Albuquerque Journal cuts staff, including in newsroom

New Mexico’s biggest daily newspaper is scaling back. The Albuquerque Journal recently eliminated six positions, including one in the newsroom, according to Brian Fantl, the newspaper’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. On top of this, five more reporters recently left the newsroom, and it’s unclear whether their positions will be refilled. One of those positions, which belonged to staff writer Ollie Reed, is getting eliminated, Fantl confirmed. Reed was laid off Thursday.

Secretary of State hopefuls face off in debate

In a debate characterized by a negative tone not unlike the recent showdowns between presidential candidates, both candidates for New Mexico Secretary of State laid out their visions for the office. Democratic candidate and current Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver started by invoking the only reason the office is up for grabs this year in the first place. “We had a secretary of state who violated the very laws and ethics that she was charged with upholding,” Toulouse Oliver said. “I’m running to restore integrity, transparency and trust in the Secretary of State’s office.”

Former Secretary of State Dianna Duran, a Republican who beat Toulouse Oliver in the election for the office two years ago, last year pleaded guilty to using her campaign funds to fuel a gambling habit. Duran, a Republican, resigned from office, spent 30 days in jail and is currently on five years of probation.

ABQ Journal editor, freelance journalist among Dixon Award honorees

The editor-in-chief of the state’s largest newspaper and an independent journalist are among the recipients of the Dixon First Amendment Awards annually handed out by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. Kent Walz, the editor-in-chief of the Albuquerque Journal, will receive the lifetime achievement award from the organization while Peter St. Cyr received the award for journalism. The other two recipients are Dr. Chad Painter for education and Mark Leech for government. The four winners will be honored at the annual FOG luncheon in October.