Albuquerque Journal

Aug 09, 2021

Editorial Page Editor

Albuquerque Journal Editorial Page Editor D’Val Westphal has been with the state's largest newspaper since 1989 and on the Editorial Board since 2005, where she helps determine the topics the paper will weigh in on and crafts editorials. She started in journalism as a copy runner for the El Paso Times, walking to the bus station to pick up film from reporters back when many newspapers had reporters stationed around the state and photographers used film. She then worked at the Las Cruces Sun-News as a copy editor, and at the Journal she has supervised the courts and cops reporters as well as the wire services that provide the bulk of the Journal’s national and international news.

Westphal has been recognized by state and regional media groups, as well as the local chamber of commerce and animal and transportation safety advocates, for her writing on issues ranging from police officer social networking and county jail releases; to cockfighting, trapping and chimp testing; to a state version of Kendra's law and the exorbitant cost to taxpayers for prescription drugs in prison; to workers' compensation regulations, tax reform and protecting the Land Grant Permanent Fund. Her writing on behalf of the Journal has helped frame reforms in these areas and more -- Albuquerque police are under DOJ oversight, Bernalillo County no longer drops off released inmates on a Downtown corner in the dead of night, New Mexico has banned cockfighting and trapping on public lands and has a law that gives families the ability to order mental health treatment for their loved ones, and the United States no longer does testing on chimpanzees.

Since 1995 Westphal has also written the paper's "Road Warrior" column, helping readers navigate construction and commuter issues, and at last count received more than a thousand reader inquiries regarding Metro-area traffic each year.

Westphal has a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and started out in radio, doing a drive-time show in El Paso with Don Imus’ brother, Fred. She has a master’s degree in print journalism from the University of Arizona and a doctorate from the University of New Mexico in American Studies, with a focus on U.S. media coverage of war.