The Salt Lake Tribune took top honors for open records reporting, investigative reporting, photography and general excellence in both print and online editions in the Utah Society of Professional Journalists awards presented Friday.
Tribune reporters Matt Canham, Matthew D. LaPlante and Rosemary Winters won the Roy B. Gibson Freedom of Information Award for stories on secret bonuses paid to Sandy City officials.
The information was released only after a five-year battle with the city, finally decided in court. In accepting the award, LaPlante noted that the public data were first requested when the TV series "Lost" was in its first season and Barack Obama was a state senator.
Canham also won the Don Baker Investigative Reporting Award for a series of stories, and an online database (http://extras.sltrib.com/nursing_homes" Target="_BLANK">http://extras.sltrib.com/nursing_homes/), on the safety of Utah nursing homes. The reporter described how he decided to tackle the topic when frustrated by his attempt to find information for his grandfather.
Tribune photographer Chris Detrick was named Best Photographer of 2008 by the SPJ judges.
The Tribune was named Best Newspaper of 2008 and sltrib.com received Best News-Oriented Website. In all, Tribune reporters, photographers, graphic designers, columnists and editors received 23 first-place awards.
The annual competition includes Utah's daily and weekly newspapers, television and radio stations, and magazines.
Riverton High School journalism teacher April Squires received the Clifford B. Cheney Service to Journalism Award. Squires is the adviser for the school's award-winning student newspaper. The honor is named for the late Standard-Examiner editor.
KSL reporter John Daley won the Quintus C. Wilson Ethics Award for his reporting on the Utah Legislature. The award carries the name of the past chairman of the University of Utah journalism department.
Stephen Dark of Salt Lake City Weekly was named Best Newspaper Reporter for his body of work in 2008. Jenny Brundin of KUER took best reporter honors for radio; Mike Headrick of KUTV2 News was named best reporter on television. KSL won the award for best overall television newscast; KSL Newsradio was awarded best radio newscast.
Among smaller Utah dailies, Joe Pyrah of the Provo Daily Herald and Jamie Belnap of the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin received best-reporter awards. The Spectrum of St. George and the Transcript-Bulletin were named best newspapers. Utah Valley BusinessQ was named best magazine.