Three TDN journalists won awards for their work in the Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest Monday night.
Police and criminal justice reporter Alex Bruell won first place in the feature writing category for his article “One valley too far: How 110 soldiers survived the Mount St. Helens eruption.” The story of 46 Green Berets and 64 Army Ranger trainees escaping the volcanic blast had been largely untold for 40 years.
TDN photographer Courtney Talak won two awards Monday night: First place for general news photography for her coverage of the memorial for slain Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin DeRosier, and first place for her photo essay on the remains of a Pearl Harbor Navy musician finally returning home after he died aboard the USS Oklahoma on Dec. 7, 1941.
Reporter Mallory Gruben won a runner-up in business reporting award for her article “Unions: Growing gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ driving strike activity.” The story came in time for Labor Day as hundreds of union-represented employees in Cowlitz County were poised to go on strike.
“I’m very proud of the work that these fine young journalists produced for the readers of The Daily News and our TDN website,” said TDN City Editor Andre Stepankowsky. “The SPJ contest is extremely competitive. These awards show that our small staff produced some of the region’s best journalism last year, and that we strive for excellence every day.”
The contest, put on by the regional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, honored journalists in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. Judges considered work published throughout 2019.
Two former TDN reporters — Hayat Norimine and Denver Pratt — also won awards for their work Monday night. Norimine is now at the Dallas Morning News and Pratt is at the Bellingham Herald.
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