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Peers name Rocky Mountain News Sara Burnett as the paper's best reporter

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"Going Up," a sidebar to our main feature article about the for-sale sign hanging on the Rocky Mountain News, spotlighted five Rocky notables who the Denver Post should hire in the event of the tabloid's closure if it wants to lure its old rival's subscribers. But the roster is hardly a complete list of talented journalists at the paper who richly deserve to remain in the profession.

Take Sara Burnett, whose colleagues just chose her as the Rocky's best reporter -- and she has indeed had an incredible year.

Burnett is the Rocky staffer who obtained a letter written by Willie Clark in which he apparently confesses to firing the shots that killed Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams on New Year's Day 2007. (That letter was listed as evidence against Clark when he was indicted for the crime in October.) She's also did the heavy lifting in the case of Scott Kimball, a onetime FBI informant suspected in several murders. In today's edition, Burnett reveals that authorities are talking to Kimball about a potential plea deal if he leads them to the remains of two missing women.

True, Burnett doesn't have the marquee name of Mike Littwin, Tracy Ringolsby or the other writers on the aforementioned tip sheet, she's got talent aplenty. Let's hope that still counts for something despite the terrible condition of today's newspaper industry. -- Michael Roberts

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