Herald staff win regional journalism awards

EVERETT — Reporters from The Daily Herald won six awards in a prestigious contest for Pacific Northwest newspapers.

Herald staff writers finished first in three categories of this year’s C.B. Blethen Memorial Awards for distinguished journalism. They earned recognition for covering systemic problems surrounding mentally ill inmates at local jails, the investigation into the mass shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School, healthcare issues and Everett firefighters’ treatment of a drunken homeless man.

“We congratulate all the winners in this distinguished regional competition. Our reporters do their best to be compassionate, professional and thorough when reporting on news that is often difficult to cover,” said Herald publisher Josh O’Connor. “These awards recognize that dedication and professionalism.”

The awards are sponsored by The Seattle Times and administered by the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association. Results were announced Wednesday.

In the category Distinguished Coverage of Diversity, reporter Diana Hefley took first place for her series, “What jail can’t cure,” which explored the in-custody death of Keaton Farris in Island County, and efforts that are being made in the region to address mental illness, drug addiction and homelessness.

For enterprise reporting, Herald reporters won two awards. A combined effort by Eric Stevick, Hefley, Rikki King and Scott North took first place for “I needed to do this,” a story on the investigation into the shootings at Marysville Pilchuck High School. Hefley’s “What Jail Can’t Cure” took second place in that category as well.

The Herald finished first and second in the Debby Lowman Contest for Distinguished Reporting of Consumer Affairs. First went to writers Andrea Brown and Quinn Russell Brown for the series “What to Expect,” which ran in the Health & Wellness section, covering situations from allergy tests to vasectomies. Quinn Russell Brown works at the University of Washington as digital editor of Columns Magazine and Viewpoint Magazine.

Herald reporter Sharon Salyer took second in the Lowman contest for her story, “A new angle on mammograms.”

For investigative reporting, King took third place for her story, “Drunken man left under bridge,” about three Everett firefighters being disciplined for transporting a homeless man outside of city limits and telling him not to come back.

All of The Herald’s Blethen awards were in the category for newspapers with circulations of 50,000 or less. The contest also recognizes larger-circulation papers.

For a for list of recipients, go to www.pnna.com/awards/blethen_awards.

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