KJZZ's Fronteras Desk wins 5 national PMJA awards for reporting in 2022

By Sky Schaudt
Published: Monday, June 26, 2023 - 10:30am
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2023 - 10:44am

KJZZ Alisa Reznick (left) and Kendal Blust
Paola Rodriguez
KJZZ's Alisa Reznick (left) and Kendal Blust at the Public Media Journalists Association awards in San Antonio, Texas, on June 23, 2023.

KJZZ's Fronteras Desk accepted five national awards from the Public Media Journalists Association at a ceremony in San Antonio on Friday night.

Reporters won second place in Division AA — the largest division that includes stations with 16 or more full-time news staff — in the Arts Feature, Continuing Coverage, Feature, Sports Feature and Use of Sound categories.

Revisit the award-winning stories from Kendal Blust, Alisa Reznick and Murphy Woodhouse.

Arts Feature

Asylum seekers turn to traditional arts to ease the strain of long waits at the border by Kendal Blust

Cecilia weaving
Kendal Blust/KJZZ
Cecilia weaves at the Casa de la Misericordia shelter in Nogales, Sonora.

U.S. immigration policies have left migrants and asylum seekers waiting in Mexico for months or years, often in precarious situations. In an effort to ease the strain for those waiting, the binational group Artisans Beyond Borders has turned to fiber arts to bring comfort and hope to migrants in Nogales, Sonora.

Continuing Coverage

Title 42 leaves asylum seekers in limbo at the U.S.-Mexico border by KJZZ's Fronteras Desk

Alisa Reznick/KJZZ
Faith leaders from Nogales-based aid group Kino Border Initiative spoke and the event, along with asylum seekers who gave speeches, read prayers and sang songs.

Since former President Donald Trump took office, approaches to immigration enforcement that were previously considered marginal or too extreme have become mainstream — even bipartisan — policy positions. Perhaps most significant among them is Title 42, a public health measure implemented at the start of the pandemic. The protocol’s official purpose was to slow the spread of COVID-19, but its effectiveness has since been widely debunked. Whatever its origins, Title 42’s principal effect has been to short-circuit the attempts of hundreds of thousands of people from a growing list of countries to request asylum in the United States.

Feature and Use of Sound

Hundreds of feet in the air, Sonoran highliners face fears and find balance by Murphy Woodhouse

Cruz del Diablo Highline
Murphy Woodhouse/KJZZ
Osmar Gonzalez makes his way slowly back to the south side of the canyon's mouth

A small but growing group of extreme athletes in neighboring Sonora has turned some of the state’s most stunning natural features into proving grounds, where they push their bodies — and nerves — to their limits.

Sports Feature 

In a Sonoran mining town, the pins have been falling in historic bowling alley for nearly a century by Murphy Woodhouse

Historic Cananea Bowling Alley
Murphy Woodhouse/KJZZ
Francisco Cruz is one of two teenage pineros who replace the pins and send the balls rolling back to players.

Leaders of the Circulo Social Anahuac said the alley’s arrival is tied to the sizable presence of well-heeled Americans during the early 20th century company town days of Cananea, when the Consolidated Copper Company dominated daily life.