The Denver Post named reporter Shelly Bradbury its Journalist of the Year for 2022, recognizing both her reporting and writing skills, and her pivotal role in many of the biggest Colorado stories over the last year.
Her recent notable work in Denver includes an investigative piece into the death Olivia Gant and Children’s Hospital Colorado’s decision not to report caregivers’ suspicions that the child was being abused.
Bradbury spent weeks reporting on the Twelve Tribes cult and its presence in Colorado, culminating in a series of stories on allegations of child abuse and the cult’s business operations.
Bradbury, who joined The Post in 2019, is already a decorated reporter. She was a key part of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette team that won a 2019 Pulitizer Prize for the coverage of the Tree of Life synagogue massacre in 2018. In 2020, she was a Pulitzer finalist for an investigation into child sexual abuse among Amish and Mennonite communities.
In nominating Bradbury for the award, Managing Editor Matt Sebastian said, “She’s a dogged and competitive reporter who I can always count on to be thorough, dotting every I and crossing every T. She’s eminently dependable with keen news judgment, both in tackling breaking news and diving into deeper projects.”
The runner-up for the award was Nuggets reporter Mike Singer, recognized for the passion, energy and competitiveness he brings to his job.
Other 2022 winners were:
Monica Brewer, the newsroom administrator, who received the Editors Choice award, given to a person Denver Post editors want to recognize for their extraordinary contribution.
“She cares about the people here, she cares about the Post, and as one of her letters of nomination noted, ‘She is there when you need her whether or not she has the bandwidth,’” Editor Lee Ann Colacioppo said in giving her the award. “To me, she’s been a partner, advisor and confidant. She represents both the engine and the heart of our operation.”
Maureen Burnett, who was awarded the Colleen O’Connor co-worker of the year. The award is named for a beloved former Denver Post employee killed by a drunk driver in 2016. The award recognizes a person who makes work life better. Judges praised Burnett, an assistant city editor who plays a critical role in producing the print edition, for her willingness to jump into an enormous variety of tasks and fill in wherever she is needed.
The runner-up was reporter Kieran Nicholson, nominated for his steady leadership of the newsroom guild. As one nominating letter put it: “He’s a no-nonsense, straightforward dude, and his calm, confident demeanor has been a comfort in our newsroom.”
Digital strategist Joe Nguyen, who won the “We (heart) Readers” award, given to a person who keeps Denver Post readers at the forefront of all decisions. Nguyen’s work with the sports desk and his sharp focus on getting readers information just as they need it was recognized.
Photographer Helen Richardson was the runner-up. Richardson’s work often attracts the interest of readers and judges praised her for interacting with readers who reach out to her and for thinking so much about readers in her photographic decisions.
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