Sentinel earns state journalism award

MARFA – The Big Bend Sentinel, the sister newspaper to the Presidio International, has earned a journalism award from the Texas Press Association.

Meeting earlier this month, an article by former reporter John Daniel Garcia won second place in feature writing in the press association’s 2018 Texas Better Newspaper Contest.

“The Last of the Ojinaga Adoberos” featured the struggle of father and son adobe makers Don Manuel Rodriguez and Victor Rodriguez in their hometown of Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico, across the Rio Grande from Presidio, Texas.

The local and traditional building material has fallen into disfavor in Mexico, while it remains the building blocks of choice in Marfa, Texas, and the American Southwest.

Also featured in the article is Marfa and Mexican adobe advocate Sandro Canovas.

Sadly, since the article was published on September 7, 2017, both father and son have passed away.

“That JD told the story of Don Manuel and Victor before they died shows the importance of local journalism to tell the stories of our area’s residents,” said Sentinel editor and publisher Robert Halpern. “That JD traveled into Mexico also shows how we are culturally connected to our friends, and families and workers from Mexico.”

The Sentinel, with a weekly press run of 2,800 copies, competed against similar-size weekly newspaper across the state. The Mar-fa-based newspaper has been a consistent award winner in the annual TPA contest throughout the years.

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