McDonald Named AZ Designer of the Year; New Times’ Hsieh, Farzan Honored

Former Phoenix New Times Art Director Zac McDonald was named Designer of the Year and reporters Steven Hsieh and Antonia Noori Farzan also took first places in the Arizona Press Club journalism competition’s statewide division, the organization announced today, April 26.

Hsieh won in the state government reporting category for his stories that led to the firing of Arizona Parks Director Sue Black.

“The reporter did solid investigative work on mismanagement at the state park department and on the destruction of an archaeological site and artifacts,” wrote judge Alison Gerber, editor and director of content for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “His writing style and clean and compelling. His work affected change.”

Farzan took first in the local government reporting category for her profile of Maricopa County Record Adrian Fontes.

“A compellingly well-told story of voter suppression, with national implications, rich detail, a portrait of the upstart mariachi player who changed the game and the more than 2,400 voters who were unfairly kept from the polls,” wrote judge David Kidwell, the special projects editor at the Better Government Association.

Veteran New Times contributor Robrt L. Pela took a second place for first arts criticism, a third for arts reporting, and an honorable mention for short-form writing.

News Editor Ray Stern placed third in health reporting for his coverage of medical marijuana.

The Arizona Republic’s Craig Harris won the top award, Virg Hill Journalist of the Year.