EDITORIAL: Great journalism recognized

Nevadans are fortunate to live in a state that has so many excellent journalists, from Carson City to Boulder City. A good number of them work for this newspaper.

Each year, the Nevada Press Association honors the best work of the year through its Better Newspaper Contest. Saturday night in Elko, at the press association’s annual banquet, the Review-Journal won first place in the general excellence category for urban dailies, and 14 other first-place awards, 11 second-place awards and 15 third-place awards.

The Review-Journal’s performance in a number of categories was noteworthy.

Although many newspapers around the country have cut back on staff commentary, the Review-Journal still provides a wide variety of local columns across all sections. The Review-Journal dominated the contest’s opinion writing categories, with first-place finishes for John L. Smith in local column writing; Ron Kantowski in sports column writing; Christopher Lawrence in critical writing; and Glenn Cook in editorial writing. The newspaper swept second and third places in the local column and critical writing catetories.

Feature writing was another sweep. Jennifer Robison took first place for business feature writing; ex-staffer Antonio Planas took first place in news feature writing; and Trevon Milliard won the sports feature writing category. Photographer John Locher took home first-place awards in news photo coverage and feature photography, and Jessica Ebelhar won Best Multiple Photo Essay.

In the contest’s major categories, Review-Journal artist David Stroud was named Outstanding Visual Journalist; Jeff Scheid won Photo of the Year; reporter Mike Blasky was named Journalist of Merit, the top honor for journalists with less than five years of experience; and the newspaper won the Freedom of the Press category for its coverage of out-of-control Las Vegas Constable John Bonaventura.

Award-winning work benefits you, our readers, by providing important information on the functions of governments, insight on big events, and perspective on people you might not otherwise hear about. Irrelevant work does not win awards. We’re proud of our staff’s contributions to this community, and we’re proud so many of them have been appropriately recognized.

Other big winners Saturday were the Las Vegas Sun’s Anjeanette Damon for Outstanding Journalist; Martha Bellisle of the Reno Gazette-Journal for Story of the Year; and Dennis Myers of the Reno News &Review for Editorial of the Year.

Congratulations to all Better Newspaper Contest winners. Great journalism is alive and well in Nevada.

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