Alan Prendergast just continues his winning ways. His February 8, 2007, package on how District Attorney Carol Chambers runs her office – “The Punisher” and “A Thumb on the Scales” – was just named the best news story of the year by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. (Last month, Prendergast’s August 16, 2007, “The Caged Life” was named the year’s best feature story by the Society of Professional Journalists.) In the AAN awards, Westword editor Patricia Calhoun took second place in column writing – booted from first by Gustavo Arellano, author of Ask a Mexican. And the January 4, 2007, “Paint the Town Read” project by Kenny Be and former associate editor Amy Haimerl, which included an interactive map, quotes and illustrations of Denver’s most famous literary scenes, won second place for innovation.
The night before the June 7 AAN awards ceremony, Jason Sheehan was in New York for the James Beard Foundation awards, where he was one of two finalists in the restaurant-reviewing category (which was won by Brad Johnson of Angeleno magazine). Back in 2003, Sheehan took first place in the Beard contest after less than a year at Westword.
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On June 10, the Journalism Center on Children & Families announced its Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism, and two Westword stories were singled out for honorable mention in the non-daily category: Luke Turf’s April 19, 2007, “Faith, Hope..and Charity” and Joel Warner’s “You Do the Meth,” originally published June 28, 2007. Warner’s story was earlier named a finalist in the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma awards; Casey judges called it “an insightful look at the forgotten victims in the drug wars – the children.”