The Las Vegas Review-Journal has won six Best of the West awards for journalistic excellence, including first place for multimedia storytelling.
The competition is recognized as the most prestigious journalism contest spanning the 13 Western states.
The newspaper told the story of a runner struggling to finish the 135-mile AdventureCorps Badwater Ultramarathon through Death Valley. As Molly Sheridan completed parts of the 48-hour race, from Badwater to Mount Whitney, her body became visibly broken and battered. All her effort was for a belt buckle: the prize for crossing the finish line.
Video was shot by Justin Yurkanin. An interactive map was created by Michael Quine, and Nate Tannenbaum provided the narrative to complete the package.
Judges recognized the changing camera angles, showing the tiny form of Sheridan moving quickly on treacherous terrain in front of large mountains while the piece weaved through interview footage from the runner and her crew from start to finish.
"It's always nice to be recognized by your peers for the work we all do," Editor Thomas Mitchell said. "The awards, while they go to certain individuals, we realize it takes the work of the whole staff to give them support they need to do their work. (The multimedia award) shows we're trying to break into this new realm of media where there's no distinction between print and broadcast. The two trades have come together in one place, and we're doing well at trying this new frontier."
Image editor Xazmin Garza playfully examined the proper way to pronounce designers' names in a piece that won second-place for feature writing, short form. read Xazmin's winning article
Reporter Richard Lake rounded out the category with his third-place piece about a North Las Vegas family -- devastated by a plane crash that killed most of the relatives -- trying to cope with their loss. read Richard's winning article
Other Review-Journal winners include Corey Levitan, who took second place for his general interest column, Fear and Loafing, first-person accounts of his attempts at unusual jobs see all of Corey's Fear and Loafing stories; Matthew Crowley, whose humor and "colorful plays on words" helped win him third place for headline writing; and former staff writer David Kihara, who won third place in general reporting for his investigation of a Nevada software company that rigged demonstrations to obtain military contracts. read David's winning article
The Las Vegas Sun earned four awards, including first place in sports reporting for a piece about a small-time boxer with big-time dreams of winning a title.
Other first-place winners include The Arizona Republic, The (Portland) Oregonian, Seattle Times, Denver Post, Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee, Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.), San Francisco Weekly, Phoenix New Times, San Francisco Panorama, (Helena, Mont.) Independent Record, and the Victor Valley (Calif.) Daily Press.
The Best of the West contest, which draws more than 2,000 entries, is intended to reward journalistic excellence and promote freedom of information. It is administered by First Amendment Funding Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation.
Judging was not yet completed in the video storytelling and project reporting categories.
Contact Kristi Jourdan at email@example.com or 702-383-0279.