Boulder Reporting Lab won 14 awards Saturday night at the Colorado Press Association’s annual Better News Awards, including eight first-place honors and three awards for overall excellence.
The awards recognize outstanding print and online journalism. BRL competed among news organizations in the circulation Class 1 category, determined by the number of original stories organizations publish in an average month. The awards honored work published in 2022, BRL’s first full year of publishing.
BRL won the General Excellence award for winning the most awards among the 14 newsrooms in Class 1. It also earned the Excellence in Editorial and Excellence in Other/Mixed Media awards.
BRL reporters John Herrick and Tim Drugan won several honors. Herrick won first place for Best Breaking News/Deadline Reporting for his coverage of the ACLU of Colorado’s lawsuit against the City of Boulder over its camping ban. He also won Best News Story for coverage of the NCAR fire last spring. Herrick won second place for Best Crime & Public Safety Reporting for his data reporting on local crime, and for Best Education story for his coverage of disproportionate discipline at BVSD.
Drugan won first place for Best Environmental Story for his coverage of the history of the CU South property and flood mitigation project. He won second place for Best Series or Sustained Coverage for his body of work that sought to demystify and deconstruct climate solutions in Boulder.
Together, Drugan and Herrick won Best Politics Reporting for their coverage of the CU South ballot fight in the 2022 election.
BRL’s collaboration with the Center for Environmental Journalism to investigate health effects from the Marshall Fire, led by seven CU graduate students, earned two first-place awards. The students — Anthony Albidrez, Ali Branscombe, Amber Carlson, Josh Couture, Helen Driesen, Elise Ertl and Zain Iqbal — focused their reporting on the devastating impact of smoke damage on many Marshall Fire survivors. The project won Best Public Service Project and Best Editorial Collaboration.
Earlier this year, BRL was honored with 10 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies journalism contest. It was named finalist for the national Institute for Nonprofit News awards in two categories: the INNovator Award and the INN Insight Award for Explanatory Journalism. It is also a finalist for Collaboration of the Year in the national LION Publishers awards.
Find the full list of the Colorado Press Association award winners here.