Articles about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge written by Bill McAllister and published as "Refuge of Riches," an eight-page special report in the Juneau Empire last July 22, have been awarded first place for comprehensive coverage (single edition) in a contest sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists.
McAllister's work was honored in the 2002 Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Competition, covering Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and Alaska. He competed against work published in daily newspapers with a circulation of up to 25,000.
Former Empire reporter Kristan Hutchison won third place for comprehensive coverage (multiple editions) for her series "Aging Alaska," which chronicled the challenges facing the state and its residents as the population ages.
Empire reporter Eric Fry won an honorable mention for his article, "Project-based learning often popular," one of a series of articles he wrote explaining educational trends in Alaska.
McAllister and Empire staff photographer Michael Penn spent two weeks traveling through ANWR early last summer. McAllister's articles examined how best to preserve the refuge and fulfill the promise of its energy potential.
"A land vast and wild," one of the articles in the ANWR report, received a third place award for environmental reporting in results announced last month in the annual Alaska Press Club contest. Two of Penn's ANWR photos were honored in that contest.
"Sending Bill and Michael to ANWR and creating an eight-page section to display the results of their work was the most ambitious and demanding project undertaken at the Empire last year," said Managing Editor Steve Reed. "Bill and Michael were up to the task. It is gratifying to see Bill's articles earn well-deserved recognition beyond our state."
The work of Hutchison, employed seasonally as a journalist reporting on the scientific research community based in Antarctica, and Fry previously was honored by the Alaska Press Club, as well.