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Thank you, Spokane.


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Dear readers,

Logo_Spokane_110112Around two years ago I moved to your town, sat with many of you and said my company and I were going to be launching an online publication that would cover religion news in this area. The site didn’t yet have a name, or a URL. All I could promise you was that it would be super cool and fill a void in your community.

You listened to me, and you gave me — a stranger — a chance. You agreed to write for me (45 of you!), to read our stories, to come to our community events, to support us financially (ahem, we need more help in this area), you followed us on social media and I’m proud to say that it’s paid off. On Saturday evening (Sept. 28) at the annual Religion Newswriters Association Conference Spokane Faith & Values was recognized as one of the top online religion sections in the country.

The site took third  in the Schachern Award for Online Religion Section of the Year.

First place went to the Reuters FaithWorld Blog and second went to the CNN.com’s Belief Blog.

When I accepted the award, I thanked the Spokane community for supporting this site, I thanked our writers who make this site happen and I thanked the entire Faith & Values team, who I couldn’t do this without.

Thanks everyone, can’t wait to see what we come home with next year,

– Tracy

Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of FāVS.News, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.

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Eric Blauer
10 years ago

Thank you for coming to Spokane and drawing us all together and giving us the opportunity to be part of this org.

Debbie Selzer
Debbie Selzer
10 years ago

Thank YOU Tracy! What a wonderful recognition for this community of writers, and their talented hardworking leader. You realize you can never leave Spokane now, right?

Diane Kipp
Diane Kipp
10 years ago

Congratulations, Tracy! This achievement is thanks to your hard work, and your kindness to all your writers. Spokane is a better place because you are here. I am so proud of you.


[…] Simmons is the editor of our award-winning partner Spokane Faith & […]

Liv Larson Andrews
10 years ago

Your presence here in Spokane has been sheer gift, Tracy. Thank you for your hard work, excellent leadership and spirit of hospitality. We give thanks to God for you!

Ernesto Tinajero
10 years ago


Great job. Just being in the company is an honor for all of us here and we are there because of you hard work and it we that say thank you for coming to Spokane.

Tiffany McCallen
10 years ago

Had Tracy not been embraced by the Spokane community, favs.news would have been a shadow of the robust site it is now. I thank you readers and writers for helping Tracy take home such an esteemed award!

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