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KUER Wins Big At Top Of The Rockies Regional SPJ Competition

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Austen Diamond Photography
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KUER secured eight first place, four second place and five third place wins in the Top of the Rockies Regional Society of Professional Journalists competition. The region includes journalists from Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

RadioWest won two first place recognitions, including the top award for feature reporting on religion for their show Mormonism And White Supremacy and the top award in the multimedia category for RadioWest Films’ Gerda: Isolation and Connection.

KUER’s news team secured six first place awards for their reporting on mental health, education, religion and the pandemic — a new category for 2021. Winning stories include Southeast Utah Bureau reporter Kate Groetzinger’s story on Navajo families struggling to homeschool during the pandemic without internet, David Fuchs’ investigation into the Troubled Teen industry and education reporter Jon Reed's dive into how the pandemic is impacting teachers.

View the full list of KUER’s awards below, or see the entire list of regional winners.

Religion: News
First place
White Mesa Community Holds Modified Bear Dance To Continue Annual Healing Tradition
Reporter: Kate Groetzinger

Mental Health: News
First place
Shame And Illness Have A Long History - Pulling Them Apart Could Make It Easier To Tackle COVID-19
Reporter: Caroline Ballard
Comments from the judges: A thought-provoking look at shame and its impact on illness, especially coronavirus.

Religion: Feature
First place
RadioWest: Mormonism And White Supremacy
Host and producers: Doug Fabrizio, Benjamin Bombard, Timothy Slover and Cristy Meiners
Comments from the judges: A look at race and the LDS church in a time when social justice and race have come to the forefront in American society.

Mental Health: Feature
First place
Utah Has Seen Abuse In 'Troubled Teen' Programs For Decades. Now, Momentum Slowly Builds For Change.
Reporter: David Fuchs
Comments from the judges: Well reported and clearly, compellingly written.

Education: Feature
First place
Navajo Families Without Internet Struggle To Home-School During COVID-19 Pandemic
Reporter: Kate Groetzinger

Education: News
First place
The Pandemic's Impact on Teachers
Reporter: Jon Reed
Comments from the judges: An informative look at one of the less focused on impacts of COVID-19 in the country's schools and how the consequences of the infrastructure built around teaching came home to roost during the pandemic.

Pandemic Reporting
First place
'A Failure On Our Part': Despite Calls For Help, Navajo Mountain Mother, Son Can't Be Saved
Reporter: Kate Groetzinger

Multimedia Story
First place
RadioWest Films: Gerda: Isolation and Connection
Director and producers: Kelsie Moore, Doug Fabrizio, Cristy Meiners

Multimedia Story
Second place
Portraits In Salt Lake City Memorialize George Floyd, Utahns Killed By Police
Reporters and editors: Emily Means, Ross Terrell, Chelsea Naughton, Elaine Clark

Social Justice Photography/Videography
Second place
RadioWest: Salt Lake City 2020 Black Lives Matter Protests
Photographer: Kelsie Moore

Legal: Feature
Second place
Accounts Of 'Cruelty' And 'Indifference' At Salt Lake County Jail Have Some Calling For Reform
Reporter: Emily Means

Education: Feature
Second place
Navigating The Online Classroom
Reporter: Jon Reed

Legal: Feature
Third place
When Legal Justice Feels Out Of Reach For Sexual Assault Survivors, Some Say Social Media Fills The Gap
Reporter: Sonja Hutson

Politics: Feature
Third place
2020 Election Could Be A Litmus Test For New, Moderate United Utah Party
Reporter: Sonja Hutson

A&E and Food: News or Feature
Third place
RadioWest: 2020's Oscar Nominated Film Scores
Host and producers: Doug Fabrizio, Timothy Slover, Cristy Meiners, Benjamin Bombard, Natu Tweh

Business: Feature
Third place
Some Jobs May Not Be Coming Back. For Many Utahns, That Means Starting Over.
Reporter: Jon Reed

Ag and Environment: News
Third place
Can Nuclear Replace Coal In The West? Over 20 Utah Cities Are Betting On It Despite The Risks
Reporter: Kate Groetzinger

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