McDonald Named AZ Designer of the Year; New Times' Hsieh, Farzan Honored

One of the images in former art director Zac McDonald's award-winning portfolio.
One of the images in former art director Zac McDonald's award-winning portfolio. Zac McDonald
Former Phoenix New Times Art Director Zac McDonald was named Designer of the Year and reporters Steven Hsieh and Antonia Noori Farzan also took first places in the Arizona Press Club journalism competition's statewide division, the organization announced today, April 26.

Hsieh won in the state government reporting category for his stories that led to the firing of Arizona Parks Director Sue Black.

"The reporter did solid investigative work on mismanagement at the state park department and on the destruction of an archaeological site and artifacts," wrote judge Alison Gerber, editor and director of content for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “His writing style [is] clean and compelling. His work affected change.”

Farzan took first in the local government reporting category for her profile of Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.

"A compellingly well-told story of voter suppression, with national implications, rich detail, a portrait of the upstart mariachi player who changed the game and the more than 2,400 voters who were unfairly kept from the polls," wrote judge David Kidwell, the special projects editor at the Better Government Association.

Veteran New Times contributor Robrt L. Pela took a second place for first arts criticism, a third for arts reporting, and an honorable mention for short-form writing.

News Editor Ray Stern placed third in health reporting for his coverage of medical marijuana.

The Arizona Republic's Craig Harris won the top award, Virg Hill Journalist of the Year.
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Stuart Warner was the editor of New Times from 2017 to 2019. He has been a journalist since the stoned ages of 1969, playing a major role on teams that won three Pulitzer Prizes. He is also the author of the biography JOCK: A Coach's Story.