The Society of Professional Journalists held its annual award ceremony for the 2014 Northwest Excellence in Journalism competition June 6 at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany.
Nigel Jaquiss, the Pulitzer-winning news reporter for Willamette Week, gave the keynote address, in which he outlined the story behind the coverage leading to Gov. John Kitzhaber’s resignation. Jaquiss won the Bruce Baer Award, considered Oregon’s highest award for investigative reporting, for the third time. Joining Jacquiss was Michael Rodgers, the whistleblower who leaked Kitzhaber’s emails. Rogers recieved the First Freedom Award, given to non-journalists who help keep government transparent.
EW took home awards for the Region 10 chapter (which includes Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Alaska) in several categories. EW Special Sections Editor Amy Schneider placed third in the health reporting category for “Sex Positive” (published Nov. 20, 2014), her investigative look at the state of sex education in Lane County schools.
Arts Editor Alex V. Cipolle came in second for arts and lifestyle reporting for “The Art of Black History” (Jan. 16, 2014), which focused on Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art’s exhibit Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power and Oregon’s legacy of racism. Cipolle also came in third place in the same category for “Silver Lining Playbook” (March 13, 2014), about the fashion garment house — Silver Lining Productions, which has since closed its location and is now a fashion event production company.
In the investigative reporting category, Associate Editor Camilla Mortensen placed second for “Rape U” (June 12, 2014), an in-depth report into the University of Oregon’s history of sexual assault and the rape allegations against three UO basketball players in 2014. Mortensen also placed third in environmental reporting for “Toxic Soup” (April 10, 2014), which examined the potentially dangerous mix of pesticides sprayed aerially on a rural Oregon community.
Editor Ted Taylor nabbed second place in environmental reporting for “River Be Damned” (Jan. 30, 2014), which delved into the conflict around Soda Springs Dam on the North Umpqua River, pitting the health of fish populations against the profits of hydro project owner and operator PacifiCorp.