Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Editor in rural Colorado wins national ASNE award for editorial leadership

Randy Essex
Randy Essex of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, on Colorado's Western Slope, is this year's winner of the Burl Osborne Award for Editorial Leadership, which recognizes editorial writing that is excellent journalism and makes a difference in a community. The award from the American Society of News Editors is sponsored by The Dallas Morning News in memory of Burl Osborne, a former DMN editor and publisher who died in 2012.

"In powerful and persuasive editorials, Randy Essex champions Latino immigrants, both legal and undocumented, in his own community and beyond," the judges wrote. "He uses solid research and searing sentiment to reach readers' minds and hearts."

The three editorials entered in the contest were:
• “Release money for immigrant licenses” called for the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee and Rep. Bob Rankin to break a partisan deadlock last winter and authorize spending of fees for issuing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
“We stand in support of immigrants” called for a broader path to residency and citizenship and banned the use of “illegal” and “anchor babies” as labels in letters to the editor and guest opinions.
“We need immigration law grounded in reality” decried Donald Trump’s plan to deport 11 million immigrants as a humanitarian and economic disaster.

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Publisher Michael Bennett said for a story in the 10,000-circulation paper, “In less than two years, Essex has transformed the PI from a good paper to a newspaper that provides compelling storytelling daily. And in the case of his editorials on immigration, he has helped us take a stronger leadership role in our community.” Essex, most recently an editor at The Cincinnati Enquirer, said, “It’s a great honor that a small newspaper’s editorials can be amplified through this award to call for decency toward Latinos in our nation of immigrants. These are our neighbors, and our communities are enriched by their experiences, their work and their voices.”

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