The Cordova Times named Alaska’s best weekly

Cordova newspaper won 11 Alaska Press Club awards for work published in 2019

The Cordova Times won first place for best weekly newspaper in Alaska and 10 other honors in the Alaska Press Club’s annual awards announced Saturday, April 18.

The awards were posted online in lieu of the annual banquet due to social distancing mandates during the novel coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time in recent years that The Cordova Times has placed in this category.

“Beautiful layout and design, with plenty of good reporting and local news,” wrote the judge in the comments of the awards.

Four-decade veteran of The Cordova Times Dick Shellhorn won second place for the Leslie Ann Murray Award for Best Editorial or Commentary for his piece on the Alaska budget cuts effects on Cordova headlined “Cordova Chronicles: I have seen the enemy, and he is us” and third in the Best Humor category.

Zachary Snowdown Smith, who joined The Cordova Times in June 2019, won two reporting awards including first place Best Long Feature for his story about the last ferry run in Prince William Sound “Cordova steels itself for seven months of isolation”.

Freelance reporter Jane Spencer won her first Alaska Press Club award, third place for Best Culture Reporting for “Taking home a piece of the CoHo” about the auction of items from the historic Cordova Hotel.

Managing editor Annette Potter won two design awards in news design and magazine design categories. Former staff reporter/photographer Emily Mesner won three photography awards for work published in The Cordova Times.

The Cordova Times, a 106-year-old publication based in Cordova, is the only newspaper in the Prince William Sound region of Alaska and is owned and published by Native Village of Eyak.

The newspaper is staffed by managing editor Annette Potter, staff reporter/photographer Zachary Snowdon Smith, administrative assistant Vivian Kennedy, freelance reporter Margaret Bauman, freelance sports reporter and columnist Dick Shellhorn, freelance reporter Jane Spencer, contract local distribution specialist Penny Johnson, and a number of other freelancers and community contributors.

The Cordova Times awards at a glance:

First Place Best Weekly Newspaper

Print/Online (Large & Small circulation)

The Cordova Times

Judge’s notes: Beautiful layout and design, with plenty of good reporting and local news.


Second Place Leslie Ann Murray Award for Best Editorial or Commentary

(All media)

Dick Shellhorn

Cordova Chronicles: I have seen the enemy, and he is us


A person rides a dirt bike on Sheridan Glacier in Cordova on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

First Place Best Feature Photo

All media (small circulation)

Emily Mesner

Bike ride on glacier


Wyatt Sorenson, center, along with team members, Jacob Ranney, Xavier Russin and Floyd Witsoe, swim to the raft as their team races in the Survival Suit Race at the Cordova Harbor on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

Third Place Best Feature Photo

All media (small circulation)

Emily Mesner

Survival suit races


Third Place Best Humor Column

All Media

Dick Shellhorn

Cordova Chronicles: Just who has the biggest moose of all?


First Place Best Long Feature

Print/Online (Large & Small)

Zachary Snowdon Smith

Cordova steels itself for seven months of isolation


CT-03-29-19-web-1

Second Place Best Page Layout and Design

Print/Online (Large & Small circulation)

Annette Potter

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: 30 years of healing


Makena O’Toole stands in front of totes filled with fresh Tanner crab on board the F/V Regalia in Cordova on Thursday, March 7, 2019. (Photo by Emily Mesner/The Cordova Times)

First Place Best Portrait

All Media (Small circulation)

Emily Mesner

Dockside delivery


PWSVG-2019-Cover

Third Place Best Magazine Design

Print/Online (Large & Small circulation)

Annette Potter

Prince William Sound Visitor Guide


Second Place Best Short Feature

Print/Online (Small circulation)

Zachary Snowdon Smith

Decades-old errors put property owners at odds with road project


Third Place Best Culture Reporting

Print and online (small circulation)

Jane Spencer

Taking home a piece of the CoHo