Las Vegas Sun

August 30, 2014

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Sun journalists win Best of the West awards

Three Las Vegas Sun journalists have won awards in the 2008 Best of the West contest, recognized as the most prestigious journalism contest spanning the 13 Western states.

Senior multimedia editor Zach Wise took first place for video storytelling for his coverage of Burning Man, an annual event in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

“The music combined with great visuals and impressive pacing really took us to the event,” the judges remarked.

Reporter Marshall Allen won third place for investigative reporting for his “Indentured Doctors” stories. Through extensive interviews and reviews of court documents and other records, Allen uncovered the systematic exploitation of foreign doctors by their sponsoring American physicians.

Allen found that foreign physicians who were allowed to stay in the United States to work with patients in medically underserved areas were instead reassigned by their employers to hospitals where they could make more money for their bosses, often neglecting the needy. Allen also found there was virtually no oversight of the program by federal or state authorities.

Photographer Tiffany Brown took third place in feature photos for her picture from a political event that showed a reflection of the U.S. flag in the glasses of an attendee.

Brown is a repeat winner, having won first place in the category in 2006.

The Best of the West contest is designed to reward journalistic excellence and to promote freedom of information. It is administered by First Amendment Funding Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. The contest began in 1988 and draws more than 2,000 entries each year from journalists in 13 states from the Rockies to Alaska and Hawaii.

Competing newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, The Arizona Republic, the Oregonian, the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Salt Lake Tribune.