ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Albuquerque Journal has won eight first place awards in the Top of the Rockies regional journalism competition, including first place honors in the coveted public service category for its coverage of the impact of the pandemic COVID-19 on Navajo Nation other Indigenous communities.

The photographer of the newspaper Adolphe Pierre-Louis took first place for this image taken following a shooting during a demonstration against the statue of Juan de Oñate in the old town in June 2020.

In all, the Journal received 31 awards in the competition, coordinated by the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The Journal competed with major newspapers and other media organizations in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The competition covered the calendar year 2020.

Journal editors Elise Kaplan and Theresa Davis received the Public Service Award for their solution-based reporting on the devastating impact of the pandemic on the Navajo Nation, where the COVID-19 infection rate was initially over seven times that of the rest of the state. They applied for and received a grant from the Solutions Journalism Network to expand their coverage and not only look at the problem, but also what people were doing to fix it.

“Excellent analysis which uncovered shocking statistics and demonstrated great tenacity,” wrote a judge. “The Albuquerque Journal is to be applauded for its efforts.”

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Magazine photographer Adolphe Pierre-Louis also won a first place prize in the news photography / videography category for a photograph capturing the aftermath of the shooting during a protest against the statue of Juan de Oñate. The judge called it “a multi-layered image made under difficult and dynamic circumstances.

“The eye naturally moves from the fleeing spectators in the lower left corner, to the victim surrounded by both protesters and armed men,” the judge wrote. “The reactions and postures of the different subjects strongly told the story in one frame.”

Pierre-Louis won third place for the same photo in news photography at the Best of the West competition.

The Journal’s other winning entries in the Top of the Rockies contest were:

First place

Cathryn Cunningham, Illustrator and Graphic Designer for The Journal, for her illustration “A Devastating Toll: Dismay as New Mexico Continues to Count Its Dead” marking the first 1,000 coronavirus deaths in New Mexico.

Davis in Agriculture and the Environment, reporting for “A ‘Slow and Painful’ Crisis” on the fifth anniversary of the Gold King mine spill.

Adrian Gomez, Editor-in-Chief of Arts and Feature Films, in the Arts and Entertainment and Food News category or in the ‘Enduring Images: A native of Las Cruces makes works of art for the I -25 / university exchange “

Elizabeth Trujillo, Associate Editor, writes the title of “THE FORE-1-1”

John Trever in Editorial Cartoons.

Jim Thompson in the news photography / videography for “In Detention”.

Second place

Writer Geoff Grammer in the sports report for “The Night of 1988, UNM Stunned the Hoop World.”

Writer Rick Wright in Sports Columns.

Cunningham in the info graphic.

Design director Leah Derrington on the front page.

Reporter Ollie Reed Jr. in the arts and entertainment and culinary news or feature films.

Designer Jennifer Swanson in the design of presentation pages.

Photographer Eddie Moore in Pandemic Photography / Videography.

Digital editor Robert Browman, investigative reporter Mike Gallagher and the Journal’s photo team in a multimedia story for “Revisiting the Nightmare,” a digital package on the 40th anniversary of the prison riot at the penitentiary of the State of New Mexico.

Writer Matthew Reisen in the legal news for “City sued over high school student’s mistaken identity arrest.”

Third place

Reisen and Davis in agriculture and environment reporting.

Writer Ryan Boetel in the personal / humor section.

Boetel in education news for “Pandemic upsets plans for college.”

Capitol newspaper office reporter Dan McKay, Kaplan and Boetel in the mental health news for “Shadow death of the virus”.

Gomez in extensive coverage for “Frame by Frame,” a special section on the New Mexico film industry.

Review photographer Jim Thompson received third place in the feature film photography category for this image of Debbie Hetes at Vista Verde Memorial Park in Rio Rancho taken in September 2020.

Cunningham in illustration.

Derrington in the single page design.

Reed in the health function.

Gomez in the economic news.

Editor Pilar Martinez in a trade article.

Photographer Roberto E. Rosales in sports photography / videography.

Swanson in the design of feature pages.

Thompson in photography / videography.

And Kaplan in the Legal News for “Is Civic Plaza a School?” City’s gun ban says so.