The Federal Way Mirror’s news team won seven awards in multiple categories at the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, which was streamed via YouTube on Oct. 9. Below are the winners along with judges’ comments on their work.
News story, long
First place: Olivia Sullivan, “Community remembers murdered teen.” Judges’ comments: A well-reported story with outstanding remembrances, anecdotes and imagery expertly woven into an easy-to-read package that tugs at the heartstrings.
Crime and court story
Second place: Olivia Sullivan, “Fire destroys home.” (no judges’ comments)
General feature story, long
First place: Haley Donwerth and Olivia Sullivan, “Motorcycle crash miracle.” Judges’ comments: The Donwerth-Sullivan account of Bernardo Barco’s motorcycle accident was loaded with great quotes from multiple sources and told a riveting story about a life-changing event … and about reactions that help restore faith in everyday people.
Second place: Olivia Sullivan, “Couple quarantined on cruise ship.” Judges’ comments: A timely story for 2020, how people in a relaxing situation suddenly had to cope and function in a stressful situation. Very readable piece.
General feature story, short
Second place: Olivia Sullivan, “Please not my son.” Judges’ comments: A touching story about the impact of a young man’s murder on his family and a secondary story about how he would be honored at his graduation. Nice interviewing and detail.
News of the weird
Second place: Olivia Sullivan, “Who is the elf on 320th Street?” Judges’ comments: Nice local story about what makes hometowns so special, especially during a holiday.
Second place: Carrie Rodriguez, “Mirror’s role in vetting candidates.” Judges’ comments: This is a great example of calling elected officials out and explaining (deeply) why the paper took the action. Also it explains what it did not do and why.