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The Sedona Red Rock News won first place for Community Service and Journalistic Achievement at the 2007 Arizona Newspapers Association Better Newspaper Contest awards ceremony in Scottsdale on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Staff Report

Larson newspapers

The Sedona Red Rock News won first place for Community Service and Journalistic Achievement at the 2007 Arizona Newspapers Association Better Newspaper Contest awards ceremony in Scottsdale on Saturday, Sept. 22.

Praised for its unbiased coverage of the Aquarian Concepts Community, ANA judges stated, the "Sedona Red Rock News courageously exposed a cult apparently exploiting its members. It tried to do so without bias, even reporting ... accusations that it was biased."

"This sparked a long-overdue community debate about the organization," the judges stated.

Three News staff members, Christopher Fox Graham, Tyler Midkiff and Nate Hansen, were primarily responsible for reporting on the group’s activities.

"We couldn’t be more proud," Managing Editor Greg Ruland said. "Service to the Sedona community is its own reward, but being recognized by our peers for journalistic achievement is quite special."

The News competed with more than 30 other non-daily newspapers from across Arizona with circulation of between 3,500 and 10,000 to win the award.

The News placed second in the Reporting and News Writing Excellence category.

"There’s a strong mix of hard news important to the community and interesting features about Sedona residents," the judges stated.

"You don’t just read the front page of this paper. There’s always some nice little gems inside. Strong writing and reporting delivers a well-balanced product," the judges ruled.

Midkiff also won first place for his feature story on local bronze foundry.

"Midkiff makes the process of crafting bronze sound like an adventure," the judges stated. "His descriptions take the reader in and makes you feel like you were there."

Midkiff said he was a little surprised, but very happy to place first in the Best Lifestyle Feature category.

Midkiff also took home second place in the "Best News Feature" category.

In other awards, the News placed third for Best Use of Photography."


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