The Sidney Sun-Telegraph recruited investigative journalist and former USA Today reporter A. Marie Hamilton, a multi-award winning reporter, who began working in the newsroom on Monday.
Hamilton has won numerous journalism awards in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming from organizations such as the Arizona Press Association (APA), Colorado Press Association (CPA), Wyoming Press Association (WPA), Society of Professional Journalist (SPJ), Associated Press (AP), National Newspapers Association (NNA), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) and Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in her 22 year career.
Most recently, Hamilton won First Place at the WPA 2022 Press Awards for her three-part series looking into school shootings following the devastating Uvalde, Texas school shooting and First Place at the CPA 2021 Press Awards for her work covering the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notable, Hamilton won First Place at the APA 2013 Press Awards for her work covering the tragic Yarnell Hill Fire, where 19 Arizona Hotshot personnel lost their lives in a catastrophic wildfire for both her articles and photographs. Her photographs were later donated to the Prescott Hotshot Fire Department to raise funds for survivor family members and their children.
The award-winning journalist spent 17 years of her career working for Gannett, part of the USA Today network, in Arizona before moving to smaller markets – where she fell in love with hyper local and small town reporting. Hamilton began her career in the Gannett newsroom just four months before the unfathomable tragedy of 9/11, in which she covered much of it from Arizona as both Luke Air Force Base and Lockheed Martin regrettably lost members during the Twin Tower attacks.
From covering federal, state and local governing bodies as a watchdog journalist to working on human interest and investigative projects, such as the border wall crisis, Hamilton has niched out a career bringing transparency, insight and accountability from the organizations, governing bodies and communities she has worked with.
Hamilton graduated from Arizona State University (ASU) Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication (WCSJMC) with Bachelor of Arts in Print Journalism, with a concentration in political reporting journalism. Later, Hamilton graduated once again from ASU with a Masters of Arts in Print Journalism, with a concentration in data and investigative journalism.
Sidney Sun-Telegraph's new reporter comes from a law enforcement and military family and grew up on two horse ranches. She spent her summers in Wyoming and her school years in Arizona working on her family's ranches, where she fell in love with cowboying and horses.
Hamilton and her husband have been together for 24 years and are raising three young boys together. Her passions include watching/coaching baseball, advocating for special education, rescuing dogs or horses, watching crime shows with her husband, camping with her family or traveling to new places.
Hamilton loves to spend time riding her horse, named Freckles, out in nature in which she often takes her two dogs, Ellie, a 2-year-old German Shepherd/Husky mix and Roxy, a 8-year-old Black Lab/Collie mix, along for the journey.
A journalism quote Hamilton lives by in her professional work: "In seeking truth – you have to get both sides of the story," Walter Cronkite.
The Sidney Sun-Telegraph is excited to have an experienced investigative reporter in the newsroom that can answer the community's desire to know more about their governing bodies.
"I'm passionate about small-town reporting, because I'm originally from a small town myself and I remember the impact our local newspaper had on our community," Hamilton said. "I'm also passionate about covering agriculture, local government and school boards. I look forward to bringing Cheyenne County all the news it needs and more."