Aspen Times recognized nationally for local pandemic coverage
The Aspen Times’ coverage of the pandemic for the past year has received national recognition by the Local Media Association, which is an organization with more than 3,000 media members across the county.
The Aspen Times placed third in the “Best COVID-19 Local Community Coverage” category in the 250,000 to 750,000 monthly unique visitors division as part of the LMA’s Digital Innovation Award, it was announced Wednesday.
The contest looked at multiple examples of community-focused content bringing the reality of COVID-19 to a local area. The Times quickly set up a landing page at aspentimes.com/coronavirus, and through 2020 had a number of project both online and on social media that were recognized as part of the overall entry.
Our coverage really amped up with the report of Australian visitors having the first confirmed cases in Pitkin County and the March 15 shutdown of the state ski areas.
From there, we produced a series of live webinars with our other Swift Communications newsrooms; daily (and sometimes hourly) updates from numerous government meetings; photojournalism features about front line workers; our Silver Lining project, which is ongoing; and an investigative story about the mountain community officials’ frustrations with the state in the early days. We ended the year with our 10-part series “Faces of the Pandemic,” which featured some of the people in our community who helped us get through 2020.
The Aspen Times has a newsroom of 13 journalists: three editors, five reporters, one photographer, one digital editor and three copy editors/designers. The Times is the longest running business in Pitkin County, having first published in 1881, and our daily newspaper and website are free to all users. Our aspentimes.com/coronavirus landing page remains as a center for all updated information.
Cascade Public Media, based in Seattle, and its website crosscut.com took first place in the division, and second place went to the Herald & Register in Decatur, Illinois. The judges were from the University of Missouri’s journalism school.
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