Cougfan.com honored for journalism excellence

SEATTLE -- Competing in the small daily newspaper category, Cougfan.com swept up six awards from the Society of Professional Journalists in the 2014 excellence in journalism competition for the region covering Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The awards were announced Saturday at a dinner gala in downtown Seattle.

"This marked the first time in our history that we entered the competition, and the fact we not only were honored with multiple awards but that we were competing with daily newspapers is incredibly gratifying," said CF.C co-founder John Witter. "We've always aimed to provide Cougar fans an outstanding product, and this third-party endorsement by seasoned pros is an indication we are doing just that."

First-year Cougar basketball coach Ernie Kent was the source of two of Cougfan.com’s six awards.

Special CF.C contributor Bill Morlin captured second place in the personalities profile category – across the board, not just in sports -- for his two-part series on the life and times of Kent: Ernie Kent and his big picture and The shaping of Ernie Kent

In addition, Cougfan.com correspondent Evan Baron captured third place in sports features writing for his piece on the day Kent spent with a Palouse farm family: Ernie Kent, hard work and feeling home at WSU

Meanwhile, in the sports commentary category in which three samples of each nominees work were submitted, Cougfan.com took two of the three awards given, with long-time CF.C columnist Paul Sorensen snaring second place and CF.C co-founder Greg Witter third place. Venerable former Seattle P.I. scribe Art Thiel is the one contestant who topped them, for his work at Crosscut.com.

Sorensen was honored for these three columns:
The curious case of Mike Leach
Time to rally around Jeff Files and
Rypien to Boise? Get over it!

And Witter was recognized for these three:
From Starkville comes a lesson for Coug fans
The wit and wisdom of Keith Jackson and
Jason Gesser knows the fine line.

Cougfan.com also won two of the three awards in the sports reporting category. Associate editor Chris Chancellor secured second place for his take on the WSU-Rutgers football game, Woeful defense dooms Cougars in opener. And senior correspondent Howie Stalwick took home third place for his coverage of the wild 2014 Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament game between WSU and Oregon, WSU women run, gun, make history on Duck hunt.

"These honors are a tribute to the entire staff at Cougfan.com -- especially managing editor Barry Bolton, who brings it all together each and every day," said Greg Witter. "One regret in this is that we somehow failed to submit this feature story by Braulio Perez on Joe Salavea -- Big Joe to UW, USC: no thanks -- into the competition. No doubt it would have been much-deserved recognition for a fine journalist and long-time member of the CF.C team.

"We're not perfect, but we never stop trying, and these honors from the Society of Professional Journalists fuel our mission to place CF.C at the intersection of great talent and tireless effort.”

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