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SPJ Award Winners 

by Inlander Staff

On Saturday night at the Ridpath Hotel, the Inland Northwest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists handed out its annual "Excellence in Journalism" awards for stories and photos published in 2003. Competing in the non-daily newspaper category, The Inlander hauled in 22 awards, including eight first places. Competing newspapers come from Eastern Washington, all of Idaho and Western Montana. Congrats to all our winners, and if you'd like to read any of the stories listed below, you can search for them by title on our Web site at

Arts Criticism -- 2nd Place: Michael Bowen, "Being Watched," 4/24/03

A review of the Interplayers production of Watch on the Rhine.

Arts Reporting -- 1st Place: Michael Bowen, "Interplaying With Fire," 12/18/03 A behind-the-scenes look at the financial challenges facing Spokane's professional theater.

2nd Place: Ann M. Colford, "Clean Break," 2/6/03 -- An interview with author Judy Blunt, whose memoir Breaking Clean recalls her growing up in Montana.

Business and Agriculture -- 1st Place: Cara Gardner, "Eat Your Genes," 7/17/03 -- A closer look at the debate over genetically modified foods, including perspectives from local experts.

2nd Place: Pia K. Hansen, "Empty Spaces," 4/24/03 -- A cataloguing of the empty buildings in downtown Spokane and what locals hoped would become of them.

Editorials -- 3rd Place: Ted S. McGregor Jr., "Stay Strong," 9/11/03 -- The Inlander's endorsement of Spokane's strong mayor system of government, which was being challenged on the primary ballot.

Energy and Environmental Affairs -- 1st Place: Jacob Fries, "Forgetting Hanford," 12/4/03 -- A status update on one of the world's most polluted places.

Features -- 1st Place: Ann M. Colford, "Out of This World," 3/20/03 -- An inside look at the Inland Northwest's only active monastery, St. Gertrude's in Cottonwood, Idaho. (pictured above)

General Columns -- 1st Place: Robert Herold, "Ecotopia or Empty Quarter?" 3/13/03 -- A rebuttal of a call from a state legislator to split Washington into two parts to reflect the differences between Eastern and Western Washington.

General Excellence

2nd Place: The Pacific Northwest Inlander, issues of April 10, 17 and 24

General News -- 1st Place: Ted S. McGregor Jr., "Time to Decide," 5/29/03 -- A scorecard comparing the merits and shortcomings of the two sites under consideration for the Spokane convention center expansion.

2nd Place: Jacob Fries, "Euthanation," 11/6/03

At the beginning of a new campaign to control pet populations, a visit to the animal shelters of the region.

Government and Politics -- 3rd Place: Ted S. McGregor Jr., "The Two Towers," 12/18/03 -- An attempt to make sense of the political turmoil Spokane experienced as a result of the parking garage battle.

Lifestyles -- 1st Place: Dan Egan, "RV Nation," 9/11/03 -- A perusal of the American subcultural phenomenon in which people own homes on four wheels.

2nd Place: Sheri Boggs, "Mad for Morels," 5/22/03 -- A trip to the woods to search for the prized morel mushroom -- and the people who covet them.

Page Design: Graphics -- 2nd Place: Amy Sinisterra, "Everybody Has a Story," 7/24/03 -- The cover design for our story on "The 'Zine Scene" -- the publishing of personalized journals and the people who make them.

Feature Photography -- 1st Place: Amy Sinisterra, "Growing Up Healthy," --1/23/03 -- A series of photos of newborn infants illustrating the first installment of our yearlong "Growing Up Healthy" series.

Special Sections -- 3rd Place: "Day in the Life," 8/14/03 -- The staff's hour-by-hour look at the everyday occurrences in the lives of Inland Northwesterners.

Sports -- 2nd Place: Paul Seebeck, "Still Running," 11/20/03 -- The amazing tale of three Whitworth College track and field athletes who survived the civil wars of their native Sudan to wind up eventually in Spokane.

3rd Place: Howie Stalwick, "When a Game Became Deadly," 6/19/03

The tragic story of the 1946 Spokane Indians club, which was devastated by a bus accident in Snoqualmie Pass that took the lives of nine players.

Criminal Justice -- 2nd Place: Pia K. Hansen, "Meth Myths," 12/11/03 -- A challenge to the conventional wisdom that kids taken out of meth houses are contaminated; it turns out, there just isn't any science to back up that claim.

Science and Health -- 3rd Place: Pia K. Hansen, "Needing Help," 10/2/03 -- A closer look at the issues surrounding suicide. This story was also a part of our "Growing Up Healthy" series.

Letters will return next week.

Publication date: 05/13/04
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