Express-News photographers have won first-place honors in the Best of the West journalism competition for pictures that powerfully illustrated the plight of child migrants.
Staff photographers Bob Owen and Jerry Lara and freelancer Ivan Pierre Aguirre were winners in the news slideshow category.
The winning entry vividly depicted children swept up in the immigration drama — riding on buses and in cars during their journey north from Guatemala and waiting in shelters, tent camps and fenced-in holding areas along the U.S.-Mexico border.
An especially memorable set of images shows a 7-year-old boy foundering in the rain-swollen Rio Grande as a U.S. Border Patrol agent pulls him to safety.
On ExpressNews.com: Border Patrol rescues 9 migrants from rain-swollen Rio Grande
The entry “humanizes an often-told news story in a very intimate and emotional way,” the contest judges wrote. “This staff entry moves the reader beyond words.”
Last week, Owen, Lara and Aguirre were honored for the same body of work in the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors contest, winning first place for best photo gallery.
On ExpressNews.com: Express-News wins top laurels for photography, investigations, sports writing
Best of the West was founded in 1987 to recognize journalistic excellence and promote freedom of information. Its annual contest recognizes work by news organizations in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Winners in the contest’s writing categories were announced a month ago.
On ExpressNews.com: Josh Brodesky and Gilbert Garcia honored by Best of West
Josh Brodesky, editor of the Express-News editorial pages, won first place in editorial writing and second place in special topic column writing.
Express-News metro columnist Gilbert Garcia won second place in general interest column writing.