Sentinel journalists are finalists for 3 national awards

Tucson Sentinel journalists Paul Ingram, Blake Morlock and Daniel Shailer are finalists for national awards from the Association for Alternative Newsmedia.

The AAN Awards “celebrate fabulous local journalism, creative design and production
work, and scrappy, successful publishing companies doing their part to
secure democracy,” the journalism group said.

Ingram is one of four finalists in the beat reporting category, for his work covering border and immigration issues in the Borderlands of Southern Arizona.

The other finalists in that category are from the Austin Chronicle, Triad City Beat (N.C.), and San Antonio Current.

Morlock is among four finalists as a political columnist for his “What the Devil Won’t Tell You” writing on local issues. He faces finalists from the Arkansas Times, Nashville Scene and Charleston City Paper.

Shailer was recognized for his environmental reporting, especially for his stories on South32’s plans for a mine in the Patagonia Mountains south of Tucson. The other finalists in that category are from Isthmus (Madison, Wis.), Mississippi Free Press, and the Chicago Reader.

“It’s always a pleasure to be recognized for an award, and doubly so to be recognized for covering the border and immigration beat in such an important time,” Ingram said, thanking AAN for elevating the Tucson Sentinel’s work.

“More than anything my work relies on people wiling to talk about their lives, and I cannot thank them enough for their trust in allowing us to bring these stories to our readers,” said Ingram, a senior reporter at the Sentinel.

Shailer, a United Kingdom native and recent graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism who spent last summer in the Sentinel newsroom on a fellowship, has also worked with the Associated Press, Mongabay, New Yorker and other publications recently.

He described himself as “thrilled to be recognized alongside Paul and Blake for awards which celebrate the best of local news” and said he’s “grateful to the mighty Tucson Sentinel team for letting me get lost in the sky islands of Southern Arizona.” 

“Nowadays there are precious few outlets which would set a reporter loose into the mountains with volunteers tracking desert springs, and the tiny frogs, fish and flora they support,” he said. “I have warm memories, literally.”

Morlock, who has decades of local government and politics reporting experience, also writes the weekly “The Tucson Agenda” rundown of area government actions published each week by the Sentinel, in addition to his regular “What the Devil” columns.

“It’s great to see that the work we do here at the Tucson Sentinel is getting national recognition,” he said. “It would be amazing to win, but it’s quite simply a pleasure to be a part of this growing and talented staff who are serving readers and not corporate overlords.”

“It’s an honor just to be nominated and the only way I can lose is if it’s rigged,” Morlock said.

AAN, founded as the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies in 1978, has more than 100 local news publications among its membership across the United States. In Arizona, the Phoenix New Times is also a member outlet.

The winners of the awards will be announced in mid-July at AAN’s national conference in Charleston, S.C.

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