entries were virtually tied in scoring, so it was hard to pick a winner. In the end it became a question of the writer's unique voice. Vivian Prescott's simple and heartfelt style slightly edged out the wry narrative of Matt Hickman, which Melinda Munson was a very close third. One entry had to be disqualified because it was a themed column written by different contributors, not a single columnist writing for the same publication.
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Magazine DesignMichael TaylorEdible Alaska Edible Alaska Issue 18, Winter 2020, "The Drinks Issue"Edible Alaska employs excellent use of color and balance. Bold initial cap carries through the design and helps establish brand personality. Strong photography throughout.Matthew Freeman, Tina Bossy-Freeman, Amy O'Neill Houck, Jeremy PatakyAlaska CannabistAlaska Cannabist - September 2020The fun and arresting cover edged this title into 2nd place, along with strong photographic spreads and generally solid trade magazine design. There is a bit of a clash between body and caption fonts.Julie StrickerAlaska Business MonthlyThe Corporate 100Clean, consistent design and bold illustration stood out, with decent photography and a couple of nice two-page spreads. Not a fan of fully-justified sans serif body font and serif captions/subheads--I would consider swapping the two.Monica Sterchi-LowmanAll entries were clean and professional in design, but Edible Alaska edged out the others with it great use of color and white space, excellent font choices, and a consistency of design elements that gave the book a unique personality.
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Weekly NewspaperChristina MyerCordova TimesThe Cordova TimesSharp design; informative mix of long form news and the bits and pieces readers love. Well done. Zachary Snowdon Smith, Annette Potter, Margaret Bauman, Vivian Kennedy, Dick ShellhornHomer NewsHomer News: March 12, June 11, and Sept. 24 issueEngaging design with an appealing range of news targeted for local readers.Megan Pacer, Michael Armstrong, Malia Anderson, Jeff Hayden, Shelbi HartPetersburg PilotBest Weekly Newspaper Mar., July & Sept.Good mix of pure news and advertiser-driven information for a very specific audience (yours). Nicely put together.Pilot Staff
All MediaBest Alaska Outdoors ReportingJason GoodwinKYUKNunam Iqua Boys Say They Got Lost In Snowstorm While Chasing A FoxI found myself emotionally invested in this story. The sound at the end "you are not from Nunam Iqua" answered a criticism of the interviewee (mother) I was thinking at that very moment. Brilliant ending. Very fine at attention to details that filled out the corners of the story and gave it uniqueness (ie: the bandaged fingers/Coke bottle reference). Excellent reporting.Greg KimAlaska's News SourceThe Winter SurvivorA very compelling story. I really wrestled with the top three in the category. Good nats opening. Tight writing. The use of the subject's hand as a map added a creative solution for a visual. Nice fade/overlap in the video editing. Good detail exposition "Pineapples, I'm allergic to pineapples"/"Grateful all of my bullets blew up" Excellent breaking up of the interview by shooting from two different angles. I also appreciate that the reporter included the anchor intro, an important part to the story. Very compelling reporting. It captured my attention.Hank DavisKHNSLaw enforcement kills more bears after property damage, break-insI love the depth of this piece. Also the pictures that supported the audio on the website. Narrowing my top three was a nearly impossible decision. I really liked the NATS opening (considering the NATS used may not have been obviously compelling at the time) it worked well with the "handshake" with the story's main character ("Luck Dunbar zipped his coat and walked down a line of storage units he rents out on Small Tracts Road, and pointed out bear damage to his property") This introduction to the story's main character effectively developed my interest in him, and ultimately his plight (the story). Excellent job balancing the pros and cons. From an assignment editor perspective, this story "could have been" told in a quarter of it's 7 minute length, however, it also would have been 75% less interesting than the final product presented here. The depth of reporting really made the piece "sing". I loved the memorable ending "where bears have learned to open car doors". Very creative and effective use of natsound, even though the subject making the natsound would have been subtle (trash metal, Good use of punchy short sound. I really like how the reporter crafted a long form story on what could have easily been a short form issue. Journalism needs this. Claire StrempleVery tough to choose the top three out of my four favorite entries. They were all very solid. In the end, the perceived difficulty level in "getting" the story, combined with : layout/pictures, use of natural sound, use of seemingly small details that added color/empathy, and commitment to the category (Alaska Outdoors/wild side)
RadioBest Reporting on HealthAmy RobinsonAlaska Public MediaA naked homeless woman became a target in an Anchorage Facebook group. Here's her story.This story has all the elements to make an engaging story; Strong writing, poignant interviews, effective use of ambi sound to set the scene. Very well done!Lex TreinenCrude Magazine"lost anchorage" EP 07 with Joe Rambu‪r‬It's not easy to hold a listener's attention for an hour with a one-on-one interview. This submission did that. Thoughtful, conversational questions from the host, and open, honest comments from the guest made for fascinating listening. Well done!Cody LiskaKUCB Unalaska Community BroadcastingLargely Insulated From The Coronavirus, Unalaska Is Watching Its Wastewater For Signs Of TroubleGood use of ambi sound, good writing. All in all good story telling. Nice job!Hope McKenneyThank you for allowing me to judge this category.
All MediaLeslie Ann Murray Award for Best Editorial or CommentaryDeborah HorneAlaska Journal of CommerceLegislature has a bigger problem than JohnstonSuch strong writing on a very important topic! Bravo!Andrew JensenSkagway NewsSkagway is a strong townLovely prose on the timeless topic of home. Aly DeAngelusAlaska Teen Media InstitutePodcast in Place: Youth Stories From Quarantine - Episode 1: Ormund Insightful reflections during a time like no other. Great job!Rowan Lewis, Daisy Carter, Devin Shreckengost, Kendrick Whiteman, John Kendall
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Reporting on Government or PoliticsMichelle MaxwellChilkat Valley NewsHaines averages new manager every 1.8 yearsThe reporter comprehensively answered the question of if manager turnover is high by doing regional and broader comparison with a variety of sourcing to explain the issues and provided solutions.Ceri Godinez Ketchikan Daily NewsAgency expert: 'There's just a lot more to it'Good public service story to dig into the claims of the op-ed that's being used in election stumping. Appreciated the sourcing that explained the complex nuances of the issue. Sam StockbridgeKetchikan Daily NewsHD 36 campaign finances draw from varied sourcesGreat example of a straightforward campaign finance story that explored the candidates' differences in fundraising, leaving it to the reader to interpret. The graphic was helpful in illustrating the data.Sam Stockbridge
RadioBest Reporting on the COVID-19 PandemicPaul FlahiveKFSK Radio (Petersburg)Seafood processors outline plans for Petersburg workforce COVID measuresA great look at the impact of coronavirus on industry and its workers. Half measures have been taken throughout the pandemic to protect workers, this is one of the more extreme versions. The story does a good job of highlighting the disparity of how the rules are enforced impacting the most vulnerable first. Joe ViechnickiKTOO Public MediaHow the 'infodemic' is playing out in JuneauThe juxtaposition of someone struggling to breathe alongside the ill informed anti-maskers is powerful. The story does a good job of correcting the record and showing the costs of not utilizing COVID abatement strategies. Jeremy HsiehAlaska Public MediaHit hardest by COVID-19, Alaska's Pacific Islanders face death and severe illness at an alarming rateA great story about how COVID impacts one community disproportionately and how they have been forced to adjust.Lex Treinen, Jeff Chen
All MediaBest Headline WritingJustin HinkleyJuneau EmpireFive headlines by Michael S. LockettClever but informative headlines draw readers into these stories.Michael LockettKCAW Radio (Sitka)During pandemic, a fur-vent prayer for Sitka's petsEntertaining headlines still tell readers what they need to know and brings them into the story.Robert WoolseyKetchikan Daily NewsRobert Rice HeadlinesGreat informative, engaging headlines.Robert Rice
Print-SmallBest ProfileJustin HinkleyAlaska CannabistTommy Chong: The elder statesman of weedA great writeup that introduces readers to a few new angles on a familiar face. Well-written.Dorothy ChomiczSkagway NewsNew Chamber president holds vision to help Skagway businessesWe learn a great deal about this character through intriguing and entertaining details.Gretchen WehmhoffThe Northern LightFrom Senegal to Alaska: Tina Ndour makes Anchorage and UAA her homeA good piece of writing about a fascinating character.Christina Swayney
RadioBest Public Safety ReportingPaul FlahiveCoastAlaskaFamilies of Alaska Natives killed by police end their 'culture of silence'Jacob ResneckKOTZAfter months with no VPSOs in villages, Northwest Arctic Borough hires threeWesley EarlyNo Winner
All MediaBest Portrait Devon SayersAnchorage Daily NewsCold ski racerLoren HolmesKetchikan Daily NewsFirst City families hunker together to beat virus bluesDustin SafranekAnchorage Daily News'I've lost who I am'Emily Mesner
All MediaBest Legal Affairs ReportingDevon SayersKTOO Public MediaThe state of Alaska sued itself. Was it worth it? Jeremy HsiehAlaska's News SourcePrying Crime Reports Loose: How records delays impact everyday citizensJill Burke, Eric SowlKTOO Public MediaJuneau inmates frustrated as state ban on classes, family visits, religious services continuesAdelyn Baxter
TelevisionBest Sports ReportingKaren LarsenAlaska's News SourceDouble-amputee looks to make history on the Iron Dog trailBeautifully written, shot and edited. Use of file footage, powerful natural sound and photos helped provide depth and emotion to the story. Well done! Patrick EnslowAlaska's News SourceLooking for an edge, Homer football enlists virtual coachesThis story was well written and told to provide viewers with a look at the challenges coaches and student athletes faced. Great photography and editing. Patrick Enslow, Sports Director/MMJAlaska's News SourceA sport to call her ownHeart-warming story of a young girl's courage and her family's support to help her achieve a dream. Good job on the writing, photography and nats. Beth Verge
TelevisionBest Reporting on HealthKaren LarsenAlaska's News SourceBirth Tissue DonationSolid writing supported by good videography and editing help bring awareness to the issue. Ariane Aramburo, Mike NederbrockAlaska's News SourceEndo WarriorTerrific writing and pacing in this story. Nicely told.Ariane Aramburno, Mike NederbrockAlaska's News SourceNo place to "go"Tough topic well told.Kim Daehnke, Rebecca Palsha
All MediaBest Environmental ReportingErik AndersonHigh Country NewsAs the Arctic warms, the Inupiat adapttop-notch writing and visual storytelling. Personal stories combined with history and facts about the constantly changing community. Adaptation is a theme Jenna Kunze, Alice Qannik GlennArctic TodayEven after decades, caribou still aren't fully used to oil development, scientists sayExcellent reporting, good sourcing, and engaging writing style. Told a good story. Yereth RosenKTOO Public MediaCruise ships dumped more than 3 million pounds of trash in Juneau last yearwell-written and engaging story that is well-sourced. it was a complete story that had all the elements of an outstanding radio reportAdelyn Baxter
All MediaBest Picture StoryTed WarrenAnchorage Daily NewsIditarod Trail Sled Dog RaceThe clear winner in this category, Wonderful in-person images complimented by excellent drone/aerial photos. The race is has been going on for years and people see photos of it all the time, yet these seemed fresh and new. The story covered a lot of ground and showed the 24-hour aspect of the effort required to compete. Loren HolmesHigh Country NewsCordova's longest road, just 36 miles, provides a lifeline for rural AlaskansSecond place goes to this very nice visual essay. The fact that this set of photos has a style and vibe to it that runs through the story made it rise above other entries. Yes, it is a document of the community and the roads/lack of roads that lead there, but I felt the photographer successfully captured also the mood of the people and the place through the choices made in light and composition. It would have been easy to craft a more literal story about Cordova that also may have placed in the contest, but kudos to the photographer and editors for presenting this as much as a visual essay as a story in a way that strikes a great balance for viewers between artistic vision and more traditional photojournalism. Emily MesnerKTOO Public MediaHaines comes together after fatal landslides and floodingThis was a nicely edited set of images that went beyond just the shot of the slide and recovery workers. It was nice to be inside a home to see someone directly affected, to see the detail of the water coming out of the carpet, and to have the nighttime closing image that speaks both to the long hours of the search but also the local economic impact. This was well-planned and thoroughly documented. Rashah McChesneyHonorable mention to "Ink and Snow." A well-researched and visual telling of the backstory of a unique piece of comic/graphic art.
RadioBest ProfileCara HetlandKUCB Unalaska Community Broadcasting'It's Sinking. It's Going Fast:' Survivor Recounts Deadly Sinking Of F/V Scandies RoseSuch a powerful and emotional story. Nicely done.Hope McKenneyKFSK Radio (Petersburg)Petersburg bus driver Hoopie Davidson to retire after 37 yearsWhat a remarkable woman and a fun story - love it!Angela DenningKFSK Radio (Petersburg)Alaska Airlines flight instructor begins and ends career on Southeast Alaska's 'milk run'This is a fun story - I could only imagine what it could be with natural sound and in person audio.Joe Viechnicki
RadioBest Culture ReportingCara HetlandKCAW Radio (Sitka)New Xbox video game brings Tlingit voices to the forefrontLove the set up at the beginning. Great storyErin McKinstryKFSK Radio (Petersburg)Free online Tlingit language class sees widespread interest during pandemicLove that this is zoom focused and great audioCorinne SmithKOTZInfants strut their maklaks online as Northwest Alaska's baby pageant goes virtualjust an all around great story.Tiffany CreedThese were all wonderful stories about culture. Very difficult to choose.
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Reporting on HealthBrian McCroneHomer News'Capt. Balto' drives boat in rough seas to deliver vaccine, medical workers The lead of the story feels a little abrupt. Would have preferred a more narrative entry. But the subject is really interesting and the storytelling is very good. The parallels with the 1925 journey are apt. The story is a part of the pandemic saga that will still be interesting years from now.Michael ArmstrongHomer NewsHow are COVID-19 deaths recorded? A crash course on death certificatesThis explainer piece is the type of story everyone needed and wanted all the time in 2020. Takes a complicated medical subject and gives it to the reader straight. A challenge for next time: Stay with the concise topic and storytelling, but find a way to break out of the paragraph-writing formula. The digital page allows explainers to shine in ways they never could in print. Take advantage.Megan PacerAnchorage Daily News'More insidious than people realize': Thousands of younger Alaskans got sick with COVID-19. And they continue to drive up case counts.Good storytelling, fine reporting. Another necessary story that Alaskans had to read in 2020. Morgan KrakowVery solid group of entries in a big year of health news. Well done to all entrants
All MediaBest SeriesJenelle ShrinerAlaska's News SourceEnd the Year with CheerWhat great content and a wonderful way to incorporate meaningful good news into the newscasts. Great work!Alaska's News Source StaffKTOO Public MediaBlack Awareness Association, Juneau on the Experiences of Being Black in America TodayAbsolutely loved this idea and the content. Kudos to your team for this great conversation.Christina Michelle Patterson, Sherry Patterson, Kelli Patterson, Maria Bailey, Ibn BaileyAlaska's News SourceEconomic Pandemic, Alaska RecoveryImportant stories to tell in the community about the impact of COVID-19. Great execution and reporting. Good job!Channel 2 News Staff
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Reporting on the COVID-19 PandemicJenelle ShrinerAnchorage Daily NewsAs COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Alaska, the state's top doctor reflects on 'a big changing point' in pandemicGreat reporting in your community during the pandemic. Kudos to you and your team!Morgan KrakowHomer NewsPlaying the waiting game in PeruMegan PacerPeninsula Clarion'Like night and day'Jeff Helminiak
All MediaBest Feature Photo Brad BonerAnchorage Daily NewsIce SkatersThis one quickly rose to the top for the nice light and graphic composition. What a beautiful moment.Loren HolmesAnchorage Daily NewsSocially Distant SantaGreat persistence by the photographer to get an expression out of Santa while showing what it's like for kids to try and deliver their wish-lists during a pandemic.Emily MesnerKYUKProposal at the K300 Finish LineNot sure if the photographer knew this was going to happen or was just in the right place at the right time, but in either event it was good positioning that captured the moment nicely.Katie Basile
All MediaBest HumorJustin HinkleyCordova TimesCordova Chronicles -- Order in the Court A great piece of storytelling, and this writing shines for letting the narrative, with its little funny details, make you chuckle, without going for the easy laughs. Great work.Dick ShellhornPeninsula ClarionUnhinged Alaska: Looking in the rearview mirrorThis writer knows how to say a lot with a little, and throw a sharp punch at the funny bones. A fun, easy read throughout.Nick VarneySkagway NewsRough watersThis writer takes you to the funny side every day life with a great mix of keen observation and self-deprecation.Melinda MunsonAlaskans sure know how to laugh. Tough but oh so fun to pick a winner.
TelevisionBest Public Safety ReportingJustin HinkleyAlaska's News SourceWhen calling for help costsA straightforward, balanced look at a bread-and-butter public safety issue every person should care about. Why can't I call the police for help? Fantastic reporting.Jill BurkeKTVA TV (Anchorage)Frontiers: To Heal the FutureDeeply powerful and, unlike many reports on this topic, a hopeful approach. Great writing that undoubtedly helped many, many viewers.Rhonda McBride, Will MaderAlaska's News Source"I love you, check in"A touching, well-reporting look at a heartbreaking community issue. Great reporting. Rebecca Palsha, Eric SowlAlaskans are well cared-for with these journalists keeping an eye on the issues that affect their safety.
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Arts & Culture CriticismChristina MyerAnchorage PressJust to the Side: Reflections on a New Native Novel and Alaska's Epidemic HistoryMakes me want to dig into this book, without being a fawning, insincere endorsement. Well done.Corinna CookAnchorage PressLeavetakings: A debut book of lyric Alaska essays from Corinna CookThorough and appreciative while giving someone who has never been to Alaska an understanding of what has gone into the way Cook writes.Jeremy PatakyJuneau EmpireReview: New EP is slightly rude, a little lewd far from crudeComplimentary without gushing. An honest look that lets a listener know what to expect.Ben Hohenstatt
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Magazine CoverJason GoodwinAlaska MagazineAlaska magazine, February 2020Impressive nature photography. Layout is eye pleasing. Jennifer Fogle Smith, Steven MerrittEdible Alaska Spring 2020 Cover, "Heat + Dirt"Good photography and photo editingMatthew Freeman, Tina Bossy-Freeman, Donna SaldarriagaAlaska Business MonthlyBest of Alaska Business Awards 2020The artwork really caught my eye on this. Monica Sterchi-Lowman
All MediaBest Comprehensive CoverageAmy RobinsonAlaska Public MediaTrump administration rushes to sell oil-drilling rights in Arctic refugeKudos to Tegan Hanlon and the team that delivered a complete, high quality entry. The on-air two-way and stories were informational, conversational and professional. The web component featured good images and graphics, and meaningful links to provide more information. Well done!Tegan HanlonArctic TodayClimate change in the conncected waters of the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea and Yukon RiverPrint entries were strong this year, both from small and large organizations. This entry by Yereth Rosen stood out for thorough coverage that advanced the issue of concerns around oil development in Alaska. Reports included good images and graphics and links for more information. The fully rounded nature of the presentation set this submission apart from others.Yereth RosenAlaska's News SourceThe Pebble Mine ProjectThis was 11:34 of engaging television stories, which included outstanding production elements. I appreciated the strong video, and graphics and creative approaches in using phone tape. However this submission did not include any web content and so was more one-dimensional than those that placed above it. Grant Robinson, Beth Verge, Hank DavisThis is SUCH a tough category to judge. Three different media, and multiple market sizes. It's also difficult because the entries are high quality. This year, it ended with one stand out each from radio, tv and print. Thank you for allowing me to judge this important category again this year.
All MediaBest Reporting on ScienceMike KoshmrlEdible Alaska Pushing Limits: Pacific Cod Swim North to Keep CoolDeft storytelling that shines light on how of how climate change affects fisheries, commercial fishing and even the cuisine in coastal Alaskan communities. The science is broken down nicely and understandable to anyone. Bravo.Theresa Soley, Adem BoeckmannKFSK Radio (Petersburg)Southeast Alaska fossil declared a new species and given a Tlingit nameExcellent job digging into the decade-long backstory of how a new species of dinosaur is found and gets named. I loved the little details, like the scientist using his flip phone camera for the first time, and the stories that explain what Gunakadeit means to the Tlingit. Angela DenningAnchorage Daily NewsA killer whale was headed toward a sea otter in Kachemak Bay. Then the otter hopped on a boat - and stayed there. - A video showing the encounter went viral, with more than 7 million views.Nicely done. I'm a big fan of adding context and scientific scrutiny to viral videos, and this story does it well. Morgan KrakowAlaska residents are lucky to have such a skilled, ambitious set of storytellers whose job is to translate science and environmental changes in their wondrous state. I could have used a half dozen honorable mention slots while judging this contest. Very impressive.
All MediaBest Comprehensive Coverage of the COVID-19 PandemicBrian McCroneCordova TimesThe Cordova Times Comprehensive Coverage of the COVID-19 PandemicBest angles to the story of the decade, combined with really nice layouts and storytelling.I wanted to read this paper more. Be proud of this service.Zachary Snowdon Smith, Margaret BaumanAlaska's News SourceAlaska's News Source: Covering Covid-19 (Broadcast)Very good visual storytelling, and once again the angles to a story are unique. A highrise that comprises most of a town's population in the midst of a pandemic is hard to forget. Could argue the lead was buried in a couple of these packages.Alaska's News Source StaffAlaska Teen Media InstitutePodcast in Place - Youth Stories From QuarantineLeave it to the youth to show the best use of alt-media. Nicely produced pod. Well done. John Kendall, Cody Liska, Daisy Carter, Quinn White, Danielle DuClos, Rowan Lewis, Cornilius Nelson, Ryan Danigole, AJ Yambao, Logan Smith, Annika Wolfe, Rowan Pickard, Riley Taylor, Jania Tumey, Samuel Bernitz, Jeremiah Freeman
All MediaBest Education ReportingTom HallbergKTVA TV (Anchorage)Frontiers: Yup'ik Language PipelineThis was a beautiful look into how language is passed down, and how school districts can support indigenous communities through education. Well-reported, thorough, touching, and informative.Rhonda McBride, Will MaderAnchorage Daily NewsDozens of Anchorage Christian Schools alumni say they experienced racism there. Church leaders say they're trying to heal the damage.Racism is an incredibly sensitive issue. This author did a great job of handling a touchy subject and allowing the institution to respond while giving the affected people a place to share their stories. Emily GoodykoontzPeninsula ClarionAn Alaskan village's long wait for a new schoolSchool infrastructure is an often overlooked piece of how kids learn. This piece offered a glimpse into the way place, funding, and community character combine and collide. Very well-sourced and reported.Victoria PetersenThere were many great entries in this category, too many to give awards to all the deserving entries. As a whole, the reporters gave glimpses into all aspects of education in Alaska, from curriculum and virtual learning to cultural considerations. Great job!
Print-Small,Print-LargeBest Sports Reporting (Print)Tom GoldmanFairbanks Daily News-MinerYukon Quest champ Brent Sass' legendary leader Silver 'gone but never forgotten'Silver wins his final competition! Silver and Laura, of course, who told his story wonderfully. A beautiful tale of a deep friendship between man and animal - filled with great anecdotes that also gave you a look inside sled dog racing. The subject matter was incredibly sentimental but Laura did a great job of not overdoing. A worthy champion!Laura StickellsAnchorage Daily NewsOne of Alaska's best-ever high school sprinters never had her biggest moment to shine. But she's not done showing what a girl from Delta Junction can do.Marc's story was the best writing of the contest. A wonderfully told piece about a top notch sprinter...the Usain Bolt of the north!!!...with as much pride in her small town as speed in her legs! This could've easily been a winner, but Silver edged Hailey. By a whisker.Marc LesterFairbanks Daily News-MinerA beacon of hope, Fairbanks baseball shines through adversityLaura is back with a great story about the 115th annual Midnight Sun game...that almost wasn't. I liked a lot about this story - a creative way of handling sports and the pandemic...a great slice of Alaska life...and some very good writing as well, such as: "In a time of darkness and uncertainty around the baseball world shrouded by the effects of a once-in-alifetime virus and a tense stalemate over money, the small game at the top of the world shone bright as a beacon of hope and perseverance - illuminated, as always, by only the glow of the midnight sun. " that's great stuff. Laura StickellsIf there's room for an Honorable Mention, it goes to Ceri Godinez and the piece on the Alcan 200. It didn't crack the top 3 because it was on the long side and meandered at points. But on balance, the story provided a great snapshot of the snowmachine racing culture....lots of interesting detail...and what might be the best quote of this entire writing contest, from racer Ben Sternbergh: "I guess the question is: Are you going to go through life so you can arrive safely at death, or are you going to live?" Amen Ben. All in all some great contributions to this year's print sports category.