Westword has been named a finalist in the Free Press Association's prestigious Mencken Awards for investigative journalism. The newspaper was honored in the national contest for its 1994 series examining waste and mismanagement at Denver International Airport.
Written by former staff writer David Chandler, the series exposed problems with the airport's automated baggage system and questioned the city's financial projections for DIA. Other finalists in the best news story or investigative report category were Newsweek, the San Francisco Examiner and the San Jose Mercury News.
Chandler, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former staff writer at Life magazine, died in early 1994.
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Westword also received three first-place awards in its distribution class at the Colorado Press Association's annual awards banquet Saturday.
Staff writer Arthur Hodges took first place in deadline news reporting for his article "Filing a Costly Flight Plan." Hodges's story revealed that a firm that received a $250,000 consulting contract with the City of Denver produced no tangible work other than a twenty-page report, portions of which had been plagiarized. Sports columnist Bill Gallo won for sports-column writing with a series of articles including his remembrance of the 1969 World Series. Westword also received first and third place in the headline-writing category.