For the second year in a row, Westword has taken home the Colorado Press Association's Award for Editorial Excellence in its class of large weeklies. The sweepstakes award is based on total points accumulated in the CPA contest's twelve editorial award categories. Among Westword's wins: Managing editor Andy Van De Voorde earned the new "Shining Star" award, given in all six CPA classes to "the consistent reporter or writer who has been outstanding throughout the entire contest year. The test is quality in quantity." The nominees were judged on the basis of twelve stories, one from each month of the contest period; Van De Voorde was nominated for the "depth, diligence and sheer delight his stories give readers." His pieces ranged from "The Fight at the End of the Tunnel," his September 23, 1992, profile of Colorado's crankiest elected body, the Moffat Tunnel Commission, to "The Counterfeit Cop," the March 3, 1993, story of a kid who paid with his life for his charade as a police officer. "Signing Off," Van De Voorde's June 16, 1993, salute to Denver's "wall dog" sign painters, also took second place as Best Feature Story.
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First place for Best Feature Story went to Backbeat editor Michael Roberts, for "A Cut Above," his February 24, 1993, profile of mohel Jay Feder. Other Westword awards included first place for Best Sports Story to Bill Gallo, third place to Patricia Calhoun for Best Serious Column, and second place to the staff for Best Headline Writing. Westword's continuing coverage of the Rocky Flats grand jury earned the paper first place in Community Service.
Westword's classified section also took home a first for Best Classifieds, a new contest category. The General Excellence award for weeklies over 4,000 circulation went to the Estes-Park Trail-Gazette, as did the sweepstakes award in advertising; the Aspen Times won the Photo and Design sweepstakes. In the class of weeklies between 1,750 and 4,000 circulation, the Telluride Times-Journal won both the Editorial sweepstakes and the award for General Excellence. The Brighton Reporter won the General Excellence award for weeklies under 1,750 circulation.
Until two years ago Westword was allowed to compete against the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News and the Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph in the class of daily papers over 100,000 circulation. This year the Rocky Mountain News took home the General Excellence award in that class, as well as sweepstakes awards in Editorial, Photo and Design; News reporter Ann Carnahan was named Shining Star. In the class of dailies between 10,000 and 100,000 circulation, the Longmont Daily Times-Call won sweepstakes awards for both Editorial, Photo and Design, as well as General Excellence. (Former Westword staff writer Juliet Wittman won first place for Best Serious Column, "Body and Soul" in the Boulder Daily Camera.) In the class of dailies under 10,000 circulation, the Fort Morgan Times earned both the Editorial, Photo and Design sweepstakes, as well as General Excellence.
The awards were announced Saturday evening at the conclusion of the CPA's annual convention.