Sitka news was recognized several times at the 2016 Alaska Press Club Awards (4-23-16). (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

This year has been an eventful one for Sitka, or as News Director Rob Woolsey put it, “The year we met our better selves.”

“It’s the year that the community’s faith, grit, and forward-thinking principles were put to the test. It’s the year that Sitkans forged tragedy, loss, and crisis into a renewed sense of purpose. It’s the year than many of us decided to try and lead better lives, for ourselves and others.” – Robert Woolsey

We in the news department felt these momentous shifts too and reached out. You reached back. You shared your opinions, your fears, and your ideas with us. We recorded them for others to learn too. The strength of our reporting is a direct reflection of the quality of our community.  Thank you for trusting us with your voices. Please let us know how we can do better, do more (e-mail

Station Highlight: News Director Robert Woolsey and former Reporter Rachel Waldholz won the station’s first regional RTDNA Edward R. Murrow award for breaking news coverage for KCAW. “Search continues for three missing in Sitka landslide

Here’s a run-down of the stories that were recognized at the 2016 Alaska Press Club Awards (4-23-16) in Anchorage.

Raven Radio

Best Breaking News Story (Radio)
First Place, Robert Woolsey and Rachel Waldholz. “Sitka building official, two construction workers missing in slide

Best Feature (Radio)
First Place – Emily Kwong. “After 75 years, a family keeps the Sitka Sentinel running

Best Education Reporting (Radio)
Third Place – Brielle Schaeffer. “Students get hands on history

Best Profile (Radio)
First Place – Emily Kwong. “Meet Jasmine Molina, a 12year old ambassador

Best Reporting on Crime and Courts (Radio)
Third Place – Robert Woolsey. Arrest video raises questions of excessive force in Sitka jail

Best Single Story Reporting (Radio)
First Place – Emily Kwong. “Slave auction eliminated amid NAACP criticism

Best Long Form Story or Podcast (Radio)
Second Place – Kimi Eisele and Robert Woolsey.Listening to Yellow Cedar

Daily Sitka Sentinel

Best Breaking News Story (Print – Small)
First Place – Shannon Haugland and Tom Hesse. “Four Missing in Sitka as Heavy Rain Triggers Landslides”

Best Picture Story (All Media)
Second Place – James Poulson. “Sitka Landslide”

Best Reporting on Crimes and Courts (Print – Small)
Second Place – Shannon Haugland and Tom Hesse. “FBI Will Take Lead in Taser Investigation”

Best Reporting on Government or Politics (Print – Small)
Second Place – Shannon Haugland. “Sitka Police Disclose All Operating Policies”

Best Humor (All Media)
First Place – Tom Hesse. “In For A Penny, Shopper is in for 333 Pounds”

Vern McCorkle Award for Best Business Reporting (Print – Small)
First Place – Tom Hesse. “New Cannery Gives Bonus to Science Center”

Best Reporting on Science (Print – Small)
Second Place – Tom Hesse. “Sitka Funded Project Discovers Volcano”

Best Sports Photo (All Media)
Third Place – James Poulson. “Holding It Together”

Best News Photo (Print – Small)
Second Place – James Poulson. “Deadly Landslide”

Best Feature Photo (Print – Small)
Second Place – James Poulson. “Little Firefighter”

To see judge’s comments about the stories, click here.

Sitka’s 2015 Awards

Sitka’s 2014 Awards