Stanford captures Maggie Award for refugees' story

• Click here to read Julianne Stanford's winning story, "Seeking Safe Haven," on pages 16-20 of the spring 2016 El Independiente (below).


Senior Julianne Stanford won a prestigious Maggie Award in the "Best Print Article/Student" category on April 29 for her reporting on Central American children who fled gang violence, poverty and political instability to find refuge in the United States.

Stanford's “Seeking Safe Haven” story appeared in the spring 2016 El Independiente, a University of Arizona School of Journalism magazine serving South Tucson and southern Arizona. Professor Maggy Zanger was her adviser.

The Maggie contest, sponsored by Western Publishing Association (WPA), attracts top publishing professionals from 24 states and honors the West’s best in print and electronic publishing. The winners were announced April 28 at a banquet in Los Angeles.

It’s the second straight year a UA journalism student has won a Maggie. Recent master’s grad Kendal Blust captured the same award a year ago for her profile on Tucson's Southside Presbyterian Church in the fall 2015 El Independiente,

“It’s an honor and it feels great to be recognized for a story I worked incredibly hard on,” Stanford said. “This story was a daunting task to accomplish, with its large scope and the various layers of the federal bureaucracy that I had to jump through to get to the sources I needed.”

The story explored what happened to Central American refugee children and whether they were lost in the shuffle of the complex U.S. immigration system or returned home. Her reporting looked at the U.S.-Mexico border and an “extremely vulnerable population — unaccompanied minors,” she said.

“The fact that Central American children were crossing the border in such large numbers was in itself is big a story,” Stanford said, “but the story about why they left, what happened to them during that journey and afterward is just as important.”

Stanford, an intern this spring at the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting who is set to graduate this month, hopes to land a job as a reporter after she finishes a Pulliam Fellowship at the Arizona Republic this summer. She also was invited to participate in the Hertog Foundation’s War Studies Program July 28-Aug. 12 in Washington, D.C.

“ I believe that long-form journalism is extremely important, despite the fact that investigative staffs at newspapers and news outlets have been so reduced during the past decade,” Stanford said. “The public deserves an advocate that seeks out the deeper truths and isn’t afraid to find a story hidden away in a pile of documents or statistics.

• Click here to read more about Stanford.

Published Date: 

05/02/2017 - 9:52am