Quick Hitters news briefs

Stein takes over as editorial page editor for Durango Herald

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February Quick Hitters: Ellen Stein

Ellen Stein took over Jan. 21 as editorial page editor for the Durango Herald, stepping in for Bill Roberts, who, as the newspaper’s website noted, “picked up a shovel on Cathy’s and his acreage on the Florida Mesa.” Roberts served as editor of the Herald’s editorial pages for 26 years.

Stein’s background includes media, community development and outreach, environmental health and sustainability, agriculture, and even a stint in the Peace Corps. She earned her bachelor’s degree in studio art from Colorado College, and a master’s in public policy from Tufts University. She’s been an executive director, grant writer, a radio station development director, and an election forum and information organizer.

Stein is bringing back the newspaper’s popular monthly community conversations, giving readers a chance to meet with members of the editorial board. An editorial board advisory panel is also planned. The editorial board members include Gregory Moore, outdoors editor; Suzy Meyer, former Cortez Journal publisher; Douglas S. Bennett, CEO, Ballantine Communications, Inc.; and Richard G. Ballantine, former BCI board chairman and publisher.

Valley Courier earns Colorado Nonprofit award for Excellence in Media

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February Quick Hitters: Keith Cerny

The Valley Courier in Alamosa and Publisher Keith Cerny will receive an Excellence in Media award at the Colorado Nonprofit Week Awards Luncheon, hosted by the Colorado Nonprofit Association on March 6 at the Denver Marriott City Center in downtown Denver.

Colorado Nonprofit Week is “an annual event that celebrates the vital contributions nonprofits make to our communities … this special ceremony recognizes leaders in the nonprofit industry that have made significant contributions to the sector,” noted a release announcing the awards. Winners for 2017 are included in these categories: William Funk Award for Building Stronger Communities; Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award; Legislator of the Year; Steve Graham Award for Building Nonprofit Capacity; and the Excellence in Media Award, also given this time to Bruce DeBoskey of The DeBoskey Group, philanthropic strategists.

Retired AP bureau chief McGowan inducted into Wyoming Press Hall

Joe McGowan, retired Associated Press bureau chief and foreign correspondent, was inducted into the Wyoming Press Association Hall of Fame Jan. 20. McGowan, a resident of Broomfield, Colo., was presented a personal plaque, while a duplicate plaque will hang in the WPA Hall of Fame at the school of journalism at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

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February Quick Hitters: Joe McGowan

Joe McGowan was presented a plaque upon his induction into the Wyoming Press Association Hall of Fame.

The plaque reads: “A Sheridan (WY) native who learned how to set type at his father’s newspaper at 4 and worked as a reporter at newspapers across Wyoming, Joe McGowan’s Associated Press career took him around the globe before he returned to the Rocky Mountains to serve as bureau chief for the AP’s Denver bureau. Joe’s attention to AP member needs and his commitment to the ideals of journalism made him an indispensable part of and respected advisor to Wyoming’s newspaper industry for many years. For his impact on Wyoming’s newspaper industry, the Wyoming Press Association Foundation is proud to induct Joe McGowan into its Hall of Fame.”

McGowan was sports editor of the daily Rock Springs Rocket when he was just 13, sports editor of the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne at age 15, and sports editor of the Laramie Morning Bulletin while he attended the University of Wyoming. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, then became editor of the twice-weekly Torrington (Wyo.) Telegram.

He joined Associated Press – where he would work for the next 42 years, retiring at the end of 1997 – in Cheyenne in December 1955. Assignments took him to Miami, Fla., New York City, New Delhi, Lima, Peru, Indianapolis, Boston and Denver. In Miami, he was the only American news person in Havana during Christmas Week 1962, and spent a full day riding around the city with Fidel Castro, right after the Cuban missile crisis. In India, he wrote the first worldwide articles about Mother Teresa. He would write about both in his book, “From Fidel Castro to Mother Teresa: An Associated Press foreign correspondent’s experiences abroad in the 1960s (Volume 1)” (2012).

Denver Post posts 6.3 million unique visitors

The Denver Post reached 6.3 million unique visitors – for denverpost.com, The Cannabist and The Know – for the month of December, a figure up 50 percent from December 2015, and attracted 23 million page views, according to data released mid-January by digital analytics firm comScore. Of the 6.3 million, 4.6 million were mobile-only users.

The denverpost.com site hit 5.1 million unique visitors, up 24 percent from the same period last year. The Cannabist had 865,000 unique visitors for December, a 79 percent increase. The Know is the Post’s new entertainment site revolving around food, dining, bars, clubs and things to do in Denver and the state.

SPJ, 70 more journalism groups question government access

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and 70 other journalism organizations have requested a meeting with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to discuss access to government. In a letter sent Jan. 18, the coalition asked for a meeting or conference call to discuss the following: the ability of reporters to directly interact with government employees who are subject matter experts, rather than with public information officers, or having conversations monitored by PIOs; access to the activities of the president; and ensuring that the Federal Freedom of Information Act remains as strong as possible.

Several letters were also sent to the Obama administration since 2013, addressing concerns about White House restrictions on photographers, transparency, and public information officer restrictions.