From life on the stage of the Santa Fe Opera and in farm fields in Northern New Mexico to the death of a former mayor and the state of education, the journalists at the Santa Fe Reporter delivered stories that matter to our audience in the last year—and the judges for the New Mexico Press Association 2022 Better Newspaper Contest agree.
Ten categories in the contest results announced Nov. 12 featured winners from SFR in the Weekly 1 class for weekly newspapers with a circulation above 5,000, including first place in web site excellence (Please take a bow, Brianna Kirkland, our digital services manager.)
SFR Senior Correspondent Julia Goldberg won first place for her reviews of the Santa Fe Opera and second place in the new “COVID in the community” category for her ongoing coverage of the pandemic as well as second place for environment or agriculture reporting (in this case environment) for her story “Winds of Change,” about how scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory are developing wildfire tools for the new climate.
On the agricultural front, Editor and Publisher Julie Ann Grimm put on her reporter’s hat for “Crazy Hot,” about an off-the-grid, farm-to-table hot sauce maker and won first place in that category.
SFR’s team also scored second place in the “Sunshine Award” category for its efforts to shed light on the City of Santa Fe’s policy to keep police discipline records secret. (Update: The state Supreme Court denied our writ, concluding the case and allowing the secrecy policy to stand.)
Former staff writer William Melhado, now with the Texas Tribune, won second place for his obituary of Javier Gonzales and second place for “Does Not Equal” in best series for his work on education reform in the wake of the Yazzie/Martinez case; former staff writer Grant Crawford’s coverage of a teen murder trial earned second place for continuing coverage. SFR also earned second place for headline writing for “Put Your Crop Tops On” for a story about healthy soil by Riley Gardner.