The Tucson Weekly was named the non-daily Newspaper of the Year in the Arizona Newspapers Association's annual Better Newspapers Contest.
The Sierra Vista Herald—which, like the Weekly, is owned by Wick Communications—won Newspaper of the Year honors in the daily-newspaper category. Newspaper of the Year awards are determined via a points system, combining honors won in the Excellence in Advertising Contest (announced earlier this year) and winning entries from the Better Newspapers Contest.
The Better Newspaper Contest results were announced Saturday, Oct. 15, during the ANA's annual convention in Scottsdale. The contest period was May 1, 2010, through April 30, 2011. Judging was done by the New York Press Association.
The Weekly dominated the individual writing categories in its circulation category (non-dailies with a circulation of more than 10,000), and won several newspaper-wide honors as well.
Beyond the Newspaper of the Year honor, the Weekly's biggest award came in the Community Service/Journalistic Achievement category. The Weekly took first place for coverage of the mass shooting on Jan. 8, 2011, that left six dead, and 13 others wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The 11 other awards earned by the Weekly:
• First place for Best Sustained Coverage or Series: Jim Nintzel, for his Congressional District 8 election coverage.
• First place for Investigative Reporting: Leo W. Banks, for "Smugglers' Paradise" (Nov. 25, 2010), and his subsequent coverage of the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Terry was killed in the line of duty in the Peck Canyon Corridor three weeks after Banks' Nov. 25 piece warned of increasing dangers there.
• First place for Best Sports Story: Tom Danehy, for "Rez Ball" (March 3, 2011).
• First place for Best Column, Analysis or Commentary: Renée Downing, for "We Can Learn a Lot From Our Animals About How to Accept the Passage of Time" (April 28, 2011).
• Second place for Best Special Section: Best of Tucson® (Sept. 23, 2010).
• Second place for Best Column, Analysis or Commentary: Tom Danehy, for "Tom's Modest Proposal for a Rewrite of the DREAM Act Bill" (Feb. 24, 2011).
• Second place for Best Column, Feature or Criticism: Stephen Seigel, for "Albums in Your Stocking" (Dec. 16, 2010).
• Second place for Best Multimedia Storytelling: Josh Morgan, for "Last Days of the UMC Memorial" (The Range, Feb. 7, 2011).
• Third place for Page-Design Excellence.
• Third place for Investigative Reporting: Tim Vanderpool, for "Your Tax Dollars at Work" (Nov. 18, 2010).
• Third place for Best News Feature Story: Mari Herreras, for "Honoring Chelsie" (May 6, 2010).
Randy Hoeft of the Yuma Sun, and Dave Brown of San Pedro Valley News-Sun and Arizona Range News (which are fellow Wick publications) were named the ANA 2011 Photographers of the Year. Brady McCombs of the Arizona Daily Star, and Shanna Hogan of the Scottsdale Times were named the ANA 2011 Journalists of the Year. Dan Shearer of the Green Valley News-Sun (yet another Wick publication) and a team from the Star won Story of the Year honors.