City Pages wins eight first place awards from SPJ

Last night at its annual awards banquet in St. Paul, the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists, awarded

City Pages

top honors in eight categories. All awards are for papers with a circulation of 50,000 or more.

Two team awards were granted to the entire newsroom. was chosen Best Web Site. Additionally, our annual Best of the Twin Cities collection won first place in the Package: Best Special Section category.

In terms of individual awards, SPJ bestowed accolades in multiple areas of writing, photography, and online journalism.

Three different City Pages reporters took home four first-place trophies based on stories published during 2007. Staff writer Jeff Severns Guntzel's piece "The Wedding Crashers," about churches' response to gay marriage, was a first place winner in the "Short Feature" news category.

The online package for "Boy Interrupted," a story by editor-in-chief Kevin Hoffman about an anorexic man, claimed a first place award. Hoffman and web editor Jeff Shaw were named in the Best Use of Multimedia category. Besides Hoffman's feature writing, the package includes a photo slideshow, audio slideshow, video and expanded content blog post with audio files and resources for people with eating disorders.

Hoffman earned two additional first place awards, both for sports stories. In Sports Spot News, his piece "The Strongest Men in the World" was selected. Judges said the story's lead "provides a strong image that sets the tone for the rest of the story" and lauded Hoffman's "knack for using colorful language to paint a picture."

In Sports Features, Hoffman's "The Boogeyman Drops the Gloves" also was chosen. Comments from judges on "Boogeyman" praised its "[g]reat descriptive writing" and "[g]ood use of sidebars and art." In the Photojournalism contest, Nick Vlcek's photographs of Derek Boogaard for "Boogeyman" took third place.

Art director Vlcek's photography brought home a first place award in the Photojournalism: Pictorial category as well, for his photo slideshow on Diablo Cody.

"Mall of Amerisize Me," Matt Snyders' week-long foray into the MOA, won first place in the Business Feature section. Judges said the story was an "[o]riginal and clever idea for a feature on a much-publicized local institution. Good storytelling brings in colorful characters. The feature provides interesting factual information, both the 'usual,' and some surprising and off-beat." The MoA story was also recently chosen for inclusion in the third volume of Convergences, a book used in journalism schools.

Snyders' spot news piece "Banning Desmond Tutu," about St. Thomas snubbing a Novel Laureate, also garnered the staff writer a second place award in spot news.

Former staffers also were honored. In the Editorial and Opinion: Arts & Entertainment section, "LA Plays Itself" by Rob Nelson was a second-place winner. For In-Depth Business, G.R. Anderson, Jr. & Paul Demko's prescient "Trials and Stribulations" earned a third-place award. Demko's Business Spot News piece "Newspaper War" about Par Ridder was another story given a third-place award.

Complete list of SPJ awards:

City Pages Newspaper - Business: Feature First Place “Mall of Amerisize Me” - Matt Snyders

City Pages Newspaper - Business: In-depth Third Place “Trials & Stribulations” - G.R. Anderson Jr. & Paul Demko

City Pages Newspaper - Business: Spot News Third Place “Newspaper war” - Paul Demko

City Pages Newspaper - Editorial and Opinion: Arts & Entertainment Second Place “LA plays itself” - Rob Nelson

City Pages Newspaper - Graphics and Illustrations: Art & Illustration First Place “Bridge collapse” - Newsroom

City Pages Newspaper - Graphics and Illustrations: Art & Illustration Third Place “Autoerotic asphyxiation” - Newsroom

City Pages Newspaper - Graphics and Illustrations: In-depth Second Place “Rock atlas” - Newsroom

City Pages Newspaper - News and Feature: Spot News Second Place “Banning Desmond Tutu” - Matt Snyders

City Pages Newspaper - Package: Best Overall Package Third Place “Artists of the year” - Newsroom

City Pages Newspaper - Package: Best Special Section First Place “Best of the Twin Cities” - Staff

City Pages Newspaper - Photojournalism: Sports Third Place “Boogeyman drops the gloves” - Nick Vlcek

City Pages Newspaper - Sports: Feature First Place “The Boogeyman drops the gloves” - Kevin Hoffman

City Pages Newspaper - Sports: Spot News First Place “The Strongest Men in the World” - Kevin Hoffman

City Pages Web Site: Best Use of Multimedia First Place “Boy, interrupted; one man's struggle with an eating disorder” - Jeff Shaw & Kevin Hoffman

City Pages Newspaper - News and Feature: Short Feature First Place “The wedding crashers” - Jeff Severns Guntzel

City Pages Newspaper - Photojournalism: Pictoral First Place “Diablo Cody slideshow” - Nick Vlcek

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