NMID wins state, regional journalism awards

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Las Cruces Sun-News reporters Andi Murphy, left, and Lindsey Anderson, who won awards at Saturday's New Mexico Press Women annual conference for work they did with New Mexico In Depth. Anderson also won an award in the Society of Professional Journalists' Top of the Rockies competition.

Heath Haussamen/New Mexico In Depth

Las Cruces Sun-News reporters Andi Murphy, left, and Lindsey Anderson, who won awards at Saturday's New Mexico Press Women annual conference for work they did with New Mexico In Depth. Anderson also won an award in the Society of Professional Journalists' Top of the Rockies competition.

New Mexico In Depth won more than a dozen state and regional journalism awards this weekend.

NMID won seven 1st-place awards and one 2nd-place award in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Top of the Rockies 2013 competition, contest officials announced Friday evening. The competition included news organizations from four states — Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

And at an awards banquet in Las Cruces, New Mexico In Depth won an overall second-place award for general excellence among organizations that entered the New Mexico Press Women’s 2013 competition. NMID also won four 1st-place awards, and two second-place awards and one third-place award.

“We’re honored and humbled to have our work recognized,” said NMID’s executive director, Trip Jennings. “It validates the hard work, intense focus and long hours we all put into this — those of us at NMID and, importantly, the reporters and editors at our partner organizations who invested time and effort, sometimes outside their full-time jobs, to help make all of this happen.”

NMID shares nearly half of the 16 awards it won this weekend with partner organizations including the Las Cruces Sun-News, Santa Fe New Mexican, and Fronteras Desk, which worked with NMID on some of the winning projects.

NMID, the New Mexican, and the Sun-News jointly won first-place awards in both competitions for a six-part series examining Gov. Susana Martinez’s tenure that published in January 2013.

And NMID and the Sun-News won first-place awards in both competitions for their ongoing coverage of the chaotic 2013 behavioral health transition and their lawsuit to try to win release of the audit that helped spark the freezing of Medicaid funds to more than a dozen health organizations.

A judge in the Top of the Rockies competition said the news organizations’ coverage of the Medicaid freeze “really stands out” because, “in an age of tight news budgets, New Mexico In Depth and the Las Cruces Sun-News devoted significant resources to a story with widespread implications for state residents.” The judge noted the lawsuit and reporting that “held government officials accountable.”

Jennings said collaborations with other news organizations are “critical to NMID’s mission of invigorating New Mexico journalism” at a time when shrinking news resources are forcing journalistic outlets to band together.

“It is no longer us versus them when press outlets once competed against one another to tell stories,” Jennings said. “Journalism is undergoing an historic transformation in which outlets more and more are working together to provide their readers, listeners and viewers better information. The lesson here is that by pooling our collective resources, journalists at small outlets can have a real impact on the public discourse.”

Here’s a full list of awards NMID won:

Top of the Rockies competition

Online media category

 New Mexico Press Women competition

  • Overall second place award for general excellence
  • First place, photo essay: A trip home to butcher a sheep, Andi Murphy, Las Cruces Sun-News reporter
  • First place, editorial in an online publication: Tax bill shows need for legislative reform, Haussamen
  • Second place, editorial in an online publication: An open letter to Gov. Martinez, Jennings
  • First place, special series: Examining Gov. Susana Martinez’s tenure; NMID, Santa Fe New Mexican and Las Cruces Sun-News
  • First place, continuing coverage: The Medicaid freeze, NMID and Las Cruces Sun-News
  • Second place, enterprise reporting: D.C. stalemate leaves too few visas for crime victims, Lindsey Anderson, Las Cruces Sun-News reporter (award shared with Sun-News)
  • Third place, investigative reporting: Are New Mexico’s tribes being flooded — then left high and dry?, Paskus

This article has been updated to include NMPW awards for Jennings and Pasksus that NMID didn’t learn of until after publication.

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