Staffers at The Columbian have been honored with a dozen awards, including six first-place awards, in a multistate competition organized by the Society of Professional Journalists.
The awards were announced Thursday as part of the 2022 Society of Professional Journalists NW Excellence in Journalism Contest. The contest focused on work produced in 2022 at similarly sized newsrooms across SPJ Region 10, which includes Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
First-place honors went to Becca Robbins, Griffin Reilly, Nika Bartoo-Smith, Jessica Prokop and Kelsey Turner for breaking news for their team coverage of the Nakia Creek Fire. Kelly Moyer of the Camas-Washougal Post-Record, who contributed to the coverage, was also honored in the award.
Prokop won first place in crime and law enforcement reporting for her story “Vancouver teen’s murderer beats three strikes — again; Roy Russell resentenced to 26 years in 2005 murder of Chelsea Harrison.”
Will Denner won first place in sports feature writing for his story “La Center Wide Receiver Davari Grauer wears unique gloves for grandfather with Alzheimer’s.” Taylor Balkom won second place in portrait photography for his photo, “Davari Grauer’s Gloves,” that accompanied the story.
Meg Wochnick won first place in sports reporting for her story “Finding Solutions to Struggles, Part 1: Trying times for Fort Vancouver Trappers,” and “Part 2: Helping kick-start success in cross country at Fort Vancouver.”
Tim Martinez won first place in sports column writing for a selection of his work.
Greg Jayne won second place in editorial and commentary writing for a selection of his columns.
Griffin Reilly won second place in LGBTQ+ and equity reporting for his story “Drag queen story hour controversy.”
Scott Hewitt won second place for series writing in his package “From Kabul to Clark County.”
Romana Wood won first place for graphics and illustrations for a selection of her work.
Merridee Hanson won second place for graphics and illustrations for a selection of her work.
Amy Libby won second place in print page design for a selection of her work.