WyoFile won 23 Top of the Rockies journalism awards for its 2022 reporting. For the second year in a row, that’s more than any other “medium newsroom” publication in the four-state competition, and more than any other Wyoming outlet of any size. 

The nonprofit news organization’s accolades included six first-place awards, 10 second-place awards and seven third places in the contest, which is administered by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Colorado chapter. Contest judges honored six staff reporters, two editors and four freelance contributors for work published on WyoFile.com. 

“That our colleagues recognized each and every member of our newsroom is particularly gratifying,” said Matthew Copeland, WyoFile’s chief executive and editor. “Nothing beats the daily endorsements of our neighbors, readers and members though. That’s who makes this work possible and worthwhile.”

This year’s contest had more than 1,750 entries from more than 100 news media outlets in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico — a 12% increase over the number of entries in 2022, according to SPJ. 

“We are pleased to see so many news media outlets competing in Top of the Rockies,” said Deb Hurley Brobst, the contest’s coordinator. “We are seeing top-notch journalism from journalists throughout the region, no matter what the staff size.”

WyoFile State Politics and Government Reporter Mike Koshmrl, Natural Resources Reporter Angus M. Thuermer, Jr., Energy Reporter and Report for America Corps Member Dustin Bleizeffer, Managing Editor Katie Klingsporn and freelance reporter Christine Peterson all won first place. Koshmrl won first place in agriculture and environment news for “Yellowstone: Wolf hunt altered behavior, damaged research.” Thuermer won first place in sports news for “Wyoming billionaires in bidding war for fabled Chelsea Football Club.” Bleizeffer’s “Kemmerer’s locals, leaders eye transition to nuclear-power boom town” won for business enterprise reporting. Klingsporn won best business feature for “In remote outposts, enterprising denizens capitalize on trail traffic,” and Peterson won best science and technology feature for “Euthanize or release? The quandaries of handling captive animals.” 

Columnist Kerry Drake won first place news column for “To prevent Wyo suicides, ‘cowboy up’ isn’t an answer.” 

In notes, a judge wrote Drake “takes a very pertinent social issue and makes it personal to give the message more impact.” 

The nonprofit’s two collaborations with the Casper Star-Tribune won awards for enterprise reporting. “Violence, restraints, isolation increase at Wyoming Boys’ School” took second place and “Wyo GOP chairman quietly assumed power as party fractured” took third. 

Other categories WyoFile placed in include social justice, education,  politics feature, health feature, mental health feature, climate reporting and beat reporting. 

“Our goal is to provide first-rate journalism regarding important issues for Wyoming,” WyoFile Board President David Evans said. “I’m not surprised that we once again received regional recognition for the quality of our work, but it is gratifying. It is a compliment to our organization, but particularly to our dedicated journalists and staff.”

Join the Conversation


Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. WyoFile is great example of good journalism, way to go WyoFile team. I love reading all the articles in WyoFile, it makes me smarter on many topics and we all need that.

  2. Congratulations on your approach to reporting facts and not getting involved in having an agendum. Your well-researched and well written articles are much appreciated and worthy of all accolades which you have received.

  3. Congratulations WyoFile – well deserved for your pertinent and very “readable” publication.

  4. Way to go!!!!! Angus….. You have come a long way from your JH News days. One time you typed out a story from the back seat of my Landcruiser on our way back to Jackson from a Casper soccer tournament circa 1985.

  5. although i find some of the articles biased in favor of a certain political view,
    the articles are informative & thought provoking & invite comment without editing.