Arizona Capitol Times was named the Newspaper of the Year in the non-daily category by the Arizona Newspaper Association on Sept. 29 as part of the group’s annual Better Newspapers Contest.
In addition to the overall title, Capitol Times and its employees won 30 awards for its writing and advertising. Among those were first-place awards for best website, community service and news writing excellence.
The paper also was awarded general excellence titles in both advertising and editorial.
“I am so proud of our entire team. They’ve worked tirelessly to make Arizona Capitol Times the best it can be, and our goal has been to build a better newspaper and website every single day,” said Capitol Times Vice President and Publisher Ginger Lamb. “It’s great to see their passion, enthusiasm and hard work recognized by our peers.”
Several current and former reporters and editors won individual awards for stories and photos produced between June 2011 and May 2012. Senate reporter Luige del Puerto won seven awards, including three first place awards. Among the stories he wrote that were honored was his coverage of immigration, the Sen. Russell Pearce recall election, the state budget and secretive campaign spending.
New media specialist Evan Wyloge was honored for his work covering the redistricting process in 2011, and reporter Gary Grado won an award for his coverage of Arizona cases that were heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Former staffers Caitlin Coakley Beckner and Christian Palmer also won awards. Coakley Beckner received a first place for a profile of House Speaker Andy Tobin, while Palmer won a first place for a column on the Pearce recall.
Palmer and Wyloge were also honored with a Freedom of Information award for their reporting on the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission that used public records to demonstrate that several members of the map-drawing panel colluded to hire a favored consulting firm.