Kirkland Reporter staff win seven journalism awards

Kirkland Reporter editor Carrie Rodriguez and reporter Matt Phelps were recently honored with a combined seven news-writing awards during the 125th annual Washington Newspaper Publishers’ Association (WNPA) Better Newspaper Contest.

Rodriguez won first place for best health or medical story with her story, “Outraged families to rally for midwifery services at Evergreen.”

In addition, Rodriguez won two third-place awards for best general feature story (long) with her story, “Survivor of human trafficking and sex slavery on set for film shooting in Kirkland” and best news of the weird story that she co-wrote with former Redmond Reporter editor Bill Christianson, “Teacup poodle chases bear up tree.”

Phelps and Rodriguez won a second place award for best investigative reporter for the story, “Investigators still haven’t ruled out missing toddler’s parents.” The two staff members also won a third place award, along with Christianson and Bellevue Reporter staff writer Nat Levy, for best comprehensive coverage with their story, “Police begin to question the story of missing boy’s mother.” Sky Metalwala went missing in Bellevue last year when he was 2 years old.

Phelps also won two third-place awards, including best breaking news with his story, “Bicyclist hit and killed early Thursday morning” and best editorial for “A thorough look into the meaning of misspellings for a local newspaper.”

In total, Sound Publishing earned 80 first place awards and 218 awards overall. Seventy-three community newspapers in four circulation groups from around the state participated in this year’s Better Newspaper Contest, with a total of 2,229 individual entries submitted. The contest was judged by the New York Press Association.


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