July 8, 2019

Laura Paskus leaves NM Political Report

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Laura Paskus

A storm brews near the Rio Grande in Albuquerque

Yesterday, we published Laura Paskus’ last story as our environment reporter.

Paskus is leaving NM Political Report to pursue other career interests, including finishing a book.

In her more-than two years at NM Political Report, Paskus won a number of state and regional awards. 

Paskus led the state in reporting on the environment, spending nearly her entire time at NM Political Report as the only statewide reporter with a focus on the environment.

In 2018, Paskus won a first-place award in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 9 competition for her story, “The Heart of Darkness: A walk through the scorched landscapes where our forest used to be and a glimpse of future fires.”

The story, which was reported along with the Santa Fe Reporter, looked at the aftermath of the 2011 Las Conchas fire and what the intense, destructive fire meant not only for the landscape in the Jemez Mountains but for other intense wildfires in the state and region.

And in 2019, Paskus won two first-place awards in the same competition, one for her story “Federal climate report shows how climate change will impact U.S. economy, infrastructure and more” in the “Science and Technology: General Reporting” category and another in the “Public Service” category for her coverage of the Texas v. New Mexico water lawsuit in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The former examined what a federal report said climate change would do to impact both the region and the country as a whole.

For the latter story, Paskus traveled to Washington D.C. for the oral arguments in the case. NM Political Report partnered with the Santa Fe Reporter, New Mexico In Focus and KUNM-FM on the story.

Paskus also won five first-place awards in the New Mexico Press Women’s annual communications contest. 

Paskus has written about New Mexico’s natural resources and communities for nearly two decades, including at High Country News and New Mexico In Depth. She also worked as a radio producer at KUNM-FM, and continues to report for New Mexico PBS’ “Our Land.”

We will miss not only Laura’s writing and editing at NM Political Report, but also her attitude while writing her stories. We wish her well on her book and wherever her career takes her.