The Journal’s newsroom also won first place in General Excellence for newspapers with a circulation of over 7,000 copies. The judges praised the overall quality of the newspaper.
“Clean and organized inside pages, with lively sports pages,” the judges wrote. “Lots of local stories supported by local advertising.”
The Journal also won first place in the Freedom of Information category for its investigation and report on the controversy surrounding the airport’s board of directors and city council that ultimately resulted in the impeachment of a city councilor. . Nathan Thompson, Bush and Butler received nearly 1,000 pages of public documents following requests from the Rapid City government and the Federal Aviation Administration.
“I really love your job to bring to light the documents and recordings that underpin this story,” the judges wrote. “Good reports and good investigative work on the part of the RCJ.”
The other top prize won by Journal staff was Grace Pritchett’s best portrait photo for her cover of an art studio destroyed by an arsonist.
“I know what this photo is the second I see it,” wrote one judge. “Lots of emotion in the midst of the devastation. The pop of color in the open closet is beautiful.”
Pritchett also won third place for his photo of an ice fisherman and his dog. The judges said of the photo: “Taken from an angle not often taken, the photographer captures the life from a dog’s visual perspective, lending even more to the emotion of the moment. An appropriate photo of the link special of a man with his best friend. “