Aaron Bracamontes wins DFMie for coverage of on-court kindness

Headline: Coronado, Franklin set aside rivalry, Mitchell Marcus gets shot at glory
Outlet: El Paso Times
Journalist: Aaron Bracamontes

Next time someone tells you journalists just write about bad news tell them about the story that won the February DFMie in the Texas/New Mexico cluster for Aaron Bracamontes.

El Paso Times Editor Bob Moore’ explained in his nomination:

Aaron Bracamontes wrote a moving story about one of the most remarkable acts of sportsmanship you’ll ever see. At the end of one of the city’s big rivalry basketball games, Franklin High School player Jonathan Montanez deliberately threw the ball to Mitchell Marcus, a special needs student for Coronado High School who suited up for the game. Marcus was able to live his dream of scoring a basket.

Bracamontes’ writing beautifully captured the moment, without getting in the way. He also tracked down video that was key to telling the story. Mitchell’s story quickly went viral and was picked up by CBS News, Sports Center and Ellen DeGeneres, among others. Montanez and Marcus were brought to LA by Clippers star Chris Paul to sit courtside at a Clippers-Thunder game.

Judges loved the story:

Emotional, compelling story, just the kind that makes community newspapers what they are, the medium for telling the stories that make up the fabric of the community.

The video and photos added the extra special note to a well-written story.

Another judge:

It showed how effectively video tells the story. Nice work by the reporter to secure the video of the sequence and embed in the story.

Here’s the ESPN story that followed Bracamontes’ story:

Other Tex/Mex finalists were Natalie Gross of the Carlsbad Current-Argus for a story on the impact of sequestration on Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Steve Ramirez of the Las Cruces Sun-News for a story on the local use of red-light cameras.

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