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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Deseret News photographer Jeffrey D. Allred won the Utah Headliners chapter of the Society of Professional Journalist's best multimedia award for his photos of JC Lay's kidney transplant.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Deseret News swept the best newspaper reporter category of the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists' annual awards banquet Thursday, with reporters Daphne Chen, Katie McKellar and Amy Joi O'Donoghue taking first, second and third place, respectively.

The Deseret News also was named best newspaper.

In addition, McKellar won the Quintus C. Wilson Ethics Award for her coverage of Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott and his health issues that have raised questions about his ability to do his job.

Faced with difficult ethical decisions, McKellar "scrupulously balanced those conflicting concerns to produce a series of revelatory stories that were comprehensive while avoiding prurience, supplanting speculation with verified fact," according to the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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After 45 years of working for the Church News and being its first female editor, Gerry Avant decided to retire earlier this year. Avant was given the Josephine Zimmerman Pioneer in Journalism Award for her "example to other women throughout her fearless, careful, compassionate and well-read career."

Avant's work has "blazed a trail for other women reporting on the state's prominent faith."

The newspaper won 38 other awards for photography, writing, design and multimedia coverage.

First-place awards

  • Chen, Jeffrey D. Allred and Matthew Montgomery's coverage of a kidney donation that saved one man's life in the best multimedia category.
  • Allred's photography in the best photographer category.
  • Allred's photos of a house fire in the best spot news photo category.
  • Allred's photos of a sporting event in the sports action photo category.
  • Hal Boyd and Paul Edwards' editorial encouraging then-presidential candidate Donald Trump to resign from the race in the editorial category.
  • Sara Israelsen-Hartley's coverage of one adolescent's struggle with pornography in the general feature category.
  • McKenzie Romero's coverage of a man convicted of killing his wife and then granted a new trial in multimedia journalist category.
  • Matthew D. LaPlante for his story on amputation no longer being surgery of last resort in medical/science reporting.
Second-place awards Third-place awards Honorable mention