The Nevada Independent won 11 awards, including six first-place honors, at the state press association banquet in Ely on Saturday.
Among the awards were first-places for our presidential candidate campaign tracker and podcast as well as John L. Smith won for his columns. Reporter Riley Snyder was given the prestigious Journalist of Merit, Jackie Valley won for her landmark “Stars and Struggles” series and a team of reporters won for one of our many stories on Question 3, the energy ballot question.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Henry Brean won the Outstanding Journalist award and for his sweeping series on the Colorado River. The newspaper also won awards for general excellence and online excellence, as well as its coverage of breaking news. Its estimable crime reporter, Rachel Crosby, won several awards.
The Las Vegas Sun won Editorial of the Year for Ric Anderson’s piece on bump stocks and for its digital breaking news on a gang shooting. The Reno Gazette-Journal won for a business feature on the Burning Man festival and its Reno Memo blog.
Among medium-sized papers, Pahrump Valley Times won for general excellence, online blogger Sam Toll won Journalist of Merit and the Mineral County Independent-News won for its investigation of a crackdown on people living in RVs. The Boulder City Review won for general excellence among community papers, and Reno News & Review took general excellence for weeklies.
You can see all of the awards in the document below.
I’m proud of our team for what we did after two and a half years in business, and the judge’s comments were very kind. And congratulations to all of the winners from other outlets.
Here’s a list of our awards:
—First-place in Digital Innovation for our presidential candidate tracker produced by our chief technical officer, CJ Keeney, designer Peter Vogt and reporter Megan Messerly. From the judges: “This map is an easy way to let constituents know when presidential candidates will be visiting at the state level. The level of detail and planning for this feature shows how dedicated the Independent is to informing the community about such a significant election.”
—First-place in Business Spot News for “NV Energy plans ambitious renewable energy ramp up — but only if Question 3 doesn’t pass,” by Riley Snyder and Daniel Rothberg. From the judges: “Great story about the push and pull between energy companies and renewable energy as it ties in with deregulation. Story did a good job of including facts and figures about the impact it would have if NV Energy went through with its solar expansion. This story seemed to break news, which is where you want to be.”
—First-place for our podcast, IndyMatters, with our producer Joey Lovato, and reporters Riley Snyder, Michelle Rindels, Daniel Rothberg and Managing Editor Elizabeth Thompson sharing the award. (No judges comments available.)
—First-place to John L. Smith as Local Non-Staff Columnist. From the judges: “In this highly competitive category, Mr. Smith gets the win, thanks to his clear, breezy and empathetic writing style, coupled with effective use of personal anecdotes to illuminate timely news events.”
—First-place to Jackie Valley for Explanatory Journalism to her piece, “Stars and Struggles,” which already has won national awards. From the judges: “An extraordinary series that goes deep into the challenges facing Sunrise Acres Elementary School. A terrific work of reporting that reveals how perverse incentives and other funding challenges make it so hard for teachers to do their jobs. Great stuff.”
—Journalist of Merit, one of the association’s highest awards, to Riley Snyder. From the judges: “Riley is breaking important accountability stories.His pieces on how Nevada is losing millions in federal funding because it doesn’t spend as much time and resources on grant-writing was solid. His explanation of how Nevada’s electric retail proposal went down in flames was a timely and informative piece of political reporting. But I really like his fact check on the claim that electric retail will lower Nevada’s rates. It’s nuanced, and backed by data—or at least the available data. It’s an example of how every journalist should go about fact-checking a claim.”
—Third-place to photographer Jeff Scheid in Multiple Photo Essay. (No judge comments available.)
—Third-place to Dayvid Figler as Local Non-Staff Columnist. From the judges: “I struggled with this placement. Mr. Figler’s pieces are exhaustively lengthy, and in that respect, difficult to view as pure “columns.” And yet, his efforts to dig into important Nevada issues (and explain them with a largely readable style) merits consideration.”
—Third-place to a team of reporters in Digital news Feature for our ballot question video explainer. The team: Joey Lovato, Riley Snyder, Michelle Rindels, Megan Messerly, Jackie Valley and Daniel Rothberg. (No comments from judges available.)
—Third-place in General Online Excellence to Daniel Rothberg, Jackie Valley and Michelle Rindels. (No comments available.)
—Third-place in Business Feature for Daniel Rothberg, Jackie Valley and Riley Snyder for “Now the rent comes due’: Valley Electric board faces backlash after rate increase, office raid, arrest of CEO.” From the judges: “Deeply reported look at the ouster of an electric co-op CEO facing a sexual harassment allegation, the arrest on embezzlement charges of the CEO who replaced him, and how those scandals may have led to a rate increase for the co-op’s customers.”