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All Oregon Capital Chronicle staff win journalism awards


All Oregon Capital Chronicle staff win journalism awards

Jun 08, 2023 | 12:43 pm ET
By Lynne Terry
All Oregon Capital Chronicle staff win journalism awards
Kelly Hernandez makes phone calls in her car to try and find her son, Trevor, on April 24, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. The story won second place in health reporting in the Society for Professional Journalists Northwest region contest covering Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. (Sarah Yeoman/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Less than two years old, the Oregon Capital Chronicle just won its second set of regional journalism awards.

Three staff members took home second-place awards for their 2022 coverage in the regional Society for Professional Journalists contest for Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Washington. The results of the large regional contest demonstrate that the Capital Chronicle has become a top journalism outlet in the state and kept to its mission of holding the government and state agencies accountable for their impact on the lives of Oregonians.

In health reporting among small news outlets, editor-in-chief Lynne Terry won second place for her story, “Normal families struggle with abnormal lives,” about a mom with a son with a drug addiction living on the streets in a state that’s failed to offer treatment to many with mental health and addiction problems.

Deputy editor Julia Shumway was recognized for LGBTQ+ equity reporting among small news outlets for her coverage of fears among the community following the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court last summer: “After Supreme Court overturned Roe, LGBTQ advocates worry about what’s next.” Unlike many winners, she reported and researched the story in one day. A fast, comprehensive and balanced reporter, Shumway has led the Capital Chronicle’s extensive political and government reporting, keeping readers informed about a wide range of decisions that affect their daily lives.

And finally reporter Alex Baumhardt, a dogged researcher, won second place, along with interns Cole Sinanian and Jael Calloway from the University of Oregon, in the large outlet category for their ground-breaking series on the Department of Environmental Quality’s failure over decades to fix the contaminated well water problem in northeast Oregon that’s affected many low-income Latino families. Their series,“Powerful port pollutes water for years with little state actionled to a local emergency declaration and involvement by the Oregon Health Authority and Gov. Tina Kotek. She recently became the first Oregon governor to visit the region and talk with locals about the problem.

The series also won a first place award in the online category in the National Headliners Awards, one of the biggest journalism contests in the country.

Reporter Ben Botkin, who joined the Capital Chronicle in October, won two first-place awards and one second-place award for an article he published in The Lund Report, which covers health policy. That article, Oregon faces scrutiny over one-of-a-kind hurdles to children’s health care, placed first in government/politics reporting and health reporting and second in investigative reporting for small outlets. It led to the state’s Medicaid system changing rules to ensure rare diseases are always covered in children. 

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