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New Times Writers, Photographers, and Designers Win AZ Press Club Awards

Phoenix New Times won 14 first-place awards in the state Press Club's 2010 Best Journalism in Arizona contest — including for the paper's comprehensive national immigration series, "Amongst U.S."

The newspaper received more than 40 awards overall for work during 2010.

Sarah Fenske, a former New Times staff writer and columnist who now is managing editor of this publication's sister paper in St. Louis, was named first runner-up for the Virg Hill Journalist of the Year Award, and New Times art director Peter Storch was first runner-up for Designer of the Year.

Storch also won first place in Cover Design, sharing the honor with assistant art director John Walters and photographer Jamie Peachey, for work on "Tater Tot," the cover image for a feature on now-Congressman Ben Quayle. The judge said, "The image says it all. Love the restraint here."

Michael Lacey, Monica Alonzo, and Stephen Lemons won in the Project, Explanatory Writing, and Public Service Journalism category for the series examining the U.S. government's failed immigration policy and what it has wrought.

"A deeply sourced series that tells the stories of what happens to Latino immigrants in America and those trying to come here," the judges wrote. "The strength of this undertaking is its humanity — this is no retelling of events based on official records. These reporters are at the border, in Mexico, in the courtroom, in jail, in the health center, in people's homes. These stories paint a picture that is compelling, heartbreaking, infuriating — and all too real."

Former editorial fellow Malia Politzer won first place in Immigration Reporting for "Return to Sender" (January 14), a story that the judge said created "searing portraits of children of illegal immigrants, now reaching adulthood, caught in the middle of Arizona's immigration policies."

Paul Rubin took first place in Social Issues Reporting for "Honor Thy Father" (April 1), a story about a Glendale man of Iraqi descent who killed his daughter because he felt she was too Americanized.

It is a "chilling tale, compellingly written with great detail," the judge wrote. "Rubin captured the atrocity of the crime while providing the cultural context for how something so unimaginable in the Western world could occur."

New Times swept the Illustration Design category, with Kyle T. Webster nabbing first place for "Phantom Murder."

Jonathan McNamara and Claire Lawton won first place for their Multimedia Package "Hero Worship" (September 30).

The judge said, "This entry easily stood out from the field in its ability to leverage several key storytelling formats — thoughtfully compiled vignettes, tightly-edited video, great photography and playful interactivity — with impressive dexterity. This is a shining example of the quality of work that multimedia journalists should strive to produce."

Martin Cizmar won for Best Opinion Blog, which the judge said is "very funny and clear. His columns are wonderfully explanatory and hilarious commentaries on politics and music. His barbs can get personal and mean, but are irresistible. A delight to read."

Alonzo and James King won News Blog first places for their work in "Valley Fever."

The judge said Alonzo's "great persistence reporting on a revealing story about a powerful politician, Mayor Phil Gordon, neatly marries the great tradition of watchdog journalism with the new Internet age."

About King, the judge wrote, "[He] follows the great tradition of 'alternative' media by writing with attitude and verve."


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