Five RAISING ARIZONA KIDS journalists took a total of eight awards at Saturday night’s Arizona Press Club Awards event, which recognizes professionals from across the state for reaching the highest standards of quality in reporting, writing, photography, design and multimedia categories. The event was held at The Duce in Phoenix.
Though the magazine has won numerous Arizona Press Club awards in its 22-plus years’ history, eight awards in one year is a record high.
Writer and “Stage Mom” blogger Lynn Trimble took first place in the Non Metro Writing – Features Blog category. Of her work, judge Kathy Blackwell, senior editor in charge of features at the Austin-American Statesman, wrote, “This impressive blog contains vivid writing, [a] wonderful variety of subjects and lots of photos. I also liked the ‘Coming up’ teases, the updates and other useful links.”
Lynn is a disciplined blogger who posts at least daily. True to form, she went home after the awards ceremony ended and posted a story about every other arts writer honored at the event. (See “Art Meets Journalism.”) Her 2011 blog posts are still in the process of being converted to RAK’s new website platform, which launched May 13. Begin her 2011 journey here.
Lynn also took second place in the Non Metro Writing – Arts Criticism category. “Trimble’s entertaining descriptions and straightforward argument are a refreshing antidote to the prevailing, incoherently fawning voice of theater bloggers everywhere,” wrote the judge, Ben Waterhouse, assistant arts and culture editor at Willamettte Week.
Writer and copyeditor Mary Ann Bashaw took second place in the Non Metro Writing – Social Issues category for her year-long series, “Finding Purpose in Grief.”
“A sensitive, smartly conceived and well-written series on parents’ grief in losing their children during birth and early childhood,” wrote the judge, William Wan, who covers U.S. foreign policy and Asia for the Washington Post.
Mary Ann’s series began in January 2011 with the story of Joanne Cacciatore, who channeled the loss of her baby daughter Cheyenne into the creation of the MISS Foundation, which provides support and healing to grieving families around the world. The series continued into the areas of perinatal hospice care (“When Birth and Death Merge,” March 2011), “How Fathers Grieve” (June 2011) and how some grieving parents find solace in creating art or rituals to celebrate and remember their children’s short lives.
Multimedia journalist Vicki Louk Balint took both second and third place in the Non Metro Writing – Multimedia Package category, earning the particular respect of judges for her six-minute video “Joey’s Story,” about infant stroke, and a related article that appeared in the October 2011 issue, “Babies Have Strokes, Too,” which took second place. “The producer did a good job editing the video to include the perspectives of the doctor and mother,” write the judge, Michael Corey, digital innovations editor for California Watch at the Center for Investigative Reporting.
Third place in the multimedia category was awarded to Vicki for her video portraying the energetic motivational cheers of two local high school girls lacrosse teams. In that project, she collaborated with the magazine’s co-owner, Phoenix attorney Dan Barr, who received a separate third-place award for the story “Coming Together As a Team,” which he wrote to accompany the video. “A really creative idea to showcase the different cheers the teams have come up with,” Corey wrote.
Publisher & Editor Karen Davis Barr took second place in the Non Metro Writing – Features Blog category for a series of “Behind the ‘Zine” posts she wrote about witnessing open-heart surgery. “It was an interesting idea to watch open-heart surgery and write about it installments – very engaging,” wrote Blackwell, who also judged this category.
The eighth award, a second place in the Non-Metro Health Reporting category, went to Karen for her July 2011 story about Scottsdale teen Kyle Pratt’s weight loss journey, “A Matter of Will and Medical Science.”
“A compelling look at childhood obesity and how it impacts an entire family,” wrote the judge, Kay Lazar, health reporter with the Boston Globe. “This story has a nice use of sidebars to make the package especially consumer friendly.”