Belen

Jane Moorman, a longtime reporter for the Valencia County News-Bulletin, has won the Excellence in Journalism award from the New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women.

She will receive her award at a luncheon on Sept. 20 for the Estrella Awards: Celebrating the Shining Stars of New Mexico. Also to be honored in the publication category in journalism will be Sage, the women’s magazine of the Albuquerque Journal.

Moorman was nominated by Number Nine Media Inc. Vice President and General Manager David Puddu and News-Bulletin Editor Sandy Battin for her coverage of news relating to women in Valencia County and beyond.

“Jane was a pioneer in her own right, entering the field of sports reporting in the 1970s when it was widely assumed that women didn’t know anything about football or basketball. She did. And, with her excellent stories, she persuaded coaches and players that she knew what she was talking about,” they wrote in nominating her.

“She became a role model for young women, and she encouraged them in their endeavors, told them that a woman shot putter has a place in the world.”

Moorman graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogodoches, Texas, with a bachelor’s degree in education with a quadruple major in physical education, health education, journalism and business.

“My interest in sports journalism arose while I was an athlete in college and women’s sports weren’t covered in the local newspaper,” Moorman said. “I took it upon myself to interview the coaches and get game information to the newspaper.”

She got her first newspaper job at The Daily Sentinel in Nacogodoches, where she was the women’s editor.

In 1981, she moved to the Henderson (Texas) Daily News, where she was sports editor for five years, covering six school districts. She was one of the first women sports writers in East Texas.

She came to the News-Bulletin in 1988 and served as sports editor for six years.

“When Jane became a reporter herself, she was determined that the young women of her community and their proud parents would get as much coverage on her sports page as the boys did. … She covered every sport, from Little League to women’s softball leagues, with insight, honor and fairness,” Battin wrote.

After leaving the news business for five years, Moorman decided to return to journalism, this time as a general reporter. She covers the Belen municipal and education beats, arts, business and just about everything in between.

She has also written about everything from Sally Garley, Belen’s first woman city manager, to a team of women horse wranglers participating in the New Mexico Horse Project to coverage of one of the first female astronauts who visited Los Lunas Middle School.

“This award is very special to me because I have never been a card-carrying women’s libber. I have believed through the years to just do it first female production manager for McGraw Edison manufacturing, first female shipping and receiving forklift operator for the same company, and one of the first female sports writers in East Texas and New Mexico.

“And because I function from my heart and not my ego, this award is very special to me because it doesn’t seem like those who function from their hearts are recognized nearly as much as they should be.”

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Jennifer Harmon