Star earns statewide journalism awards

HARLINGEN — The Valley Morning Star took home nine statewide journalism awards for work in 2016, earning honors for reporting, design, photography and community service.

The awards were bestowed this past weekend at the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors’ annual convention in Houston for “outstanding journalism in Texas’ daily newspapers.”

Editor Lisa Seiser won first place in specialty reporting for her series of stories delving into the big picture of liquefied natural gas.

Page designer/copy editor Ana Villarrutia won first place for news page design by an individual.

Villarrutia also earned second place for headline writing.

And page designer/copy editor Victor Cerda earned second place for feature page design by an individual.

AIM Team Valley Morning Star won third place for community service. AIM Media Texas is the parent company of the Star.

Reporter Rick Kelley earned third place for business reporting.

Diana Eva Maldonado won third place for online newspaper for the Valley Morning Star. She also won second place for online newspaper for The Brownsville Herald.

Photographer Maricela Rodriguez earned honorable mention for feature photography.

Villarrutia also earned honorable mention for infographics.

The Star competed in Class AA.

The Brownsville Herald, also competing in Class AA, took home 16 awards.

Among the top categories, Frank Garza finished in second place for star reporter of the year and Esmer Olvera took third in the star designer of the year category.

Editor Ryan Henry won second place in the short feature category, in which photographer Jason Hoekema earned an honorable mention.

Henry and Olvera also took second place in team page design, and Henry was third in news page design by an individual, a category in which America Banuelos earned an honorable mention.

The sports department picked up a second place award in the feature series category for its Brownsville Is Futbol series. The team included Sports Editor Joe Alberico, writers Roy Hess, Joshua McKinney and Andrew Crum, and Hoekema and fellow photographer Miguel Roberts.

Steve Clark and Garza tied for third place in specialty reporting. Garza also earned an honorable mention for deadline writing.

Roberts took third place in photojournalism and added an honorable mention in sports photography.

The Monitor, in Class AAA, won eight awards. Sandra Sanchez took second place in the star opinion writer of the year category, and Delcia Lopez, in star photojournalist of the year, and Naxiely Lopez, in star investigative report of the year, earned honorable mention nods.

Other awards included a second place in photojournalism by Nathan Lambrecht, a third place in best video (more than 2 minutes) for Lorenzo Zazueta-Castro and Daniel A. Flores, and honorable mentions for Flores in best video (more than 2 minutes), Sandra Sanchez in general column writing and Lopez in general news photography.

Texas APME Awards

– AIM Team Valley Morning Star won third place for community service

– First place in specialty reporting – Lisa Seiser

– First place for news page design by an individual, second place for headline writing – Ana Villarrutia

– Second place for feature page design by an individual – Victor Cerda

– Third place for business reporting – Rick Kelley

– Honorable mention for feature photography – Maricela Rodriguez

– Third place for online newspaper – Diana Eva Maldonado