Ariz. association names Navajo Times ‘newspaper of the year’

group photo in press room.

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Navajo Times staff and carriers in front of the Heidelberg printing press hold some of the plaques that were awarded on Saturday at the ANA annual conference in Chandler, Arizona, including, left to right: Christina Hunt, route 8 carrier; Arnie Sarracino, human resources director; Janelle Thomas, accountant; Betty Manuelito, route 5 carrier; Olivia Benally, controller; Jack Ahasteen, cartoonist; Clarita Jim, route 2 carrier; Keough Tracy, press operator; and Leonard Sylvan, press technician; and standing in back, from left, are Herbert Smith, press operator; Ron Livingston, press foreman; Marlon West, receptionist; and Jonas Smith, press operator.


For Tom Arviso Jr., the CEO and publisher of the Navajo Times, bringing home 37 awards from the Arizona Newspaper Association contest is a reflection of the hard work the Navajo Times staff does every week.

“It’s an honor that we can share with everyone on our staff including our carriers, everybody who contributes to our newspaper,” Arviso said. “We can also share the honor with our readers. Without them we wouldn’t be able to exist.”

The Navajo Times took home 26 awards from the Arizona Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest including the coveted “Arizona Newspaper of the Year” award for the second year in a row.

The paper also received the “General Excellence” award for its circulation division based on its consistent overall quality and production.

In the ANA’s Excellence in Advertising Awards, the paper won 11 awards including “General Excellence” in its circulation size. The Times also won third in “Best Special Section.”

“When you win these kind of awards it’s good to celebrate and share it with family and friends,” Arviso said. “But, as Navajo people, we’re taught to stay humble. You take it and appreciate it for a short while. Then, it’s time to move on again.”

The paper also won first place in “Departmental News & Copy Writing Excellence,” “Page Design Excellence,” “Best Use of Photography,” “Special Section, Newspaper Supplement or Magazine,” and “Newspaper Online Site/Webpage.”

For individual awards, reporter Krista Allen won second place for “Investigative Reporting.”

Arlyssa Becenti, reporter, won first in “Best Column, Feature or Criticism.” Times editor Duane Beyal won third in “Best Column, Feature or Criticism.” Sports reporter, Sunnie Clahchischiligi won first in “Best Sports Column” and second in “Best Sports Story.”

Group photo in Times' parking lot.

Navajo Times staff display some of the plaques the newspaper won at the Arizona Newspapers Association’s convention Saturday in Chandler, Arizona, including, left to right: Laverne Watchman, billing clerk; Olson Patterson, production assistant manager; Bobby Martin, production department manager; Josephine Carl, classified/legals advertising manager; Helena Skow, assistant circulation manager; Ophelia Nez, graphic designer; Vernon Yazzie, advertising department manager; and Christopher Pineo, reporter. Yazzie is proudly holding the ANA 2017 Newspaper of the Year trophy.

Former Navajo Times photographer Adron Garner, who left the paper to attend graduate school, won first in “Best Feature Photo.” He also won first and third in “Best Feature Photo Layout.” Garner and, sports editor, Times sports editor Quentin Jodie shared first place for “Best Multimedia Storytelling.”

Navajo Times photographer Donovan Quintero won second in both “Best Sustained Coverage or Series” and “Best News Photo.” He also won third in “Best Feature Photo.”
Longtime reporter Cindy Yurth won first for “Best Headline” and “Best Feature Story.”

For the advertising awards, the Navajo Times won 11 awards. In classified/legals, advertising manager Josephine Carl won second in “Best Classified Section.” Carl and Ophelia Nez, who is a graphic designer, won second in “Best Public Notice Section.”

Nez also won first for “Best Color Ad.” Nez and Courtney Notah, who is also a graphic designer, won first in “Best Paid Ad Series – Color.”
Notah also won first in “Best Newspaper Promotion Ad, Series or Section.” She won second for “Best Paid Ad Series – Black & White,” “Most Effective Use of Small Space,” and “Best Online Ad – Static.”

Advertising Manager Vernon Yazzie won first for “Best Black & White Ad.”

Arviso hopes these awards show how much dedication, heart and expertise goes into creating the newspaper every week.

“I would want our community, our people and all of our readers to know that we care about them and our newspaper reflects that,” Arviso said. “We really push honesty, fairness and journalism ethics on a regular basis.”

There were a total of 1,463 entries this year by 49 newsrooms across Arizona and four high schools for the awards.

In the advertising awards, which highlights the quality of ads created by advertising staff, there were a total of 459 entries from 39 newspapers.

According to a press release by the ANA, the Better Newspaper Contest “measures the overall quality of the newspapers.”

 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

Are you a digital subscriber? Read the most recent three weeks of stories by logging in to your online account.

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.

Categories: Business

About Author

Pauly Denetclaw

Pauly Denetclaw is Meadow People born for Towering House People. She was raised in Manuelito and Naschitti, New Mexico. She was the co-recipient of the Native American Journalist Association's 2016 Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Reporting. Denetclaw is currently finishing her degree in multimedia journalism from the University of New Mexico - Main. Denetclaw covers a range of topics including genetic research, education, health, social justice issues and small businesses. She loves coffee, writing and being with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @pdineclah