The Las Vegas Sun received two first-place awards for editorial writing in the Nevada Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest, including Editorial of the Year for a piece on gun control a year after the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting on the Strip.
Greenspun Media Group, publisher of the Sun, took home 78 awards, including 27 first-place honors, at the association’s annual awards ceremony Saturday in Ely.
In the editorial “Another year is too long to go without meaningful gun reform,” the Sun wrote: “As the community remembers the Oct. 1 shooting, one of many painful aspects of the anniversary is that Nevada has done nothing to limit the amount of deadly force that was openly available to the shooter that night. Nor has the state taken steps to keep weapons out of the hands of individuals who shouldn’t have them. Let’s change that, voters.”
And voters did just that, electing Gov. Steve Sisolak and a Democratic majority of state lawmakers. Subsequently, the Nevada Legislature approved stricter gun laws during its past session.
Ric Anderson, the Sun’s editorial page editor, received a first-place award for Editorial Writing for Urban Dailies, a category that includes the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Reno Gazette-Journal.
“The Las Vegas Sun emerged as the winner from a very competitive field of editorial writing entries covering very relevant topics,” judges wrote. “The editorial on gun reform didn’t shy away from a politically incendiary topic with clear, precise writing while avoiding any hand-wringing that often accompanies editorials on this subject (the fact that the paper got its endorsement for governor right was an added bonus)."
The Sun had a handful of other first-place awards, including reporter Ricardo Torres-Cortez for Digital Breaking News, a story he covered in real time on an 11-year-old North Las Vegas girl who was slain in a wrong-house gang shooting.
Assistant Sports Editor Case Keefer won a first-place award for Best Sports Feature Writing for a profile on an endurance racer who continues to compete — and win races — despite a rare brain-eating illness. Photographer Steve Marcus also received a first-place honor for Best Feature Photo, an image he captured during the RiSE Festival at the Jean Dry Lake. Also, designer Dany Haniff won first place for Best Digital Static Ad for artwork he designed for one of the Sun’s high school sports events.
“The story transcends sports and is a worthwhile read for anyone,” judges wrote about Keefer’s story.
Las Vegas Weekly, the Sun’s sister publication, won 21 first-place awards in the Urban Weeklies class. Among the accolades for the news, culture and entertainment magazine are Best Overall Design, General Online Excellence and Advertising Innovation.
The GMG winners include:
Urban Dailies (Las Vegas Sun)
First place: Editorial of the year, Ric Anderson; editorial writing, Ric Anderson; digital breaking news story, Ricardo Torres-Cortez; sports feature writing, Case Keefer; feature photo, Steve Marcus; digital static ad, Dany Haniff.
Second place: General excellence, Staff; news feature story, Ricardo Torres-Cortez; special event, Staff; sports column, Case Keefer; editorial page, Ric Anderson; Mike Smith, Sun Editorial Page Staff; editorial of the year, Ric Anderson; overall design, John Taylor, Dave Mondt, Craig Peterson, Design Staff; page one design, John Taylor, Dave Mondt, Craig Peterson, Design Staff; editorial cartoon, Mike Smith.
Third place: Sports photo, Steve Marcus; business spot news, Miranda Willson; video program or series, Mike Grimala, Yasmina Chavez, Wade Vandervort; sports column, Ray Brewer; sports spot news, Mike Grimala; digital static ad, Dany Haniff.
Urban Weeklies (Las Vegas Weekly/Vegas Inc)
First place: General online excellence, Staff; breaking news reporting, C. Moon Reed; overall design, Elizabeth Brown, Corlene Byrd, Ian Racoma, Art Staff; special section (editorial), Staff; feature writing, Geoff Carter; business feature, C. Moon Reed; investigative story, Staff; local column, Brock Radke; graphic designer, Ian Racoma; niche magazine, Craig Peterson; Michele Hamrick, Staff; business spot news, Miranda Willson; sports spot news, Case Keefer; sports feature writing, Justin Emerson; multiple photo essay, Yasmina Chavez; entertainment writing, C. Moon Reed; feature photo, Miranda Alam; sports photo, Wade Vandervort; ad series, Emma Cauthorn, Elizabeth Brown, Advertising Staff; advertising innovation, Emma Cauthorn, Elizabeth Brown, Advertising Staff; in-house promotion, Dany Haniff; digital animated ad, Dany Haniff.
Second place: Niche magazine, Staff; general excellence, Staff; breaking news reporting, C. Moon Reed; explanatory journalism, Miranda Willson; graphic designer, Corlene Byrd; entertainment writing, Brock Radke; sports spot news, Case Keefer; sports feature writing, C. Moon Reed; outstanding visual journalist, Corlene Byrd; multiple photo essay, Wade Vandervort; feature photo, Yasmina Chavez; sports photo, Wade Vandervort; ad series, Emma Cauthorn, Elizabeth Brown, Advertising Staff; special section (advertising), Craig Peterson, Michele Hamrick, Staff; digital animated ad, Dany Haniff; local non-staff column, Jim Begley.
Third place: Explanatory journalism, Brock Radke; breaking news reporting, C. Moon Reed; multiple photo essay, Wade Vandervort; entertainment writing, Geoff Carter; feature writing, Brock Radke; investigative story, Staff; news feature story, Miranda Willson; feature photo, Miranda Alam; business spot news, C. Moon Reed; sports feature writing, Mike Grimala; graphic designer, Elizabeth Brown; special section (advertising), Craig Peterson, Michele Hamrick, Staff; in-house promotion, Dany Haniff; illustrated photo, Miranda Alam; page one design, Corlene Byrd, Elizabeth Brown, Ian Racoma, Art Staff; digital animated ad, Dany Haniff.
Magazines (Las Vegas Magazine)
Second place: Page one design, Wesley Gatbonton, Josh Nelson, Jason Cabebe, Art Staff; general online excellence, Staff.
Third place: Advertising general excellence, Advertising Staff; overall design, Wesley Gatbonton, Christopher DeVargas, Marvin Lucas, Jason Cabebe, Josh Nelson, Art Staff.