The Gazette’s downtown building on Dec. 15, 2013.

The staffs of The Gazette and sister publication Colorado Politics won 19 awards over the weekend, including six first-place honors, in the Society of Professional Journalists’ four-state Top of the Rockies competition for news excellence.

The Gazette staff won awards in every category it entered. The Gazette’s six awards included first and second place honors for breaking news and first prize for feature photography for a package of photos taken over the course of a year by Dougal Brownlie, chronicling a 4-year-old boy’s successful battle against cancer.

First place for breaking news honored The Gazette’s coverage of Scott Blackmun’s resignation from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Colorado Politics staff members won first prize for politics general reporting and breaking news, both for their coverage of Colorado’s 2018 midterm election, as well as for legal reporting and news feature writing.

The awards were presented Friday night by the Colorado professional chapter of SPJ at the Denver Press Club.

Gazette, Colorado Politics staffs win 63 state journalism awards

The Gazette competed against daily and weekly publications with circulation of 30,000 to 75,000, and against small market radio and TV stations as well.

Colorado Politics competed against daily and weekly newspapers and magazines of up to 10,000 circulation in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Awards were presented for work during calendar year 2018. The contest received about 1,200 entries.

Here are the Top of the Rockies awards presented Friday:


Breaking news story — To Tom Roeder, Stephanie Earls and David Ramsey of The Gazette for coverage of Blackmun’s resignation from the USOC.

Feature photography— To The Gazette’s Dougal Brownlie for Joshua’s Journey.

Politics general reporting — To Joey Bunch, Colorado Politics deputy managing editor and lead reporter; reporters Ernest Luning, Marianne Goodland and Conrad Swanson; Managing Editor Mark Harden; Digital Editor Erin Prater and Opinion Editor Dan Njegomir, for “A midterm that matters,” a 16-story package previewing the 2018 general election.

Breaking news story — To the same CoPo staffers for coverage of election night 2018. Judge’s comment: “Great analysis on deadline.”

Legal reporting — To Goodland and Bunch, for their reporting on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case and its legal implications.

News feature — To Goodland, for “What concerns rural Colorado,” an account of her 2,000-mile cross-state tour to talk with rural voters about issues in the 2018 election.


Breaking News — To Gazette reporters Kaitlin Durbin, Ellie Mulder, Conrad Swanson, Jakob Rodgers, Tom Roeder and Debbie Kelley for their coverage of the slaying death of Deputy Micah Flick.

News Reporting — To Gazette reporters Jakob Rodgers and Lance Benzel for “Tim Watkins’ Last Ride.”

Investigative/Enterprise reporting — To Rodgers and Benzel for “Tim Watkins’ Last Ride.”

Politics enterprise reporting — To Goodland and Luning of Colorado Politics, for “Changes ahead under the dome,” a multi-story preview of the Colorado General Assembly’s 2019 session.

Investigative/enterprise reporting — To Goodland, for “On uncertain course,” probing issues involving Colorado’s watchdog Independent Ethics Commission.

Health enterprise reporting — To Luning and Bunch, for “Bitter pills,” an examination of differing health policy proposals by 2018 gubernatorial candidates Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton.

Solutions journalism (a new category for reporting on how a social or policy problem is being addressed) To Goodland, for “Taking on human trafficking.”

News column — To Luning, for “Trail Mix.”

Website excellence — To Harden, Prater and staff, for

Marijuana enterprise reporting — To contributor David O. Williams, for “Illegal pot spreads on public lands.”


News Feature — To Stephanie Earls of The Gazette for “UNRECOVERED: The Crises in Mental Health Foretold on Facebook,” a story about a veteran’s suicide.

General reporting, series or package: To Luning, Bunch, Goodland, Swanson and Njegomir of Colorado Politics for “Colorado votes blue,” a package of nine articles analyzing the political implications of the 2018 election.

Column, personal/humor: To Bunch, for “Insights.”

Load comments