Jenny Kane of the Farmington Daily Times won the May DFMie for the Texas/New Mexico cluster for her coverage of financial problems of a Navajo Nation school district.
Since her award-winning coverage, Kane has left the Daily Times for a job with the Virgin Island Daily News.
Judges explained why Kane was a winner:
The work of Jenny demonstrates the tenacity a reporter must have in order to keep a story alive. It also sounds like she’s not getting straight answers from district officials, so I hope an award will inspire her to continue pushing. The story also must have inspired the community to speak out and convince district officials not to close the school — how else did they ‘miraculously’ found the extra funds. In the end, her story was likely what prevented the school’s closure, which is one the highest form of accomplishment for a journalist.
Having written about some Native American issues myself, I know how hard it is to follow stories and get information. I was impressed by the diligence as well as the overall journalistic style. In an era when ‘quick’ stories are the norm, you can tell Jenny did real reporting and digging for story sources and angles.