EDITOR’S NOTE: The Tillamook County Pioneer is proud to congratulate our partner Chas Hundley, awarded “Rookie of the Year” from the Society of Professional Journalism. Hundley is assisting with the print edition of the Pioneer, coming in July.
Last night, June 21st over 50 Oregon journalists gathered at Kells’ Restaurant in downtown Portland to celebrate the winners of the annual Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest, the winners of the Bruce Baer, and the two recipients of the Rookie of the Year award.
Congratulations, as well, to the reporting team of Unequal Justice, a joint reporting project by InvestigateWest and the Pamplin Media Group, who are this year’s recipients of the Bruce Baer award.
This year, the Oregon SPJ chapter awarded the Rookie of the Year to two amazing, incredibly talented young journalists.
Congratulations to Chas Hundley, who started the Gales Creek Journal and Banks Post last year. Chas, whose family has lived in the Gales Creek area since the 1880s, performs every function of a journalist, editor, and publisher: writing and editing stories, shooting photography, laying out and designing the newspaper, overseeing advertising sales and revenue, and distributing the paper each month to the papers’ readers.
Since Chas has no editor who could have nominated him for award, Chas asked some of his readers to write nomination letters, speaking to the importance the Gales Creek Journal and Banks Post. Here is an excerpt from one letter:
“Chas Hundley has helped connect our small communities by supplying information to the residents. We now have information about community events and activities, as well as governmental policy changes, new businesses in the area, school district events and changes, local parks and trails, and about featured community members. Before the publication of the Gales Creek Journal and the Banks Post, it was difficult to access or find the information we are now readily receiving.”
Journalists often say that “democracy dies in darkness.” Chas, thank you for ensuring that democracy does not die in Gales Creek and Banks.
And congratulations to Ericka Cruz Guevarra, our second Rookie of the Year. A general assignment and breaking news reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting, has mastered the ability to deftly switch between producing audio stories and writing for the web, delivering breaking news reports and thoughtful, beat reporting that is the result of her entrepreneurial abilities and unique perspective that she brings to her journalism.
In all her stories–whether about how blind and visually impaired people experienced the 2017 solar eclipse, the growing demand for ethnic grocery stores in a state known for its history of racism, or her ongoing coverage of immigration–she asks listeners and readers to take note of voices not normally heard in the news coverage of our region and continually adds perspective to the lived experience of all Oregonians. Thank you and congratulations, Ericka!
To see a full list of winners, please go to Oregon SPJ’s website.