Wins NM Press Association General Excellence award
On Saturday (Oct. 27), The
won the General Excellence Award from the New Mexico Press Association in the weekly division for newspapers with over 5,000 circulation.
“We were honored to be recognized by our newspaper colleagues for excellence in a broad range of categories, and of course for being named the best weekly in the state for the 17th time in the last 18 years,” Publisher Chris Baker said. “This list of awards is yet another demonstration of the hard work the staff at the Taos puts in on a weekly basis.
Other awards were earned across many departments, from advertising design to classifieds to reporting and photography.
In reporting and photography, a number of awards were won in different categories.
Editor Staci Matlock earned first place for her obituary of Dr. Ron Lujan, first Taos Pueblo surgeon.
Under Matlock’s leadership, the editorial team won second place in public service for the paper’s comprehensive coverage of the June 5 primary elections. The category is open, with
competing against the state’s dailies and weeklies in the category.
Assistant editor Cody Hooks won first place for environmental writing for his coverage of conservation officials using hunters to limit the population of bighorn sheep in the Río Grande Gorge.
Reporter John Miller won first place for sports writing in covering a Taos mechanic who races in the Baja 1000. Miller also earned first place awards in investigative reporting for his in-depth reporting on opioid addiction and for business writing for his story on rebuilding main street in Farmington, New Mexico.
Reporter Jesse Moya won first place in education reporting for his breaking story on a student who brought an airsoft pistol to a sports practice. Moya also earned second place in general news photography for his work on the Dixon triple homicides.
Photographer Morgan Timms earned first place for her sports photo of a precariously perched bull rider in the Rodeo de Taos. For feature photos, Timms won first and second place for her shots of the Mother’s Day Music Festival and Michael Franti concert in Kit Carson Park, respectively.
editor Rick Romancito won first place for his photo series of the Taos Pueblo Veterans Memorial dedication. As a whole,
staff won second place for best sports coverage among weeklies in its division.
The entire classifieds ad section—Mary Chavez, Agnes Hernandez and Shirley Mondragon—won with a judge’s comment of: “Great house ad for selling cars, full-color display ads for recruitment look amazing. Easy-to-read and navigate section to section.”
In graphic design, Creative Director Karin Eberhardt and Production Manager Willard Avery II won numerous first place awards including best rate card, retail ad, auto ad, real estate ad and web ad. Additional awards were won in Community/Newspaper Event Announcement, Shared/Signature Page, and special sections for the yearly magazine “Taos Woman.”
New this year, the New Mexico Press Association added the category of best breaking news on the web. The Taos News won first place for the Ute Park Fire Day 1 coverage. Separately yet related, The Taos News won best website with a judge’s comment of: “Taosnews.com is easy to navigate and contains a wealth of information and resources. Excellent use of photography.”
The awards banquet held at the Albuquerque Marriott capped off a celebratory day for The Taos News, in which the newspaper’s publisher Chris Baker was inducted into the New Mexico Press Association Publishers Hall of Fame. A past honoree in the Hall of Fame is Robin Martin, the owner of The Taos News and Santa Fe New Mexican.
The Santa Fe New Mexican won 16 first-place honors and took the top prize Saturday night in the New Mexico Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
The newspaper captured the General Excellence Award for daily newspapers with a circulation above 11,000, the largest category in the state.
The contest honors work in news, sports and feature writing and reporting, photography, design, special sections, advertising and online coverage.
In addition, staffers were awarded more than a dozen second-place finishes.
“It takes a committed, talented group to put out an excellent newspaper, and we are incredibly proud of this team,” said Tom Cross, publisher of
“We’re gratified to win the General Excellence Award because it’s a sign of how hard our folks work across all our platforms.”