NMID’s Trip Jennings receives NM First award for excellence

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NMID Executive Director Trip Jennings

New Mexico In Depth Executive Director Trip Jennings has received the Spirit of Journalistic Excellence award from the nonpartisan, statewide public-policy organization New Mexico First, an organization known for convening town halls around the state to build consensus on pressing public issues.

“New Mexico First is proud to recognize lawmakers, journalists and community leaders who put the people of New Mexico first and work to find good solutions to the challenges we face,” said former state senator Cynthia Nava, selection committee chair, in a news release. “This award shines the spotlight on hard-working role models who put good policy or fair coverage above partisan politics.”

“I’m humbled by the award,” Jennings said, “which is both an honor and a reminder of the necessity of journalism that is both vigorous and thoughtful, and that grounds public debates in people’s lives and the communities they live in rather than the fickle winds of partisan politics.”

Trip started his career in Georgia at his hometown newspaper, The Augusta Chronicle. Since then he’s worked at newspapers in California, Florida and Connecticut. Trip moved to New Mexico in 2005 and has worked for the Albuquerque Journal, The New Mexico Independent and the Santa Fe New Mexican covering everything from political corruption and how political decisions are made to the challenges confronted by those without political power when they seek change. In recent years he has extensively covered efforts to create an independent state ethics commission. He holds a Master’s of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga. Since 2012, he has been Executive Director of New Mexico In Depth, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization committed to investigative, data-rich stories with an eye on solutions that can be a catalyst for change.  

Trip will be honored alongside several others. Receiving the Spirit of Bipartisanship award are State Representative Rebecca Dow, R-Truth or Consequences, and State Senator Clemente Sanchez, D-Grants. The Spirit of Civic Leadership will be awarded to Katherine Freeman, President & CEO, United Way of Santa Fe County, and the combined staff of KOB-TV 4. And the group will be presenting a Lifetime Achievement award to U.S. Sen. Tom Udall.

The awards will be presented June 6 during the 2019 First Forum Lecture Series in Albuquerque, which will focus this year on journalism, with the theme “Sustainable Journalism: Preserving the Fourth Estate.” More information and tickets to the public event at Popejoy Hall on the University of New Mexico campus can be found on the group’s website.