Regan, James DiGiovanna and Tom Danehy all won first-place honors in the contest, the results of which were announced Saturday, May 15 at a banquet in Phoenix.
Regan won first place in the visual and performing arts criticism category for all newspapers for "Heaven and Hell in Connemara" (Oct. 23, 2003). About that piece, Suzanne Muchnic, of the Los Angeles Times, wrote, "A calmly compelling piece of writing that weaves aesthetic criticism and social issues into a disturbing tale about the life and work of an artist." Regan also took first in the general reporting category for medium-sized newspapers for "A Christmas Crossing" (Dec. 25, 2003). The judge, Betsy Russell of The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash. ) said, "This is a fascinating look inside the world of migrants hoping to cross into the United States, and a community where they gather. Great detail, puts you there. Wonderful writing." Regan also took third in that category for "Medical Miracles" (Dec. 18, 2003), and third place in the personality profile writing category for medium-sized newspapers for "The Life of Timothy H. O'Sullivan" (March 13, 2003).
Tom Danehy won two awards. He took first place in the sports reporting category for medium-sized newspapers for "Out of Bounds" (July 10, 2003). Judge Dennis Peck of The Oregonian (Portland) noted, "A wide-ranging look at the impact of summer and club sports. The author writes with a point of view, but still gives voice to both sides of a very contentious issue." Danehy also won third place in the commentary/analysis category for medium-sized newspapers for "Entitled to Nothing" (May 8, 2003).
James DiGiovanna beat out all other Arizona critics, winning the film, video and television criticism category for all newspapers, for "Two Tons of Style" (Nov. 27, 2003). About this review of Elephant, judge Bob Laurence, of the San Diego Union Tribune, wrote, "An eloquent, clearly thought-out review that places the film firmly in the context of its serious subject and the career of the director. DiGiovanna's deft use of humor adds to the readability of his piece."
Finally, Weekly writers took two of the top three spots in the feature writing category for medium newspapers--contending among 63 entries. Leo W. Banks won second place for "Howling Mad" (Aug. 14, 2003) and Jim Nintzel--the 2002 Community Journalist of the Year--took third for "Royal Flush" (April 24).