SALT LAKE CITY—Sanpete Messenger opinion columnists Steve Clark and Alison Anderson were recently recognized by the Utah chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
Their column, “Opinion Exchange,” took second place for opinion columns in the non-daily division of the annual Utah SPJ awards. The competition covered work published in 2020.
The award was announced at the organization’s annual awards banquet Aug. 5 in downtown Salt Lake City.
Clark, who lives in Chester, is a Republican who describes himself as “very conservative.” Anderson of Spring City describes herself as a moderate Democrat.
They started their column in early 2020, and it has appeared monthly since then. It follows a conversational format. A question is posed about a national or state issue. Each writer comments on the question. Then each makes a follow-up comment or rebuttal to the other’s comments.
During 2020, they wrote three columns dealing with COVID-19. One asked whether COVID relief money should go mainly to businesses or mainly to individuals. Another asked what the pandemic would reveal about the ability of Americans to work together. And one headline read: “Mask wearing: Individual right vs. what’s morally right?”
Other questions included: “Has Black Lives Matter advanced the cause of racial equality or set it back?” and “After a divisive election, how can America unite as one nation?”
Publisher Suzanne Dean said, “Opinion Exchange is one of the best features in the paper. It gives our readers a balanced and well-researched look at national issues through the eyes of two of our local residents.”