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Crosscut receives 11 awards from Society of Professional Journalists

A piece on Seahawks coach Pete Carroll by Art Thiel was among the articles honored. Credit: Drew McKenzie/Sportspress Northwest

Crosscut was honored with 11 awards in this year’s Society of Professional Journalists Northwest Excellence in Journalism competition, including four first place finishes and a special recognition for innovation. The awards came in the category of print and online dailies with small staffs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Montana.

Our writing was recognized in a wide range of areas. Writer Knute Berger won first place in commentary for his “Mossback” series of columns, which provide a unique look at the Northwest and its issues, people and heritage. Editor-in-Chief Mary Bruno won first place in personalities for a profile of Arlington Mayor Barb Tolbert and the response to the Oso landslide.

Sports columnist Art Thiel won first place in sports columns, as well as in sports reporting for his story on how the Seattle Seahawks came to hire Coach Pete Carroll.

John Stang, who regularly covers state government for Crosscut, won three awards. His two second place awards were in short feature stories, for an article headlined “How to tell if your senator wrote his own wikipedia article,” and in business reporting for a story on a Northeast Washington gold mine facing closure. He won a third place in arts and lifestyle writing for a report on improvisational comedy and a comedy group, Jet City Improv, that teaches it.

Stacy Solie’s articles on the effects of childhood neglect on the human brain won second place in health reporting. Ben Anderstone won third place in government reporting for his look at how Seattle politics is less liberal than sometimes assumed. Our city reporter David Kroman won third place in personalities writing for an article about Shwetak Patel and the University of Washington’s Ubiquitous Computation Lab.

Crosscut’s Community Idea Lab series of articles and events won a Gala Award for innovation in journalism. The program presents a focused look at issues confronting the Greater Seattle area, including in-depth reporting and events that spotlight potential ways to address them.

The next event in the program will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center, with the theme of “Building a 21st Century Transportation System.” Previous programs have focused on education challenges and how to use the tech boom to address inequality and community engagement.

Of the program, the Western Washington SPJ chapter said, “Crosscut.com innovated in the service of its audience in a powerful way using the Community Idea Lab, a project that ‘brings together the power of online news site and its readers to bring out, develop and harness the ideas of engaged local citizens to solve community problems.’ ”

In accepting the award, Bruno and Berit Anderson, Crosscut’s former managing editor, pointed to the collaboration that occurred within Crosscut and with community partners. Anderson recalled hopping buses to business and organizations around Seattle to build wide community involvement in the project. Anderson – who is launching a publication called Scout that combines reporting and science fiction–  urged journalists, whatever their roles and experience, to seize opportunities to report on and explore public issues in new ways.

 

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