Waggoner, Valley Courier win first place in Colorado Press Association contest
Award for series ‘Voters in the San Luis Valley take justice into their own hands’
DENVER— On Saturday evening, during the culmination of the 145th Annual Colorado Press Association Convention (CPA), winners of the 2022 Better News Media Contest (BNC) were announced.
BNC is an annual contest sponsored by the Colorado Press Association where more than 150 newspapers across the state are invited to submit their best work for the preceding year. They were judged by esteemed professionals working in the media industry. This year's submissions were judged by members of the New York Press Association.
Reporter Priscilla Waggoner and the Valley Courier won first place in the Best Series category for "Voters in the San Luis Valley take justice into their own hands."
The submission to the contest was a compilation of Waggoner's 2022 reporting on former 12th Judicial District Attorney Alonzo Payne, including coverage of the DA's office violating the Victim Rights Act, an unprecedented investigation by the AG's office, charges that were dismissed, plea deals that did not reflect the serious nature of crimes, Alamosa Police Department Chief Anderson's presentation to the Alamosa City Council documenting Payne's misconduct in office and council's consequential vote to spearhead a Recall Campaign to remove Payne from office, ultimately concluding with former district attorney's resignation from office.
"As highlighted by numerous contest judges, the competitions were tightly contested, and all participants showcased exceptional work," said Bay Edwards, Assistant Director of the Colorado Press Association, in an email announcing this year's winners.