Al Nakkula Award for Exceptional Police Reporting

Al Nakkula
Al Nakkula
The Al Nakkula Award — the “Nak” Award — sponsored by the journalism department at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Media, Communication and Information, and the historic Denver Press Club, honors the late Al Nakkula, a 46-year veteran of the Rocky Mountain News whose tenacity made him a legendary police reporter.  

The award is for work produced by a reporter or reporting team in print and/or online platforms in the United States.

  • 2022: “Tennessee Children Were Illegally Jailed. Now Members of Congress Are Asking For an Investigation” by Meribah Knight, Nashville Public Radio, and Ken Armstrong, ProPublica 
  • 2019: “Jailed in Crisis” by Gary Harki, The Virginian-Pilot
  • 2018: “Walking While Black” by ProPublica‘s Topher Sanders, Kate Rabinowitz, Ranjani Chakraborty and Lucas Waldron and the Florida Times-Union’s Benjamin Conarck
  • 2017: “A Cry for Help” by Jennifer Bjorhus and Kelly Smith, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  • 2016: “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by Ken Armstrong, The Marshall Project, and T. Christian Miller, ProPublica
  • 2015: Brad Heath, USA TODAY
  • 2014: Megan O’Matz and John Maines, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
  • 2013: Ryan Gabrielson, Center for Investigative Reporting’s California Watch
  • 2012: Gina Barton, The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  • 2011: Cris Barrish, The News Journal
  • 2010: Mark Puente, The Plain Dealer
  • 2009: Karyn Spencer, Omaha World-Herald
  • 2008: Jonathan Schuppe, Newark Star-Ledger
  • 2007: Robert Rogers, San Bernadino Sun
  • 2006: John Diedrick, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
  • 2005: Amber Hunt Martin, Detroit Free Press
  • 2004: Del Quentin Wilber, Baltimore Sun
  • 2003: Stacy Finz, San Francisco Chronicle
  • 2002: Stephanie Warsmith, Akron Beacon Journal
  • 2001: Brigid O’Malley, Naples Daily News
  • 2000: Tom Searls, Charleston Gazette
  • 1999: Sean Gardiner, Florida Times-Union
  • 1998: Mark Truby, The Huntington Herald-Dispatch
  • 1997: Andy Furillo, The Sacramento Bee
  • 1996: Pamela Hill, Northwest Arkansas Times
  • 1995: Melvin Claxton, Virgin Islands Daily News
  • 1994: William Hermann, The Arizona Republic
  • 1993: J.D. Mullane, Bucks County Courier Times
  • 1992: Scott Bowles, The Detroit News
  • 1991: Diana K. Sugg, The Sacramento Bee