Alumnus wins statewide award for mental health reporting

Jones-80SEATTLE – Jacob Jones, a graduate of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, is the 2014 winner of the Washington Mental Health Reporting Award. A staff writer for the Inlander in Spokane, he won for a series on how the criminal justice system handles people living with mental illness.

Jones will be honored at the Sept. 30 anniversary celebration for Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention. The annual award is co-sponsored by Forefront and the University of Washington journalism program.

“Jones’ vivid storytelling helps readers understand the impact that mental illnesses can have on the family and friends of those in need of treatment, many of whom are also at high risk for suicide,” the judges’ citation said. “His articles document the kinds of challenges facing criminal-justice systems that are increasingly overburdened by people who have a mental illness.”

Jones has worked at the Inlander since 2012, primarily covering criminal justice, mental health and natural resource issues.

The award comes with a $500 prize. Judges were drawn from media, mental health, UW journalism faculty and individuals personally acquainted with suicide risk or loss.

The Sept. 30 celebration will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Mountaineers Club, 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle.  Reservations can be made at