Press Club Honors Staffers

Phoenix New Times writers won 26 awards — including 13 first places — at the recent Arizona Press Club awards banquet for work published in 2009.

The big winner was art director Peter Storch, named Designer of the Year, one of the contest's four most prestigious awards.

About Storch's winning entry, the judges wrote, "This portfolio was filled with complex concepts, and the ideas alone made it a contender for the top spot. But what put it there was execution."

Storch, with assistant art director Jasmine Hobeheidar, also won three first places in design categories and swept all seven awards in two of the categories. The firsts were in Illustration, with contributing artist Rory Kurtz; Multi-Page Design; and Cover Design.

Columnist Sarah Fenske took two first places. She won the John Kolbe Award for Politics and Government reporting for her cover story "Mr. Clean Elections" and the Don Schellie Award for Column Writing.

Critic Robrt L. Pela won two firsts, in Best Criticism and for his "Chasing Pablo" cover story in the Personality Profile category.

Music editor Martin Cizmar received two firsts. He won for his "Do You Hate Fan Music?" and "The Great Hoofed Hope" in the Best Arts Reporting category and, along with Web editor Jonathan McNamara, staff writer Niki D'Andrea, and contributor Stephen Chilton, for the Up on the Sun blog.

Other New Times journalists winning top honors were: staff writer Ray Stern, Best Opinion Blog, for his work in Valley Fever; former Night & Day editor Clay McNear, Best Feature Headline; and former writing fellow Malia Politzer, Social Issues Reporting.

Managing editor Amy Silverman took second place in Project, Explanatory, or Public Service Journalism for her three-part series, "The Lost Kids," and Stern and Fenske came in third for the Don Bolles Award for Investigative Reporting.

Assistant Night & Day editor Lilia Menconi, staff writers Paul Rubin and Monica Alonzo, contributing photographer Jamie Peachey, and staff writer Paul Rubin, plus contributing artists Brian Stauffer, Jeff Foster, and Jeff Crosby also won awards.

The Journalist of the Year winner was Shanna Hogan, a reporter for Times Publications (including the Scottsdale Times) for her crime writing.

The awards banquet was at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in downtown Phoenix.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.