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Arizona Mirror takes home 11 journalism awards from Arizona Press Club

By: - July 9, 2021 1:23 pm
Arizona Mirror awards

Photo by Brad.K | Flickr/CC BY 2.0

The Arizona Mirror took home 11 awards in the prestigious annual Arizona Press Club journalism contest, including first place awards for coverage of public safety and immigration news.

Reporter Laura Gómez won a first place award for immigration reporting for her coverage of how bogus arrests of Black Lives Matter protesters on charges that were swiftly thrown out of court landed four immigrants in deportation proceedings, resulting in one of them actually being deported.

“Bringing public scrutiny to the faulty arrests and their immigration consequences were an important public service, as was explaining the agreement the county jail holds with ICE and its role in the sheriff’s election,” wrote veteran immigration reporter Lomi Kriel, who judged the category.

Gómez also took home a second place in the public safety reporting category for in-depth coverage of how Phoenix police targeted protest leaders in an effort to chill the movement calling for police reforms and third place in political reporting for her profile of a young immigration activist whose family fled Arizona in the wake of SB1070 who has returned and is dedicated to stopping new immigration crack-downs at the Arizona legislature.

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy won first place in the community public safety reporting for his scoop on the Arizona Air National Guard surveillance plane that monitored Black Lives Matter protesters at the behest of the Phoenix Police Department. That story also took home third place in the statewide public safety reporting category.

The judge, Virginian-Pilot investigative reporter Gary Harki, praised MacDonald-Evoy’s “great, detailed reporting” on the lengths police went to in their effort to monitor peaceful protesters.

MacDonald-Evoy also captured third-place awards for investigative reporting for discovering that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has run a clandestine marijuana extraction lab for years; for government coverage for his reporting on the vulnerabilities in election systems across the country; and for health reporting for a story on the massive number of Arizonans who live in areas without adequate access to medical care.

Associate Editor Jeremy Duda placed second in the community business reporting category for his reporting on the challenges that small businesses faced in trying to receive federal pandemic aid meant to keep companies from going bankrupt.

And Jim Small, the Mirror’s editor-in-chief, won a second-place award in the short-form writing category for a story on Gov. Doug Ducey flip-flopping on his support of “red flag” laws meant to take guns away from mentally ill and violent people. Small also placed third in the opinion writing category for his coverage of former U.S. Sen. Martha McSally’s opposition to helping Arizona cities and towns and her defense of Donald Trump.

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