2017 Better Newspaper Contest Winners

  • Updated

2017 New Mexico Press Association Better Newspaper Contest

Awards presented at the

109TH NMPA CONVENTION

Held at the Tamaya Resort in Bernalillo New Mexico on Nov. 11, 2017

There were 1,239 entries into the Better Newspaper Contest, which was judged by the Arizona Newspaper Association. Those entries came from 25 newspapers from throughout the state.

Daily - Best Rate Card or Marketing Kit

2nd Place - Joan Scholl, Wayne Barnard, Kat Lopez – Santa Fe New Mexican

1st Place - Elspeth Hilbert, Kat Lopez, Bernie Schutz – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: Very clean, concise and easy to follow. I wasn't confused about the options. Great graphics and not cluttered.

Weekly – Best Rate Card or Marketing Kit

2nd Place - Karin Eberhardt – Taos News

1st Place - Karin Eberhardt – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: Clean, concise, flows nicely, easy to understand and engaging. I wanted to read all of it.

Daily – Best Revenue or Marketing Idea

2nd Place - Kat Lopez, Joan Scholl – Santa Fe New Mexican

1st Place - Wayne Barnard, Joan Scholl, Sandra Jaramillo – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: A great idea, I love the way this who promo was put together. The graphics are wonderful, it's not cluttered and it draws the viewer in. Wonderful job

Weekly – Best Revenue or Marketing Idea

2nd Place – Staff – Taos News

1st Place – Staff – Taos News

Judge’s Comments: Perfect graphic to appeal to all. Captions are thoughtful and witty. I want to know more.

Daily I – Auto Advertisement

2nd Place - Cecile Johnson – Gallup Independent

1st Place - Wendy Ortega, Elspeth Hilbert – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: This is a great "how to" ad. Crystal clear instructions to the potential customer. This ad should pull in trades and maybe even turn them into buyers as well as sellers. Simple color art emphasizes the instructions.

Daily II – Auto Advertisement

2nd Place – Sandra Martinez, Manny Gonzalez – Roswell Daily Record

1st Place – Marty Williamson – Eastern New Mexico News

Judge’s Comment: Great design. It must have been a challenge convincing the client as well as your news editor that you wanted to use an odd shape a design for an auto ad. It works though.

Weekly I - Auto Advertisement

2nd Place – Karin Eberhardt – Taos News

1st Place – Shane Atkinson – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: This ad is perfect for the section. It ties the advertiser to the deep roots in the community. The use of B & W photos with the pop of color in the logo.

Weekly II – Auto Advertisement

2nd Place – Trina Thomas – Ruidoso News

1st Place – Trina Thomas – Ruidoso News

Judge’s Comment: This is a stronger ad. Better colors, slogan at top sets the tone- SIMPLE.

Weekly II – Real Estate Advertisement

2nd Place – Trina Thomas – Ruidoso News

1st Place – Trina Thomas – Ruidoso News

Judge’s Comment: The page design layout is done very well. Very clean, easy to read, all the right information needed for real estate.

Weekly I – Real Estate Advertisement

2nd Place – Denielle Rose – Taos News

1st Place – Karin Eberhardt – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: Simple design concept. Easy to read and to the point. The couples engagement brings out the ad.

Daily II – Real Estate Advertisement

2nd Place – Desiree Delgado – Silver City Daily Press

1st Place – Marty Williamson – Eastern New Mexico News

Judge’s Comment: Page design looks professional. Well organized, easy to read, valuable information for readers. Photos are not distorted. Simple use of colors ties in with the logo and heading. God job.

Daily I – Real Estate Advertisement

2nd Place – Elspeth Hilbert, Wendy Ortega – Santa Fe New Mexican

1st Place – Joan Scholl, Wendy Ortega – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: First, the colors in the ad are really nice, the font is appropriate, the photos have good quality, but What i really appreciate on this ad is the balance on it, the featured house design is nice and the rest of the properties give the ad that balance.

Weekly II – Retail Advertisement

2nd Place – Trina Thomas – Ruidoso News

1st Place – Maria Sanchez – Las Vegas Optic

Judge’s Comment: Clean ad with interesting shapes and cutouts. Eye-catching and great flow.

Weekly I – Retail Advertisement

2nd Place – Isabel Peña – Taos News

1st Place – Karin Eberhardt – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: Beautiful composition and very appealing photos. This ad says a lot without using a lot of wording. Nice job!

Daily II – Retail Advertisement

2nd Place – Marty Williamson – Eastern New Mexico News

1st Place – Desiree Delgado – Silver City Daily Press

Judge’s Comment: Simple. High impact. Great color. Love it. For me---clearly the winner.

Daily I – Retail Advertisement

2nd Place – Rick Artiaga – Santa Fe New Mexican

1st Place – Rick Artiaga, Chris Alexander – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: Awesome Ad!! Great Layout and photos. Very engaging!

Daily I – Classified Ad Section

1st Place – Classified Staff and Design Team – Eastern New Mexico News

Judge’s Comment: This is very nice work. The color coding does make it really easy to read and also fun to look at. Love the header for the JobsSanteFe.com also!

Daily II – Classified Ad Section

2nd Place – Staff – Eastern New Mexico News

1st Place – Debbie Seibel, Desiree Delgado, Mikey Torrez – Silver City Daily Press

Judge’s Comment: Columns not too narrow, color makes it more user-friendly, well-organized.

Weekly I – Classified Ad Section

2nd Place – Mayra Aldaz – Rio Grande Sun

1st Place – Mary Chavez, Agnes Hernandez, Shirley Mondragon – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: This is a really nice classified section. The layout is nice, it's colorful, with a good mix of articles, puzzles and ads that would make the reader continue to turn pages. Nice job!

Weekly II – Classified Ad Section

1st Place – James Goodwin – Ruidoso News

Judge’s Comment: I love the header on this page.

Daily I - Community/Newspaper Event Advertisement

2nd Place – Elspeth Hilbert, Kat Lopez, Susan Cahoon – Santa Fe New Mexican

1st Place – Elspeth Hilbert, Kat Lopez, Mike Flores – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: Very nice! There is a lot of information on this but the design makes it easy to read and fun to look at.

Daily II – Community/Newspaper Event Advertisement

2nd Place – Desiree Delgado – Silver City Daily Press

1st Place – Nickolas Seibel – Silver City Daily Press

Judge’s Comment: I loved the transition from a b/w photo to the color photo. I think the fonts are eye-catching and the concept is excellent.

Weekly I – Community/Newspaper Event Advertisement

2nd Place – Karin Eberhardt – Taos News

1st Place – Karin Eberhardt – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: The colors and the fonts all come together to make this ad beautiful and effective. Love this one!

Weekly II – Community/Newspaper Event Advertisement

2nd Place – Leota Harriman – The Independent Edgewood

1st Place – Trina Thomas – Ruidoso News

Judge’s Comment: Nice colors, composition and overall fun feel. Nice job!

Daily I -Shared/Signature Page

2nd Place – Wayne Barnard, Rick Artiaga, Sandra Jaramillo – Santa Fe New Mexican

1st Place – Wayne Barnard, Rick Artiaga, Sandra Jaramillo – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: Graphic background that represents the theme reiterated by lots of white space between content and ads to show the elements of the design.

Daily II – Shared/Signature Page

2nd Place – Staff – Eastern New Mexico News

1st Place – Desiree Delgado – Silver City Daily Press

Judge’s Comment: Strong graphics and images paired with a very well-balanced content layout serve as a striking advertisement.

Weekly I – Shared/Signature Page

2nd Place – Staff – Taos News

1st Place – Staff – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: The map and graphics are eye-catching and the layout is easy to understand and follow. There's so much information, yet it is formatted in such a way as to not be cluttered.

Weekly II – Shared/Signature Page

2nd Place – James Goodwin – Ruidoso News

1st Place – James Goodwin – Ruidoso News

Judge’s Comment: A well balanced page with a strong header. The white space on the bottom of the page is aesthetically pleasing and gives the eye a rest, making reading the content and ads easier.

Weekly II – Supplements or Special Sections

2nd Place – Staff – El Defensor Chieftain – “Discover Socorro”

1st Place – Staff – Las Vegas Optic – “2017 Destinations Guide”

Judge’s Comment: This is more than just an average visitor's guide. The theme: "Places With A Past Tour" and accompanying feature, "Ghost Trails", sets it apart from other typical guides. In my opinion, the magazine style vs. handbook style is another plus in favor of this 1st place winner. Additional points for: original staff writing, original staff photography (not just settling for stock photos), layout style consistent from front to back = headline typefaces, info breakout boxes, advertorials are CLEARLY defined... thank you! Overall, top-quality special supplement with excellent design and editorial style.

Weekly I – Supplements or Special Sections

2nd Place – Tracy Roy, Cary Howard – Las Cruces Bulletin – “Southwest New Mexico Legislative Guide 2017”

1st Place – Staff – Taos News – “Citizen of the Year and Unsung Heroes”

Judge’s Comment: Very impressive multi-section special edition. Each section with its own powerful front cover is superb. Perfect selection of fonts/typefaces that compliment each other. A creative layout that keeps the reader engaged to what otherwise could've easily been a "cookie cutter' look/design on notable citizens and culture. Design style carried through all sections, very well done. Excellent photo selections. Full page photos really highlight the individual/subject. More is more! Kudos to the Sales Team for not allowing/taking "junk" advertisements - each ad is a special creative piece in its own right.

Daily II – Supplements or Special Sections

2nd Place – Brienne Green, Teresa Lemon, Elizabeth Lewis – Artesia Daily Press – “Standing Together”

1st Place – Staff – Eastern New Mexico News – “Blown Away”

Judge’s Comment: Impressive and powerful commemorative supplement. Front page cover makes a big impact. Special editorial layout/presentation/touches: - By the Clock timeline, - Stories of survivors, First responders, Photos, - Tribute, - Reprint of Clovis' front cover and subsequent pages of the "day after" issue. ... all these things bring the reader back into reliving and recalling the tragic event that slammed this community. To call this piece a "keepsake" is not meant to be insensitive, but a respect for the record of the printed publication that was so well done.

Daily I – Supplements or Special Sections

2nd Place – Jennifer Kozlowski – Las Cruces Sun-News – “Tough Enough to Wear Pink”

1st Place – Deborah Villa – Santa Fe New Mexican – “Bienvenidos 2017”

Judge’s Comment: Seen one "summer guide" and you've seen them all ... NOT so with this one! Too bad the sub title "The History Issue" was so small ... too easy for this spectacular supplement to be overlooked. The stories, the layouts, the photo selections and even the advertising HANDILY rivals any east coast/west coast national newspaper's production. This piece really displays why New Mexico is the land of enchantment. A very exceptional magazine indeed.

Weekly I – Single Copy Sales Promotion

1st Place – Staff – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: Very effective video.

Weekly I – Circulation Campaign

1st Place – Staff – Taos News

Daily II – Circulation Campaign

2nd Place – Manny Gonzalez – Roswell Daily Record

1st Place – Manny Gonzalez – Roswell Daily Record

Judge’s Comment: Nice use of graphic imagery to stand out in section. Also good play on theme with headline.

Daily – Web Ad

2nd Place – Michael Harrison, Kat Lopez – Santa Fe New Mexican

1st Place – Michael Harrison, Kat Lopez – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: The graphics/imagery of this ad is effective in leading the reader through to the objective. I like the way the images start out subtle and become more dynamic. This ad is less obtrusive than many this genre, and effective. The ad communicates its message without overwhelming the reader's eye.

Weekly – Web Ad

2nd Place – Karin Eberhardt – Taos News

1st Place – Karin Eberhardt – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: Wonderful use of color! The blue is quite striking against the pastel drawing. I love how the piece flows from one side to the other. Great use of typography and font weights- it creates a sense of excitement and wonder.

Daily – Best Mobile App

1st Place – Staff – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: Very nice! There is a lot of information on this but the design makes it easy to read and fun to look at.

Daily – Best Breaking News, Web

2nd Place – Las Cruces Sun-News staff – Las Cruces Sun-News – “Hatch officer killed”

1st Place – Nicole Perez, Robert Browman, Elise Kaplan – Albuquerque Journal – “Mom, 2 others drugged 10-year-old before killing her”

Judge’s Comment: It's almost unfair to other entries in this category that they have to compete with this story. It was something that made national news and garnered a lot of attention. However, the reporters who worked the story for the Albuquerque Journal covered all angles and got them online in a great package over several days. Great job!

Weekly – Best Breaking News, Web

1st Place – John Miller – Taos News – “Crime spree suspects captured in Albuquerque”

Judge’s Comment: Effective use of text, photos and videos to break news online. Good job.

Daily – Best Web Site

2nd Place – Jessica Onsurez and Danny Fletcher – Carlsbad Current Argus

1st Place – Santafenewmexican.com staff – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: Lots of great content, well laid out, and clean to the eye. Good balance of graphics and text. Very professional. Only negative is sidebar ads.

Weekly – Best Web Site

2nd Place – James Reader, Leota Harriman – The Independent Edgewood

1st Place – Yvonne Pesquera – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: The overall design and development of the website are excellent, as are the graphics and directional flow. I like the way the content is differentiated through blocks, color, imagery, etc. The only negative is the intrusive sidebar ads which make it difficult for the eye to focus on either the content or the ads.

Information Graphic – Open

2nd Place – Karin Eberhardt – Taos News – “Hotel violations”

1st Place – Adrian Hedden – Carlsbad Current Argus – “Fancy footwork”

Judge’s Comment: No searching for 'what graphic?' It pops right out and explains itself.

Editorial Cartoon – Open

2nd Place – Bill Baron – Taos News – “Robo Burger”

1st Place – Bill Baron – Taos News – “Heroin opioid addiction epidemic”

Judge’s Comment: Excellent execution, mind-zapping image

Daily – Best Headline

2nd Place – Sally Trigg – Albuquerque Journal – “

1st Place – Richard Reyes – Gallup Independent – “Zero F's given”

Judge’s Comment: I liked this headline because it is funny but I also was able to guess what the story was about before even reading it.

Weekly – Best Headline

2nd Place – Rick Romancito – Taos News – “This Amazon totally delivers”

1st Place – Jesse Moya – Taos News – “One story, two story, three story, four”

Judge’s Comment:

Daily – Review

2nd Place – Molly Boyle – Santa Fe New Mexican – “On a sorry subject: Layli Long Soldier”

1st Place – Michael Abatemarco – Santa Fe New Mexican – “Darkness and light: The paintings of Cady Wells”

Judge’s Comment: Beautifully designed pages. The type treatment for the headline as well as the drop cap are very unique. Taking the copy below the photo was also a great design choice.

Weekly – Review

2nd Place – Richard Coltharp – Las Cruces Bulletin – “Welcome to Garth's World”

1st Place – Rick Romancito – Taos News – “Hell on wheels”

Judge’s Comment: Unique placement of the caption for the top photo

Daily Obituary News

2nd Place - Kelly Farrell – Hobbs News Sun – “CASA's 'intuitive' dog Cooper passes”

1st Place - Ollie Reed, Jr. – Albuquerque Journal – “Photographer, mentor, who had incredible talent dies at 63”

Judge’s Comment: Obituaries are a very delicate project. This obituary was fascinating to read. I feel like the essence of his creativity shines through in a very respectful way. I was impressed with the multiple photographs and the online album of his life's work. What a wonderful tribute!

Weekly Obituary News

2nd Place - Rick Romancito – Taos News – 'A lovely man, George Chacón: 1954-2017,'

1st Place - Leota Harriman, Jim Goodman – The Independent Edgewood – “A voice that spanned oceans”

Judge’s Comment: Very nice profile. It really told who he was and how people reacted to him.

Weekly I – Sports Columns

2nd Place – Gary Herron – Rio Rancho Observer – “Wave goodbye to the wave...”

1st Place – Arcenio J. Trujillo – Taos News - "State of the courts,"

Judge’s Comment: Good subject because it dealt with something different. It had good reader flow/ I was a bit disappointed to find out at the end the column was just a lead-ion to future columns. However, the photos and ad were good tie-ins for community involvement.

Daily II – Sports Columns

2nd Place – Brienne Green – Artesia Daily Press – “Of love and war”

1st Place – Rob Langrell – Eastern New Mexico News – “'Role player' takes good memories”

Judge’s Comment: Nice column that reminds us that not all of us are superstars and that role players are just as important to the team.

Daily I – Sports Columns

2nd Place – James Barron – Santa Fe New Mexican – “Lobos fans already picking their favorite coaches”

1st Place – Mark Smith – Albuquerque Journal – “Rooting for Ex-Lobo”

Judge’s Comment: tony snell by the numbers looks awesome

Weekly II – Education Writing

2nd Place – Scott Turner – El Defensor Chieftain – “Engaging Students”

1st Place – Mercy López – Las Vegas Optic – “Bridging the gap”

Judge’s Comment: Well done. I enjoyed this story as the writer took us along in an explanation of what this student plans to do with her education.

Weekly I – Education Writing

2nd Place – Jesse Moya – Taos News – “Taos Pueblo student earns first bilingual seal of its kind”

1st Place – Barron Jones – Rio Grande Sun – “History Teacher Accused of Helping Students Cheat”

Judge’s Comment: This story held my attention. Quite a few twists in it, but ably handled by the reporter. Good quotes from school officials mixed in with thorough reading of the report.

Daily II – Education Writing

2nd Place – Josh Kellogg – Farmington Daily Times – “Board votes to close online charter school”

1st Place – Kevin Wilson – Eastern New Mexico News – “Texico students deliver”

Judge’s Comment: Done wrong, a feel good story would read like a fluff piece. Done right, it simply is a good read, which is what this piece is. Nice one,

Daily I – Education Writing

2nd Place – Chris Quintana – Albuquerque Journal – “NM's Higher Education Crisis”

1st Place – Robert Nott – Santa Fe New Mexican – “Attainable goals?”

Judge’s Comment: So many good stories were submitted that an article had to really stand out to be considered for the top spot, and Robert's piece, which questioned the wisdom of the state's education plan, simply delivered. It is a solid piece of journalism - skeptical, analytical, probing, comprehensive. While he lets his sources shape the narrative, Robert shows a strong, authoritative voice in his writing, which means he knows what he's writing about. The only thing I would change is bring this graf up in the story: "If there is a need to invest in resources to improve those scores and graduation rates, the plan offers few details on how much it will cost or how the state will pay for it."

Weekly II – Environmental or Agriculture Writing

2nd Place – John Larson – El Defensor Chieftain – “How much water does New Mexico actually have?”

1st Place – Scott Turner – El Defensor Chieftain – “No longer city dwellers”

Judge’s Comment: Nice feature on efforts to save an animal that's considered a pest in some areas. Cute photo.

Weekly I – Environmental or Agriculture Writing

2nd Place – Cody Hooks – Taos News – “Saving seeds and stories at Taos Pueblo”

1st Place – John Miller – Taos News – “Learn from Taos hopheads: Grow hops, brew beer”

Judge’s Comment: Fun treatment for a trendy story. Nice localization, too.

Daily II – Environmental or Agriculture Writing

2nd Place – Jeff Tucker – Roswell Daily Record - - “BLM issues leases”

1st Place – Benjamin Fisher – Silver City Daily Press – “Molding the Mimbres”

Judge’s Comment: Nice job explaining a complicated topic to a general readership. Would have been nice to see some details about the cost of this project.

Daily I – Environmental or Agriculture Writing

2nd Place – Rebecca Moss – Santa Fe New Mexican – “In a deep hole, a chance for economic improvement”

1st Place – Rebecca Moss, Justin Horwath, Ray Rivera – Santa Fe New Mexican – “Under Martinez, a more favorable environment for Helena Chemical”

Judge’s Comment: Nice investigative work here. Great job bringing attention to a matters of safety and possible political corruption.

Business Writing – Open

2nd Place – Bruce Krasnow – Santa Fe New Mexican – “We're Here because of NAFTA"

1st Place – Molly Boyle – Santa Fe New Mexican – “When Mom and Pop Ruled the Corner Store”

Judge’s Comment: Loved the treatment. Nice use of photos and the map.

Weekly II – Editorials

2nd Place – Scott Turner – El Defensor Chieftain – “Let your voice be heard”

1st Place – Scott Turner – El Defensor Chieftain – “Time for SEC, city to come to the table”

Judge’s Comment: Well-written argument on why a local utility should put aside whatever differences it has with local officials. A good example of journalism trying to bring groups together to promote discussion.

Weekly I – Editorials

2nd Place – Robert Trapp – Rio Grande Sun – “Police Department Must Address Excessive Force”

1st Place – Staci Matlock – Taos News – “In effort to attract businesses, don't mess with public process”

Judge’s Comment: A solid, well-written piece about the public process and potential interference by city officials. It's strongly worded rebuke of officials promising something to a developer that hadn't even come before the public.

Daily II – Editorials

2nd Place – Nickolas Seibel, Dean Thompson, Christine Steele – Silver City Daily Press – “Time for a change”

1st Place – John R. Moses – Farmington Daily Times – “A solution is finally on the horizon”

Judge’s Comment: The Daily Times' continued editorial voice on the water crisis impressed because it spoke loud and consistent for a population with little political juice. An earlier op-ed calling for the National Guard was bold; this one noted the progress made in the controversy but nonetheless did so with unflinching criticism of all parties involved, from the private water company and its failed services to governmental entities that didn't exactly acted with boldness or swiftness. The editorial didn't just call out entities, however It also pointed the way forward -- notably a call for legislation that would permit a faster, better response to a similar crisis. That's demonstrating community leadership.

Daily I – Editorials

2nd Place – D'Val Westphal – Albuquerque Journal – “It's cheaper to fly to India than treat Hep C in NM”

1st Place – Inez Russell Gomez – Santa Fe New Mexican - 'Pre-K for Santa Fe: It's time'

Judge’s Comment: A clear-eyed, well-reasoned piece that makes a convincing argument that not only the soda-tax proposal should be green-lighted by the city council for the ballot but should get approval by the voters. The editorial lays out the lack of access to preschool and the reasons why. It acknowledges the concerns of the proposed tax and its collection/distribution, then proceeds to explain how the plan addresses those concerns. The editorial persuades with a methodical, even-keeled tone that speaks to shared values and aspirations, and to a moderate proposal worthy of support. A thoughtful community would be appreciative.

Weekly II – Columns

2nd Place – George Garnett – Ruidoso News – “Paul Jones & Smokey Bear Remembered”

1st Place – Leota Harriman – The Independent Edgewood –“I'm Losing It!”

Judge’s Comment: Interesting read, very engaging.

Weekly I – Columns

2nd Place – Robert Trapp – Rio Grande Sun – “Dear Santa”

1st Place – Richard Coltharp – Las Cruces Bulletin – “Fighting their way back”

Judge’s Comment: The column category is a tough one to judge because it is so subjective. Many are about an experience the writer is going through. A a few aren't. This is one of the latter and the writer does an excellent job.

Daily II – Columns

2nd Place – Jeff Tucker – Roswell Daily Record – “Media Hissy Fit”

1st Place – Algernon D'Ammassa – Deming Headlight – “Class struggle”

Judge’s Comment: D'Ammassa does a fabulous job conveying a point of view via storytelling. He doesn't bonk the reader over the head or go on a rant. Yet his point of view is as clear to the reader as the dust they feel in their lungs after reading his beginning scene. Well done!

Daily I – Columns

2nd Place – Paul Weideman – Santa Fe New Mexican – “Earthships”

1st Place – Joline Gutierrez Krueger – Albuquerque Journal - “A mother's anguish”

Judge’s Comment: Joline Gutierrez Krueger's column was brave journalism. Though the facts were difficult, she didn't hedge. She articulately shared the universals of the story, motherhood, parenthood, love, loss. Her story — the facts and the writing — gave me chills when I finished reading.

Weekly II – General News Photo

2nd Place – Leota Harriman – The Independent Edgewood – “Moving Wall”

1st Place – Dianne Stallings -Ruidoso News – “Towering Tree”

Judge’s Comment: I love this shot. Not only is it telling the story of a new communications tower, but there also is the subtext of one guy working while his buddy is smoking a cigarette. Good chuckle for a great photo.

Weekly I – General News Photo

2nd Place – Katharine Egli – Taos News – “Taos County turns out big numbers for Women's March”

1st Place – Tracy Roy – Las Cruces Bulletin – “Las Cruces Day in Santa Fe”

Judge’s Comment: Nice shot to illustrate the governor at the chamber event. This shot is effective in translating the event.

Daily II – General News Photo

2nd Place – Jon Austria – Farmington Daily Times – “Montoya Funeral”

1st Place – Anna George- Eastern New Mexico News – “Miracle Survival”

Judge’s Comment: This was a tough category to judge, but this photo stands out. Good composition. We don't need to see the responders faces to know they are thinking WTF. This photo could have been taken from almost any angle and be good, but the shooter found the one that sums up the news story the best.

Daily I – General News Photo

2nd Place – Luis Sanchez Saturno – Santa Fe New Mexican – “Si Se Pudo”

1st Place – Jett Loe – Las Cruces Sun-News – “Sorrow for the slain”

Judge’s Comment: In a highly competitive category, this shot stood out. Sometimes the best photos aren't always the best composed or technically sound. When it comes down to sound photojournalism, the question needs to be asked: What story does this photo tell? You have hit a home run with this shot because it speaks a million words

Weekly II – Sports Photo

2nd Place – Ger Demarest – The Independent – “Pole Vault”

1st Place – Joshua Harriman – The Independent – “Standing Long Jump”

Judge’s Comment: This is one terrific photo! it seems to meet every requirement of a professional sports pic: freezing the action, capturing the drive to win; and adding a very small, human detail--the hat flying off.

Weekly I – Sports Photo

2nd Place – Arcenio J. Trujillo – Taos News – “Taos Lady Tigers win state opener”

1st Place – Kenn Rodriguez – Valencia County News-Bulletin – “State Little League Tournty”

Judge’s Comment: It's one thing to capture the action; this photo does that nicely. It's another to capture the emotion of the moment; this photo does that, and then some. it is a wonderful portrait of unaffected joy.

Daily II – Sports Photo

2nd Place – Dean Thompson -Silver City Daily Press – “Mustangs hang on to beat the Rams”

1st Place – Kevin Wilson – Eastern New Mexico News – “Umpires tuneup tournament underway”

Judge’s Comment: This shot is awesome because rarely do you see a pics of a player, baseball or softball, totally laid out like that.

Daily I – Sports Photo

2nd Place – Jim Thompson – Albuquerque Journal – “Football action”

1st Place – Jim Thompson – Albuquerque Journal – “Baseball action”

Judge’s Comment: This photo made me say WOW out loud. Great shot! I absolutely love the way the clay is flying. First for sure!!

Weekly I – Feature Photo

2nd Place – Richard Coltharp – Las Cruces Bulletin – “A large screen relayed”

1st Place – Rick Romancito – Taos News – “Paseo provokes Taos curiosity”

Judge’s Comment: A great contrast between a older resident wondering what the heck is going on. Makes me laugh, but also makes me want to read the story.

Weekly II – Feature Photo

2nd Place – Babette Hermann – Gallup Sun – “A Thriving Tradition”

1st Place – Mercy López – Las Vegas Optic – “A gawk on the wild side”

Judge’s Comment: Dynamic, engaging photo.

Daily II – Feature Photo

2nd Place – Tony Bullocks – Eastern New Mexico News – “Where's my food?”

1st Place – Tara Melton – Alamogordo Daily News – “Corvinus funeral”

Judge’s Comment: Striking image. Composition draws attention to the subject.

Daily I – Feature Photo

2nd Place – Luis Sanchez Saturno – Santa Fe New Mexican – “Juniper”

1st Place – Greg Sorber – Albuquerque Journal – “St. Baldrick's Day”

Judge’s Comment: Perfectly framed shot captures the moment.

Weekly II – Photo Series

2nd Place – Mercy López – Las Vegas Optic – “Fancy footwork”

1st Place – Mercy López – Las Vegas Optic – “An array of sparks”

Judge’s Comment: Photos at night aren't always easy to take. Shooter does an admirable job with the subject. Layout and design went a long way toward a first place finish.

Weekly I – Photo Series

2nd Place – Katharine Egli – Taos News – “Native pride”

1st Place – Robert Eckert – Rio Grande Sun – “Indian Market”

Judge’s Comment: Photos weren't necessarily "brochure" quality but there is an eclectic selection that shows that the Indian Market may be more than people would expect. Liked the presentation and shot selection.

Daily II – Photo Series

2nd Place – Tony Bullocks – Eastern New Mexico News – “Day at the Museum”

1st Place – Jessica Onsurez – Carlsbad Current-Argus – “Centennial Sunrise”

Judge’s Comment: Photos make the story that much more interesting. Good selection of shots and their use in layout.

Daily I – Photo Series

2nd Place – Greg Sorber – Albuquerque Journal – “Life in New Mexico”

1st Place – Roberto E. Rosales – Albuquerque Journal – “Cartels Next Door”

Judge’s Comment: Great all around package. The photos tell a story without the text. Good shot selection of photos that obviously were taken by a competent photographer.

Weekly II – Sports Writing

2nd Place – Ger Demarest – The Independent – “Estancia baseball storybook ending”

1st Place – Bernie Dotson – Gallup Sun – “Is Hoop Hero’s job on the line?”

Judge’s Comment: This is a good presentation of a "breaking" sports story. It is clear you did as much as possible to get the answers for readers prior to publication. Just a couple of points. Avoid back-to-back quotes, use transition sentence in between. The pothole reference seemed out of place without explanation of how it related to the main issue. The GHS subhed was unnecessary. While the paper's publication date could have readers assuming such, include in the story that the public information request was not responded to before your press time. This assures readers you are still pursuing it.

Weekly I – Sports Writing

2nd Place – Kenn Rodriguez – Valencia County News-Bulletin – “Football: Sais sails as Sartan”

1st Place – Kenn Rodriguez – Valencia County News-Bulletin – “Making their Mark”

Judge’s Comment: The was a good read. The story flowed well. It held my interest all the way through. Avoid first person writing except in quotes.

Daily II – Sports Writing

2nd Place – AJ Dickman – Roswell Daily Record – “Rapp inducted into Hall of Fame”

1st Place – Brienne Green – Artesia Daily Press – “'Dogs win 100th Eddy County War”

Judge’s Comment: Game stories usually don't win in this category. This one, though, not only covers the game, but the celebration of a long-time rivalry. I'm sorry I missed the game, but I have the reporters story to take me there.

Daily I – Sports Writing

2nd Place – Tom Mulherin – Hobbs News Sun – “USSSA Joshua Painter”

1st Place – Jason Groves – Las Cruces Sun-News – “Can NMSU retain quality coaches?”

Judge’s Comment: Very good in-depth article about coaching problems at the college. Well-researched with a lot of different voices. Great job!

Weekly II – News Writing

2nd Place – Babette Hermann and Mia Rose Poris – Gallup Sun – “State Police tightlipped on officer involved shooting”

1st Place – Todd G. Dickson – Mountain View Telegraph – “Only the Chapel Spared”

Judge’s Comment: An engaging story with historical elements and modern events.

Weekly I – News Writing

2nd Place – Wheeler Cowperthwaite – Rio Grande Sun – “Man Pulls Own Tooth”

1st Place – Jesse Moya – Taos News - “Taos hotels grapple with violation”

Judge’s Comment: Great article on an important issue. Thorough and engaging.

Daily II – News Writing

2nd Place – Kevin Wilson – Eastern New Mexico News – “Former church secretary gets nine years”

1st Place – James Fenton – Farmington Daily Times – “Drilling hits zero”

Judge’s Comment: Clear, well articulated article with engaging word choices. Nice to hear from local industry leaders who are dealing with this issue.

Daily I – News Writing

2nd Place – Uriel J. Garcia – Santa Fe New Mexican – “Uneasy sanctuary in face of ‘deportation machine’”

1st Place – Robert Browman, Nicole Perez – “Police worried, looking for women in old sex tapes”

Judge’s Comment: Fantastic job by these two reporters, whose shamed local police into doing their jobs in investigating a cold serial killer case. Great hustle, great reporting, great writing. A+ job!

Weekly II – Breaking News

2nd Place – Dianne Stallings – Ruidoso News – “Fall into Basin led to man's death”

1st Place – Dianne Stallings – Ruidoso News – “Man Arrested in Ax Slaying”

Judge’s Comment: Well done crime story. Not easy for a weekly.

Weekly I – Breaking News

2nd Place – Elva Osterreich – Las Cruces Bulletin – “Food bank closes Las Cruces warehouse”

1st Place – Barron Jones – Rio Grande Sun – “Tomas Says No Mas”

Judge’s Comment: Loved this story. That you held deadline to get it in the paper shows how good this story is - it doesn't read like it was done on deadline.

Daily II – Breaking News

2nd Place – James Fenton – Farmington Daily Times – “Report Faults ex-BLM official”

1st Place – Hannah Grover – Farmington Daily Times – “Flooding kills 1, displaces residents”

Judge’s Comment: The story contained vivid details that created an image of panic and fear that the people in the story must have felt. Great human interest for a breaking news story.

Daily I – Breaking News

2nd Place – Dan McKay – Albuquerque Journal – “Twist her wrist until she shuts up”

1st Place – New Mexican Staff – Santa Fe New Mexican – “A burst of violence”

Judge’s Comment: An entire page of breaking news. Teamwork, thorough reporting. Three stories that each stood on their own while working in unison. One story tells me all I could possibly want to know about the confessed shooter. One tells me about the victims. One tells me the news. When this paper hit doorsteps Saturday morning, readers unfolded an entire front page of smart, authoritative journalism.

Weekly II- Feature Writing

2nd Place – Scott Turner – El Defensor Chieftain – “Tourism that's OUT OF THIS WORLD”

1st Place – Michelle Huey – Ruidoso News – “Community Pours Out Its Heart for Teen in Cancer Fight”

Judge’s Comment: You effectively draw the reader in, painting the picture, not telling me what the picture will be. Nice work!

Weekly I – Feature Writing

2nd Place – John Miller – Taos News – “Recovery offers hope in addiction fight”

1st Place – Argen Duncan – KAFB Nucleus – “Childhood trauma leads to a career”

Judge’s Comment: This piece is well-written, well-considered, and has minimal technical errors. I enjoyed reading this piece and found myself wanting to know more

Daily II – Feature Writing

2nd Place – Noel Lyn Smith – Farmington Daily Times – “Program helps Native Americans develop wills”

1st Place – Maddy Hayden – Carlsbad Current-Argus – “Message of acceptance”

Judge’s Comment: This story of life, struggle, death and a legacy is told with sensitivity, lots of detail and information about the larger social issue at play.

Daily I -Feature Writing

2nd Place – Rick Nathanson – Albuquerque Journal – “Cover Stories”

1st Place – Damien Willis – Las Cruces Sun-News – “Changing Shades”

Judge’s Comment: Very well written. "Their story isn’t black and white. It isn’t Red or Blue. It’s messy, and it reflects the real world." Love that. Nice way to handle a topic that often causes great pain. Really tackles complexities of race issue, from neighbors helping build an adobe mansion, to them then resenting the family for the house they helped build. This was a true outside-the-box idea and it worked. But reason I rank it first is the writing was excellent.

Weekly II – Series or Continuing Coverage

2nd Place – Dianne Stallings – Ruidoso News – “Alto Wild Horse Herd”

1st Place – Mercy López, Martin Salazar – Las Vegas Optic – “System Failure”

Judge’s Comment: I was really impressed with the investigative nature of this series of stories. This, to me, is what quality local journalism is about --- making a difference in your market and holding folks responsible for their actions. Also, an incredible layout!

Weekly I – Series or Continuing Coverage

2nd Place – Andrew Martinez – Rio Grande Sun – “Basketball coach investigated”

1st Place – Cody Hooks – Taos News – “DAPL Dispatch: Native American leaders call for D.C. march”

Judge’s Comment: This was a major national issue handled very well by a local publication. An easy selection for 1st place.

Daily II – Series or Continuing Coverage

2nd Place – Curtis Michaels – Roswell Daily Record – “SANE Nurse Procedures”

1st Place – Jacqueline Devine – Alamogordo Daily News – “Deep Borehole Project stories”

Judge’s Comment: I felt this story was very interesting and well written. I was anxious to read the continuation of each article.

Daily I – Series or Continuing Coverage

2nd Place – Sherry Robinson – Gallup Independent – “Bootstraps to big money”

1st Place – Dan McKay – Albuquerque Journal – “Jail Abuse”

Judge’s Comment: This story jumped to the top of the pile because of the persistent use of public records and the reporter digging beyond the immediate story to pull out more information on the background of the key player in this story. This category drew many entries that followed a developing story line. But by doing more than waiting for the next development -- by reporting outside the boundaries of the key event -- this story takes top honors.

Weekly II – Investigative Reporting

1st Place – Mercy López, Martin Salazar – Las Vegas Optic – “System Failure — Optic investigation finds 7 more with deficient education licenses”

Judge’s Comment: Lots of time and effort went into these series of stories. Well done and well written, except for a few misspellings here and there. Watchdog journalism at its best.

Weekly I – Investigative Reporting

2nd Place – John Miller – Taos News – “Lifting the veil on domestic violence”

1st Place – John Miller – Taos News – “Year of loss stokes discussion on suicide prevention”

Judge’s Comment: This story reached me on a personal level as something I can identify with - and that's what you want, to reach the reader on a personal level. Well done

Daily II – Investigative Reporting

2nd Place – Steve Garrison – Farmington Daily Times – “Retired detective: Police failed kids”

1st Place – Jacqueline Devine – Alamogordo Daily News – “No Identity, No Country”

Judge’s Comment: A great story on the unintended consequences of the federal government's brilliant ideas.

Daily I – Investigative Reporting

2nd Place – Diane Dimond and Colleen Heild – Albuquerque Journal – “Who Guards the Guardians”

1st Place – Mike Gallagher and Lauren Villagran – Albuquerque Journal – “Cartel next door”

Judge’s Comment: Giving face and voice to the cartel and victims and shining a light on the inner-workings of the organizations and people in them.

Weekly II- Design and Typography

2nd Place – Ruidoso News Staff – Ruidoso News

1st Place – Scott Turner, Jonathan Miller – El Defensor Cheiftain

Judge’s Comment: Use of photos and graphics: Size of photos and subject as relating to story on front pages were a perfect fit. Inside photos for stories, again a perfect fit. Graphics throughout the paper a little lacking, but not detrimental to judge's decision. Editorial layout: a very clean look - there's much to be respected for justified columns. Sometimes ragged type, is, well ... ragged. Advertising layouts on the pages - very suitable for your broadsheet layout. Printing reproduction and overall appearance: Very decent, considering that newsprint-paper is only a few grades above paper towels and press runs are a difficult process to reach consistency on. We judged this entry on the three submissions as a whole. On a ranking of 1 to 5, five being the highest, we judged the submissions as a solid 4.

Weekly I – Design and Typography

2nd Place – Jessica Stevens – Las Cruces Bulletin

1st Place – Staff – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: Uniformity of flow and "eye-follow" in layouts across all editions - that's meant as a compliment and a positive. Good use of spot and four-color. Solid choice in photo selections. Some pretty creative graphics on front covers. Your paper has a lot to offer the reader with the superbly done special sections - specifically the "Heroes" insert. Display advertising is well done - not too "junky" looking. Presswork is satisfactory.

Daily II – Design and Typography

2nd Place – Staff - Alamogordo Daily News

1st Place – Staff – Roswell Daily Record

Judge’s Comment: Clean, consistent design. Good headline structure. Good choice of fonts.

Daily I- Design and Typography

2nd Place – Staff – Albuquerque Journal

1st Place – Staff – Santa Fe New Mexican

Judge’s Comment: Clearly defined layouts visibly helps the reader to follow and flow with the stories. Uniform, yet creatively organized. Good balance of news, features, national. Good font selection and size in headlines/sub-heads without being imposing. Nice balance of sans serif headlines. Photo selection: top rate. Staff photogs got skills.

Weekly II – Best Sports Coverage

2nd Place – Jonathan Miller – El Defensor Chieftain

1st Place – Staff – Mountain View Telegraph

Judge’s Comment: Good, sharp photos with good variety. Easy flow page layout. Good writing. Good mix of coverage. Tighter crop on some photos would help them pop off the page.

Weekly I – Best Sports Coverage

2nd Place – Gary Herron – Rio Rancho Observer

1st Place – Kenn Rodriguez – Valencia County News-Bulletin

Judge’s Comment: Good, sharp photos. Good mix of information, Good use of boxes, color and gray boxes. Strong submissions. Prefer heds to stretch across story, not just one column (Shut down, Oct. 13, 2016). Use shorter, snappier leads for stories. Use quotes in all stories. Generally good writing.

Daily II – Best Sports Coverage

2nd Place – Brienne Green – Artesia Daily Press

1st Place – AJ Dickman – Roswell Daily Record

Judge’s Comment: Strong photos, a commitment to covering local sports were nice. Probably could have used fewer photos on the February cover, to get in more of the basketball story.

Daily I – Best Sports Coverage

2nd Place – Jason Groves – Las Cruces Sun-News

1st Place – Sports Staff – Albuquerque Journal

Judge’s Comment: Layout and graphics are excellent. Your Sunday space is something many departments would be envious of these days. Local photos are very good. Writing is good quality. You do a very good job balancing local and national.

Weekly II – Best News Coverage

2nd Place – Scott Turner, John Larson, Jonathan Miller – El Defensor Chieftain

1st Place – Staff – Mountain View Telegraph

Judge’s Comment: Enjoyed the variety of news and engaging design throughout. Stories needed tighter editing and I wish the stories didn't jump. There would be space for more content. Overall, nice overview of the community happenings.

Weekly I – Best News Coverage

2nd Place – Staff - Valencia County News-Bulletin

1st Place – Staff – Taos News

Judge’s Comment: Good variety of community news and opinions. Nice layout, section organization and design. Color photos and graphics help get through the sometimes longer than necessary stories

Daily II – Best News Coverage

2nd Place – Daily Press and Independent staff – Silver City Daily Press

1st Place – Staff – Eastern New Mexico News

Judge’s Comment: A well-rounded newspaper. The staff does a great job covering the tragic events as well as the things that make this community special. Design isn't fancy, but it gets the job done. Photos do well with the reporting or just as stand alones. Obviously, this community is lucky to have such a paper.

Daily I – Best News Coverage

2nd Place – New Mexican staff – Santa Fe New Mexican

1st Place – Staff – Albuquerque Journal

Judge’s Comment: The flag says "New Mexico's Leading News Source." The entry shows why. Great design that is consistent all the way through. News stories are well-written and reported. An overall great news source.

Weekly – Public Service

2nd Place – Staff - Valencia County News-Bulletin – “Community Assets”

1st Place – Staff – Taos News – “Four Story Hotel Debate”

Judge’s Comment: The Taos News thoroughly covered this issue, but what makes this a first place entry is that the paper was fearless in taking a position on the issue and going out and finding the facts to back up its position. That is the true spirit of a public service award - how much is a newspaper willing to go out on a limb for the good of the public.

Daily – Public Service

2nd Place – Staff – Santa Fe New Mexican – “U.S 550’s Fatal Flaws”

1st Place – Diane Dimond and Colleen Heild – Albuquerque Journal – “Who Guards the Guardians”

Judge’s Comment: An important and heartbreaking series of stories. The paper should be commended for giving up time and space to pursue and issue that many people don't even think about until it is too late. This entry truly lived up to the spirit of public service.

Weekly II – General Excellence

1st Place – El Defensor Chieftain

Judge’s Comment: Your pub box states that you are the second-oldest newspaper in New Mexico ... long may you run. Your staff is probably small but your paper has big impact. And your commitment shows. Judges decisions based on three submissions as a whole. Front page, above the fold - it will want to make the reader unfold and open it up. Good use of broadsheet space. Not all "busy" and cluttered. Good story topics - very sound and community based. Photo shots and selections nicely compliment stories. Advertising: ads are what they are. But we do like your Chamber Commerce and other special services sections and directories. That sort of thing conveys YOUR connection to the community - that's always a good thing. We don't know your circulation or demographics, but we judge that you are a first-rate paper among your peers in this division's competition and in your community.

Weekly I – General Excellence

1st Place – The Taos News really stands out in the General Excellence among its division. The layout and design of your paper is excellent. The effort that the staff puts into the visual appeal comes through. Writing: Nice balance of local & national stories. Good leads, followed by concrete body. Headlines:people will want to read the stories - that's what it's all about, right? Front page sections - that's where people judge the book by its cover, your paper seemed to always make a good first impression there. Advertising: Some ads stand out, others not so much, but the world of selling newspaper ads is filled with fickle clients, for the most part the Taos Sales Team and Graphics Dept. gets an 'A' for its efforts. Presswork/production: Overall very clean and sharp. It's hard to operate a press and put ink on thin pulpy paper! Your press crew deserves praise too.

Daily II – General Excellence

1st Place – Farmington Daily Times

Judge’s Comment: Good mix of local and national stories. Local news writing is strong and informative. Layouts were well done and appealing.

Daily I – General Excellence:

1st Place – Santa Fe New Mexican