New Mexico Press Women win several national awards

Members of the Albuquerque Press Women and New Mexico Press Women have won a number of awards in the National Federation of Press Women contest. The individual winners are listed below.

Lauren Camp First 61A Creative verse – Single poem
Lauren Camp First 61B Creative verse – Book or chapbook of poetry
Margaret Cheasebro First 1B News story – Magazine, newsletter, or other non-newspaper print publication
Margaret Cheasebro Third 10E Speciality articles – Education
Margaret Cheasebro First 10I Speciality articles – Green/environmental
Margaret Cheasebro First 10R Speciality articles – Sports
Merilee Dannemann Second 11D Columns – Personal Opinion (bylined, not editorial)
Merilee Dannemann First 30C Blogs – Personal
Loretta Hall Third 8C Feature story – Online publication
Loretta Hall HM 51 Speeches
Elaine Hampton First 57A Nonfiction books for adult readers – Biography or autobiography
Leota Harriman Third 14A Sections or supplements edited by entrant – infrequent (e.g., one-time, annual, quarterly) – Newspaper
Julie Carter First 17A Single photograph – News or feature photo
Carlton Kenway Second 17B Single photograph – Sports photo
Carlton Kenway Second 17C Single photograph – General photo
Sherry Robinson Second 3 Investigative reporting
Sherry Robinson Second 10D Specialty articles – Business
Sherry Robinson Third 10J Specialty articles – History
Sherry Robinson First 57B Nonfiction books for adult readers – History
Gail Rubin Second 25 Talk Show (radio or television)
Diane J. Schmidt First 4 Enterprise reporting
Janet Yagoda Shagam First 57E Nonfiction books for adult readers – General nonfiction
Claudette Sutton First 11B Columns – General
Claudette E. Sutton First 12 Headlines
Leora Zeitlin First 24 Interview (radio or television)

Congratulations to all the winners! We are very proud of your work.

SPJ is accepting nominations for the 2014 Champion of First Amendment Rights Award

The Society of Professional Journalists is sponsoring its annual award recognizing a champion of First Amendment rights. The winner will receive a $10,000 cash award as well as recognition at the group’s annual meeting. The deadline for submitted applications is JUNE 22.  A memo from SPJ soliciting applications follows:

The importance of the First Amendment is priceless, but at SPJ, we make it worth something extra. Since 2002, the Society of Professional Journalists has awarded $10,000 to a person, group or organization that works to preserve one or more of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. If you, a person or an organization you know fiercely protects these rights, submit a nomination for the 2014 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award byJune 22. The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation (SPJ’s supporting foundation) dedicates this honor to anyone who upholds this pillar of democracy, not just journalists. Visit SPJ’s website to learn more, see a list of past honorees and submit the nomination materials. Awards Coordinator Chad Hosier,, can answer any questions you may have. Let us honor those who protect our fundamental rights. Submit a Pulliam First Amendment Award nomination today.


NFPW Free Flow of Information Act Alert

Dear NFPW Members:

This is NFPW’s first First Amendment Network alert in a while and it is on a VERY, VERY important topic. The subject matter is the push for adoption of a federal shield law. FAN is providing information to you so you will know what is going on and then can act accordingly. As you can see below all but two states have shield laws. Passage of a federal shield law has gotten caught up in national security issues and the definition of a journalist, in other words who is covered by the law. Both concerns have been addressed in pending legislation. NFPW has joined a list of publishers, networks, broadcasters, and journalism organizations, asking U.S. Senate’s majority and minority leaders to schedule a vote on S. 987, the Free Flow of Information Act, as soon as possible. We are asking that you on an individual basis, if you feel so inclined, contact your U.S. senator and encourage a vote. The more interest we can show the better. The information below tells you more about the legislation and what’s driving it as well as information on how to contact your senator.

Please ask your senator to ask for a vote on an important First Amendment protection for journalism

In the next few weeks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will consider whether to bring the Free Flow of Information Act, S 987, to the Senate floor for a vote. A well informed America needs this law.

With the FFIA, the federal government would join 48 states and the District of Columbia in preventing lawyers from hauling communicators into a legal process to respond to questions on anything from high profile stories to routine civil lawsuits. Subpoenas of journalists are becoming more frequent. Today’s federal law provides little protection when a subpoena arrives in a federal matter. Journalists are put in harm’s way when what the country really needs is freedom for them to do their jobs.

New York Times reporter James Risen may be headed to jail because there is no law. He has declined to reveal his confidential source for a book chapter about how the CIA may have given the Iranians valuable nuclear technology in a botched attempt to disrupt their nuclear program.

But every day communicators face similar exposure just because they gather information for a living. The new law would protect the news gathering process as well as confidential sources. And it provides essential balance between the public’s right to know and important national security and law enforcement needs. The FFIA is no free pass for journalists.

In today’s digital world, the FFIA takes into account the online journalist as well as the traditional newspaper, magazine, newsletter or broadcast journalist. But it differentiates professional communicators from hobbyists and random bloggers. The person invoking the privilege must have had the primary intent to gather news or information and disseminate it to the public. The person must also have (or had when engaging with the confidential source) some current relationship with a news entity, or have a track record of doing freelance journalism, regardless of the medium of distribution; the definition is meant to be technology-neutral. Importantly, the bill includes a safety valve, giving federal judges the discretion to protect the source of someone who does not fit precisely into the definition of “covered journalist” if the judge finds that doing so would be in the interest of justice.

It is time for America to recognize the importance of journalism to our democracy. Senators should ask Harry Reid to bring up this bill. Senators should vote yes! Please contact your senator today to ask for his or her support. To find contact information for your senator, visit



New Mexico Press Women Awards Sherri Burr Communicator of Achievement Award

Sherri Burr was named the 2014 New Mexico Communicator of Achievement, the organization’s highest honor, at the annual New Mexico Press Women conference in Las Cruces on April 26.

Burr, a Regents Professor at the University of New Mexico, served as New Mexico Press Women’s Vice-President and Bylaws Committee Chair and is currently chair of the NMPW 2015 state conference. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Princeton University and Yale Law School, Burr has authored or co-authored 20 books, published hundreds of articles and written four columns. Her audio books, Sum & Substance on Entertainment Law and Sum & Substance on International Law, are part of Thomson West’s “Outstanding Professor” series, which purportedly “captures America’s best law professors on compact disc.” As Chair of the Law School’s Art Committee, she spearheaded the launch of an Art Gallery to showcase community creativity.

Burr has spoken at a NFPW conference, and received numerous NFPW and NMPW awards for her publications and television show ARTS TALK. She strives to live her life purpose to teach and create, while caring for a brother who has been in a coma since 2009.


Las Cruces – Sherry Robinson, of Albuquerque, won first place for overall excellence in the 2013 New Mexico Press Women Communications Contest. The award for overall excellence goes to the entrant with the highest point score for achievement in individual categories.

Margaret Cheasebro, of Aztec, won second place, and Leota Harriman, of Edgewood, won third.

In first place for overall excellence by organization, also determined by points, is The Independent, of Edgewood. New Mexico In Depth, an online news site, won second. Rio Grande Books took third.

Awards were presented April 27 at the annual NMPW conference in Las Cruces.

The NMPW contest is the broadest of any media competition and includes print (writing, editing, design), photography, radio, television, electronic communications, advertising, public relations, speech, and books.

Nonmembers may enter, and the organization welcomes men as members. First-place entries go on to competition with the National Federation of Press Women.

Here are the winners in individual categories:

News story, newspaper: 2nd place, Lindsey Anderson, Las Cruces Sun-News.

Continuing coverage or unfolding news: 2nd place, Leota Harriman and Ellen Burgess, The Independent; 3rd place, Mary Alice Murphy, Silver City, Grant County News Beat.

Investigative Reporting: 1st place, Sherry Robinson, Gallup Independent; 3rd place, Laura Paskus, New Mexico In Depth.

Enterprise Reporting: 1st place, Diane Schmidt, Gallup Independent; 2nd and 3rd place, Lindsey Anderson, New Mexico in Depth.

Special Series: 1st place, Heath Haussamen, Trip Jennings, Deborah Busemeyer, Diana Alba Soular, Robert Nott, New Mexico in Depth; 2nd place, Bud Russo, Las Cruces, Southwest Senior.

Editorial/ Opinion, newspaper: 1st and 2nd place, Leota Harriman, The Independent.

Editorial/ Opinion, online publication: 1st place, Heath Haussamen, New Mexico In Depth; 2nd place, Trip Jennings, New Mexico n Depth.

Feature story, newspaper: 1st place, Peter St. Cyr, Santa Fe Reporter; 3rd place, Sharon Steely, Taos News.

Feature story, magazine: 1st and 2nd place, Lyn Bleiler-Strong, Taos, Santa Fe Trend Art & Architecture Magazine; 3rd place, Claudette Sutton, Santa Fe, Tumbleweeds; honorable mention, Loretta Hall, USA Today Special Edition NASA’s Future in Space; honorable mention, Jessica Savage, Las Cruces magazine.

Feature story in an online publication: 1st place, Loretta Hall, RocketSTEM; 2nd place, Benito Aragon, New Mexico Mercury; 2nd place, V. B. Price, New Mexico Mercury; 3rd place, Chris Burroughs, CNM.

Personality profile: 1st place, Peter St. Cyr, Santa Fe Reporter; 2nd place, Sherry Robinson, UNM Mirage; 3rd place, Margaret Cheasebro, Majestic Living; honorable mention, Daniella Wiedel, Las Cruces Sun-News.

Specialty articles, agriculture: 1st place, Bud Russo, Las Cruces, Southwest Senior.

Specialty articles, arts and entertainment: 1st place, Margaret Cheasebro, Majestic Living.

Specialty articles, business: 1st place, Sherry Robinson, Gallup Independent.

Specialty articles, education: 1st place, Margaret Cheasebro; 2nd place, Majestic Living; Chris Burroughs, CNM.

Specialty articles, environmental: 1st place, Margaret Cheasebro, Majestic Living.

Specialty articles, history: 1st place, Sherry Robinson, Wild West and New Mexico News Services; 2nd place, Bud Russo, Southwest Senior; 3rd place, Jerry Ueckert, The Independent.

Specialty articles, science or technology: 2nd place, Karen Wentworth, UNM.

Specialty articles, sports: 1st place, Margaret Cheasebro, Majestic Living and Four Corners Sports.

Specialty articles, travel: 1st place, Bud Russo, Southwest Senior.

Columns, humorous: honorable mention, Wendel Sloan, Portales News Tribune.

Columns, general: 1st place, Claudette Sutton, Santa Fe, Tumbleweeds.

Columns, informational: 3rd place, Sherri Burr, Albuquerque, Southwest Sage.

Columns, personal opinion: 1st place, Merilee Dannemann, Albuquerque, New Mexico News Services; 2nd and 3rd place, Sherry Robinson, New Mexico News Services; honorable mention, Diane Schmidt.

Headlines: 1st place, Claudette Sutton, Steve Harrington, Shirl Harrington, Tumbleweeds.

Sections or Supplements: 1st place, Leota Harriman, The Independent.

Publications regularly edited by entrant: 1st place, Melissa Stroud, Sandia Prep; 2nd place, Claudette Sutton, Tumbleweeds; 3rd place, Ruth Friesen, Wagon Tracks; and honorable mention, Spanish Traces.

Single photograph, news or feature photo: 1st place, Julie Carter; 2nd place, Marjorie Fiske, The Independent; 3rd place, Roger Holden; honorable mention; Leota Harriman – all of The Independent.

Single photograph, sports: 1st place, Carlton Kenway; 2nd place, Brenda Tapia – both of The Independent.

Single photograph, general photo: 1st place, Carlton Kenway, The Independent; 2nd and 3rd place, Ruth Friesen, Spanish Traces.

Photo essay: 1st place, Andi Murphy, New Mexico In Depth; 2nd place, Mary Alice Murphy, Grant County News Beat.

On-the-scene report, radio: 1st place, Laura Paskus, KUNM.

Interview, radio or television: 1st and 3rd place, Leora Zeitlin, KRGW; 2nd place, Sherri Burr, UPublic TV.

Talk Show, radio or television: 1st place, Gail Rubin, Toginet; 2nd place, Sherri Burr, UPublic TV.

Writing for the Web: 1st place, Wendel Sloan, ENMU

Website editing: 1st place, Karen Wentworth, Carolyn Gonzales, Steve Carr, Mara Kerkez, UNM; 2nd place, Wendel Sloan, ENMU, and Mary Alice Murphy, The Grant County Beat; 3rd place, Angela Plusquellic, LCF Research website for the New Mexico Health Information Collaborative.

Blogs, nonprofit, government, or educational: 1st place, Mariah Nissen, Lorena Hughes Stephanie Nakleh.

Blogs, personal: 1st place, Merilee Dannemann; 2nd place, Mandi Kane; 3rd place, Lauren Camp.

Advertising campaigns built around one subject (print, online, or combination): 2nd place, Sharon Steely, UNM.

Advertising posters, billboards, and banners: 2nd place, Sharon Steely, UNM

Radio advertising: 2nd place, Wendel Sloan, ENMU

Marketing program or campaign for new or existing service or product: 2nd place, Scott Alley, New Mexico State Fair.

Speech: 1st place, Loretta Hall, “Pre-OSHA Space Research in New Mexico,” New Mexico Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

Novels: 1st place, Elaine Hampton, Solar Noon; 2nd place, Anne Hillerman, Spider Woman’s Daughter.

Nonfiction books, biography or autobiography: 1st place, Elaine Hampton, Anay’s Will to Learn; 2nd place, Gale O’Brien, Transformation; 3rd place, Elizabeth Raby, Ransomed Voices.

Nonfiction books, history: 1st place, Sherry Robinson, I Fought a Good Fight: A History of the Lipan Apaches; 2nd place, Don Bullis, Unsolved; 3rd place, Gary Herron, Duke City Diamonds; honorable mention, Richard Melzer and John Taylor, Murdery, Mystery and Mayhem in the Rio Abajo.

Nonfiction books, general: 1st place, Janet Yagoda Shagam, An Unintended Journey; 2nd place, Sally Ooms, Finding Home; 3rd place, Gary Herron, Duke City Diamonds; honorable mention, Paul Rhetts, Voices of New Mexico, Too.

Young-adult books, nonfiction: 3rd place, Sharleen Daugherty, Young Voices of Silver City.

Short Stories, collection: 1st place, Paul Rhetts, Voices of New Mexico, Too; 3rd place, Sharleen Daugherty, Young Voices of Silver City.

Creative Verse, single poem: 1st place, Lauren Camp; 3rd place and honorable mention, Ruth Friesen.

Creative Verse, book of poetry: 1st place, Lauren Camp, The Dailiness; 2nd place, Robyn Hunt, The Shape of Caught Water.

Essay, chapter, or section in a book: 2nd place, Sherri Burr, “Lunch with Max Evans” in SWW Anthology.