Originally Published: October 13, 2018 5:57 p.m.
Once a year, Western News & Info, Inc. (WNI) takes time to recognize its newspaper employees for their work. The company owns three daily newspaper and eight non-dailies.
This year’s seminar took place on Friday, Sept. 26, at Stoneridge Golf Club. The award categories for both the dailies and non-dailies were Best Video, Headline Writing, Feature Photography, Sports Photography, News Photography, Page Design, Column & Opinion Writing, Sports Writing, Best Lede Writing, Creativity in Reporting, Feature/Specialty Writing and Excellence in Writing. Judging each category were members of the California News Publishers Association.
Following are the WNI award winners in the quad-city area, which includes those who work for The Daily Courier, the Prescott Valley Tribune and the Chino Valley Tribune.
Longtime Courier reporter Cindy Barks did exceptionally well this year in the dailies division, receiving first place in the Best Video, Feature Photography, Feature/Specialty Writing and Excellence in Writing categories. She also won second place for Creativity in Reporting.
Some of Barks’ work that was recognized were her stories titled “10 unforgettable women of Prescott’s past,” “New book chronicles Yarnell Fire tragedy ground zero,” and “Prescott closes escrow on Dells open space acquisition.”
Courier reporter Nanci Hutson also had a strong showing, receiving first place for Creativity in Reporting, second place for Feature/Specialty Writing, second place for best Lede Writing and third place for Excellence in Writing.
Some of Hutson’s work that was recognized were her stories titled “A haunting night in The Palace,” “Scottish world traveler awes family in Prescott,” and her senior experience series, where several Prescott High School students were featured throughout their final year in high school.
Courier reporter Max Efrein received a second place in Feature Photography. Some of those photos were featured in stories titled “Community steps in to save a horse,” and “Polar Bear Splash gets warm reception.”
Doug Cook, sports reporter for the Courier, received third place in sports writing. Some of his stories that stood out were titled “Tradition Restored: Yavapai soccer advances to region championship,” and “National Tournament Preview Part I, The Brain Trust.”
Sue Tone, who works as a reporter for both The Daily Courier and The Prescott Valley Tribune, received second place in the Dailies division for Headline Writing and a third place award in the Non-Dailies division for Creativity in Reporting. Some of her stories that were highlighted were titled “Rancher pictured cattle burned to death by Goodwin Fire,” and “Two offline wells: one with arsenic, one plugged up.”
Brian M. Bergner Jr., a news/sports editor for Prescott News Network (PNN), the parent company for all WNI publications in the quad-city area, received several awards in the Dailies division. These were: first place in Sports Writing, second place in Column & Opinion Writing, and third place in Page Design.
Some of Bergner’s highlighted work included a story titled “From Arkansas to Prescott Valley, Archie Goodwin is growing up before our very eyes,” and a column titled “Using sports to teach the life skill of ‘showing up.’”
Les Stukenberg, the photo editor for all quad-city area WNI publications, received several awards in the Dailies division. These were: first place in Sports Photography, first place in News Photography, and third place in Best
Some of his highlighted work showed up in stories about Yavapai College soccer and significant fires, including the Goodwin Fire and Viewpoint Fire.
Last, but certainly not least, Matt Van Doren, a page designer for PNN, received a second place award in the Dailies division for Page Design and a third place award in the Non-Dailies division for Page Design.