Staffers from the Nogales International, collectively and individually, won a total of 17 reporting, photography and advertising awards during the Arizona Newspapers Association annual convention last weekend in Chandler.
Standout individual winners included reporter Murphy Woodhouse, who was named Photographer of the Year among the state’s non-daily newspapers in the ANA’s 2015 Better Newspapers Contest, and graphic designer Priscilla Bolaños, who won four first-place and a second-place award in the Advertising Excellence competition, as well as a second-place prize in the Better Newspapers Contest.
The NI was recognized with a first-place award for General Excellence in Advertising, as well as for Best Use of Photography. The paper finished second in Page Design Excellence and third in Editorial Page Excellence.
Former reporter Curt Prendergast took the prize for Best News Story for “20 months on, feds arrive at shooting scene,” about the U.S. Attorney’s Office sending an investigative team to the spot where Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz shot and killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in October 2012. Prendergast also teamed up with managing editor Jonathan Clark and temporary reporter Joseph Treviño to win first place in Best Sustained Coverage or Series for ongoing coverage of the arrival of undocumented Central American youth to the Nogales Border Patrol Station last summer.
Prendergast and Clark also collaborated on a second-place finish in Best Column, Analysis or Commentary, which came for an editorial about public officials who take too much personal credit for projects paid for with taxpayer money. Prendergast won third place in Investigative Reporting for his story “For deportees, a struggle to get cash from checks,” about how the Arizona Department of Corrections returns deportees’ money with checks they can’t easily cash in their home countries, and he took third place in the Best Sports Column category for his description of colorful Spanish-language baseball prose.
Murphy Woodhouse won a third-place prize in Best Feature Story for “Epic journey, bracelets bring son closer to mom,” which recounted efforts on behalf of a Honduran boy to rescue him from his crime-plagued hometown and reunite him with his mother in Texas.
In the Advertising Excellence contest, Bolaños took first place in the categories of Best Black & White Ad, Best Color Ad, Best Paid Ad Series (color) and Best Online Ad (dynamic).
Two of those recognitions came for ads she designed for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz County: one for the club’s fundraising wine festival and the other for its annual Fiestas de Mayo event. The others were for a color ad for Divas Beauty Salon and the “You have the power” series for the County Attorney’s Office.
Also in the advertising contest, Bolaños finished second in the Best Online Ad (static) category for a promotion for Discover magazine. In the Better Newspapers Contest, she finished second in the Best Special Section category for “Nogales Takes the Lead,” a special insert about the renovated Mariposa Port of Entry.
The NI entered both the Better Newspapers Contest and Excellence in Advertising competition in the division for non-daily newspapers with circulations under 3,500.