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Sentinel journalists take top awards from Arizona Press Club

Sentinel journalists take top awards from Arizona Press Club wins multiple awards for columns, photos, Spanish-language & public service reporting

  • Joshua Pearson/
  • Joshua Pearson/

From column writing to sports photography and Spanish-language reporting, the staff of the Tucson Sentinel was recognized with a number of top awards announced by the Arizona Press Club.

Included in the winners were Paul Ingram, Bennito L. Kelty, Blake Morlock and Joshua Pearson.

Morlock, scribe of "What the Devil won't tell you," was named the first place winner in the opinion/column writing category for small publications.

"Morlock writes with outstanding style, and his perspective seems to be strongly rooted in his long experience with the subjects at hand," said judge Bryan Clark of the Idaho Statesman.

The winning columns included Morlock's examinations of the Arizona "fraudit," the impacts of the proposed Rosemont Mine on local water supplies, and the political strategizing of U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Kelty, the Sentinel's IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Access) reporter, was honored with the first place award for Spanish-language feature reporting, for "Familias de pioneros mexicanos logran salvar acceso al panteón histórico en Vail."

"Se trata de una historia que refleja el poder de una comunidad por defender sus raíces," said category judge Juan Carlos Zuniga of Uniradio Noticias/Meganoticias Hermosillo. "Cuenta con testimonios, datos históricos y una narración que permite a personas ajenas al contexto de dicha comunidad inmiscuirse en la importancia del sitio y lo que representa para sus habitantes."

Kelty was also recognized for his sustained bilingual coverage of the eviction moratorium and rental assistance in Tucson and Pima County, earning a second place award for social issues reporting in the community publications division.

Pearson won first and second place in the sports feature photojournalism category among small publications, for his emotion-capturing shots of FC Tucson soccer matches.

Ingram was honored as one of the top reporters and photographers in the state, winning second place in both the overall Community Journalist of the Year and Community Photographer of the Year awards.

Ingram's winning reporting included news stories on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on border crossings, county officials seeking more federal aid and Gov. Doug Ducey rejecting some assistance, the hiccups in the rollout of vaccinations and uncertain supplies, how Border Patrol agents were slow to get their shots — and how some died from COVID, the conflicts over mask mandates, as well as continuing his longterm work covering border activists and environmental issues.

In photography, Ingram was recognized for his work capturing performance artists, families cleaning a historic cemetery (with photos that were packaged with Kelty's winning Spanish feature story), the power of monsoon storms, the reflection and tumult of the All Souls Procession, the reopening of the old Pima County Courthouse, the pain of the families and friends of those killed and wounded in a shooting rampage, and more.

The Arizona Press Club is the state's association for print and online journalists, and each year recognizes the best reporting, photojournalism and design work. The announcement of the 2021 awards was delayed due to pandemic issues and technical problems. See all of the new awards at

Sentinel Editor and Publisher Dylan Smith is the president of the Press Club's Board of Directors, on which Ingram also sits. The awards are independently judged by experienced journalists from outside Arizona, with no influence from any journalists in the state.

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