EO Media Group journalists win awards in regional competition

Chinook ObserverSEATTLE — Journalists at the Chinook Observer and other EO Media Group-owned publications won several awards in the 2014 Northwest Excellence in Journalism Competition.

Each year, newspaper, magazine and online photographers and journalists from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska compete for a variety of honors in the contest, which is sponsored by the regional Society of Professional Journalists chapter. The awards were announced during the annual gala, in Seattle on June 13.

At the Chinook Observer, reporter Natalie St. John won a second-place award in the General News Coverage division for her investigative series, “Crumbling Trailer Courts,” which explored a long history of questionable business dealings and substandard conditions at trailer parks owned by a Portland couple.

The same story also won a first-place award for investigative reporting in a separate competition earlier this year, but SPJ does not provide an opportunity for papers in the Observer’s size-category to compete for investigative reporting honors.

Together, St. John and visual journalist Damian Mulinix won second place in social issues reporting for “Trouble Finds Tourists,” a two-part series that analyzed the factors that contribute to beach drowning incidents, and explored potential means of preventing future drownings. Mulinix contributed a series of graphics that illustrated local drowning statistics.

At the Daily Astorian, Kyle Spurr took a second-place award for his story “Commission Takes One of His Own to Task” in the governments and politics reporting competition for small daily papers.

Rebecca Sedlack took second place in arts and lifestyles reporting for her story, “Dragulation!”

Nancy McCarthy won third place for her column, “Impressions,” and former editor Patrick Webb won second-place for a sports column, “Fair Play.”

Former reporter Chelsea Gorrow won a first-place investigative award for “Wanted: Sexual Assault Nurses, Now” in the small daily newspapers competition. The same story also took third in the health reporting competition. Gorrow also won a second-place crime-reporting award for a story on mentally ill inmates, and third-place features reporting award.

Two EO-owned sister-publications, the Seaside Signal and Cannon Beach Gazette, won third place in the General Excellence competition for nondaily papers.

Signal/Gazette reporter Erick Bengel took second place for lifestyles reporting, and third for arts reporting and criticism. Nancy McCarthy took third for government and politics reporting.