Moab Sun News Editor Ashley Bunton received an award for her reporting in Moab at the annual Utah Headliners Society of Professional Journalists Awards Gala held in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, June 16,

She won third place in the Division B criminal justice category for her article “ICE agents make Moab arrests” published in the Moab Sun News on Thursday, August 30, 2018.

Bunton’s work competed with articles published by newspapers across the state, including much larger news outlets based in the Wasatch Front. More than 350 journalism awards were announced at the gala to honor professional reporting in radio, magazines, newspapers, online content, videography and television. 

“I am thankful for the community’s support and transparency, otherwise this story would not have been possible,” Bunton said. “This award is a reflection of the Moab community shining a light on ethics and upholding Constitutional First Amendment rights to free speech and press during a time of increasing national pressure on democracy, civil rights and journalists’ reach.”

“We are proud of Ashley’s work on behalf of the Moab Sun News and are glad to see it recognized by a prestigious organization,” Moab Sun News Co-Publisher Heila Ershadi said.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is a nationwide organization that has existed for more than a century and is “dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.” The Utah Headliners Chapter was founded in 1952 and carries out SPJ’s mission of education and advocacy in Utah.  

The Utah Headliners Chapter congratulated Bunton and the rest of the 2019 winners by saying, “Their work represents some of the finest reporting in the state, and we commend them.”