The Peninsula Clarion did strongly in sports reporting for the Alaska Press Club’s annual journalism award contest. Sports reporters Jeff Helmeniak and Joey Klecka won two awards each for their writing. Clarion editor Erin Thompson also won for best reporting on health and reporter Victoria Petersen for best report on government and politics. The Clarion competed in the large print category that includes papers in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Petersen, editor of The Spenardian, a magazine about the Spenard neighborhood in Anchorage, also won two awards for her work there.
The awards were given out last Saturday, April 27, at the Alaska Press Club awards banquet. The awards ceremony capped three days of talks, presentations, workshops and panel discussions held at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The weekend brings together Alaska journalists working in print, radio, television and online media.
Here are the Clarion awards:
• Petersen, Third place in best reporting on government and politics in print large for “Borough chooses not to appeal court decision, updates invocation policy”
• Helminiak, Third place in best sports or outdoors column, print small and large for “Passion and Risk,” Oct. 11, 2018; “When bad conditions become challenging conditions,” Jan. 5, 2018; “Enjoying the silence,” June 21, 2018
• Helminiak, Third place in best sports reporting, print small and large for “Yeaton, Norris collect Mount Marathon wins”
• Klecka, Third place, best sports feature, print small and large for “Passion, dedication defines Twins career for Steffensen”
• Klecka, First place in best sports reporting for print small and large for “Nikiski captures state volleyball crown”
• Thompson, first place in best reporting on health for print large for “Health care providers call for syringe exchange”
For her work at the Spenardian, Petersen won third place for best blog and third place for best magazine cover.
Other Kenai Peninsula journalists also won awards. The Homer News — like the Clarion, part of the Sound Publishing Inc. group of Alaska papers — won four awards. Those awards are:
• Megan Pacer, Second place, general news reporting, print-small for “Local man starts Flying Spaghetti Monster congregation in response to borough assembly’s invocation policy”
• Pacer, Second place best reporting on government or politics, print-small for “Superior Court finds borough invocation policy violates Constitution”
• Pacer, Third place, best arts reporting, print-small for “For longtime Irish rock band, Homer is one of a few constants over the years”
• Nick Varney, Third place, Suzanne Nightingale Award, best columnist, print-small for “Unhinged Alaska”