The Nevada Press Association on Saturday honored the Las Vegas Sun with 34 awards, including 15 first-place prizes involving investigative projects, feature writing, opinions and design, as well as for serving the community and upholding freedom of the press.
The Sun’s sister publications within the Greenspun Media Group — Las Vegas Weekly and In Business Las Vegas (now VEGAS INC) — also were recognized for excellence in writing, photography, illustrations and design, with the arts-and-entertainment weekly collecting 12 first-place awards and the business magazine garnering 10 in their respective categories.
The Sun’s examination of hospital care deficiencies in Las Vegas, spearheaded by reporters Marshall Allen and Alex Richards, was honored with four top awards: community service, story of the year, investigative or series, and freedom of the press for the newspaper’s success in identifying and analyzing 2.9 million patient records that had been provided by hospitals to state authorities but not publicly disclosed.
The awards, presented at the Nevada Press Association’s annual recognition dinner in Virginia City, were the latest honors awarded the series, “Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas.”
The series, which included interviews with more than 150 patients and health care insiders, yielded a sweeping and detailed portrait of the dangers patients have unknowingly encountered as they enter delivery rooms, surgical suites and intensive care units, including thousands of cases of injury, death and deadly infection associated with stays in Las Vegas hospitals.
Last month the series was named best digital media presentation in the country by the Society of Professional Journalists. Previously it was named a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in local reporting.
“It is gratifying to earn the plaudits of our news media colleagues, but the greater satisfaction is in knowing that good journalism can affect the quality of our lives,” said Brian Greenspun, publisher and editor of the Sun. “That has always been, and will continue to be, the hallmark of the Sun.”
Two Greenspun Media Group journalists were singled out for their work. Business writer Amanda Finnegan was named “journalist of merit,” an award that goes to reporters with fewer than five years in the business. Steve Green, a veteran business writer at the Sun and VEGAS INC, was named one of five outstanding journalists in Nevada.
Among other first-place awards won by the Sun:
• Best feature story, for Kristen Peterson’s profile of Marta Becket, who performed for more than 40 years at the Amargosa Opera House.
• Best story by a nonstaff writer, for Ed Koch’s obituary for Tony Curtis.
• Best business feature, for Liz Benston’s profile of an unemployed casino bartender.
• Best nonstaff columnist, for Jon Ralston’s political commentary.
• Best sports story, for Ray Brewer’s examination of injuries suffered by young baseball pitchers.
• Best editorial page, by Mike Campbell.
• Best page design, by Rachel Perkins.
• Best illustration, for Chris Morris’ “Political Candyland.”
• Best editorial cartoon, by Mike Smith.
First-place awards won by Las Vegas Weekly:
• Best website.
• Best multimedia story, by Beverly Poppe, Trent Ogle, Natasha Chamberlin, Sarah Feldberg.
• Best blog, John Katsilometes’ The Kats Report.
• Best feature story, “Citizen of Nowhere” by April Corbin, on the roadblocks facing an immigrant student.
• Best nonstaff story, “To Catch a Relative,” by Steve Friess.
• Best local nonstaff column, “The Strip Sense,” by Steve Friess.
• Best page designer, Ryan Olbrysh.
• Best illustration, James Shepherd.
• Best multiple-photo essay, Beverly Poppe
• Best multicolor ad, Sean Rademacher
• Ad of the year, Sean Rademacher
First-place awards won by In Business Las Vegas:
• Best website.
• Best business news story, by Steve Green for analysis of Righthaven lawsuits.
• Best business feature, Richard N. Velotta’s look at Southwest Airlines.
• Best overall design.
• Best page designers, Dave Mondt and Rachel Perkins.
• Best illustration, Chris Morris’ “Hell’s Budget.”
• Best portrait, by Mona Shield Payne.
• Best sports photo, by Sam Morris.
• Best special section: “Giving Guide,” by Rob Langrell.
Sun journalists also were recently honored with first-place awards in the regional “Best of the West” competition: Mike Smith for editorial cartooning, Leila Navidi for sports photography and Spencer Holladay for page design.