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Covington News named best newspaper of its size in Georgia
Earns first in General Excellence in GPA Better Newspaper Contest
GPA award 2021
The News was awarded first in General Excellence based on work from 2021.

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. — The Covington News has been named the top newspaper of its size in the state of Georgia.

The News placed first in General Excellence in the Georgia Press Association’s 2022 Better Newspaper Contest. Awards were presented during a banquet Friday night held as part of the 135th annual convention of the Georgia Press Association at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

General Excellence awards are based on overall evaluation of the newspaper, in the editorial and advertising contests sponsored by GPA. Nearly 50 newspapers from around the state entered work from 2021 that was judged by members of the Louisiana Press Association.

“I couldn’t be more pleased or proud of our dedicated, talented staff at The Covington News,” said Patrick Graham, proprietor of The News. “A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the transformation they have pulled off in Covington, and the coveted General Excellence award is real validation of all that hard work. I know this is just the first of many to come. I couldn’t be happier or happier for them. I know the community joins me in congratulating our team on a job very well done."

Also earning General Excellence honors were The Brunswick News; The Valdosta Daily Times; the Oconee Enterprise in Watkinsville; Smoke Signals in Big Canoe; and The Walton Tribune in Monroe, also owned by Graham.

In addition to General Excellence, The News’ editorial staff brought home 24 other awards with 10 first place finishes:

• Page One: Taylor Beck, third place

• Layout and Design: Taylor Beck, third place

• Sports Section: Staff, third place

• Headline Writing: Taylor Beck, first place

• Special Section: Staff, first place

• Community Service (W.G. Sutlive Trophy): Taylor Beck, first and second place; Taylor Beck and Tom Spigolon, third place

• Business Writing: Taylor Beck, first and second place; Tom Spigolon, third place

• Religion Writing: Tom Spigolon, third place

• Education Writing: Taylor Beck, first place

• Sports Feature Photograph: Anthony Banks, third place

• Best Photo Gallery on Newspaper Website: Taylor Beck, third place

• Humorous Column: Taylor Beck, second place

• Feature Writing: Tom Spigolon, first place

• Enterprise Story: Taylor Beck, first place

• Investigative Reporting: Taylor Beck, first and third place

• Best Magazine Product: Staff, first place

• Best Magazine Overall Design: Taylor Beck, first place

• Best Magazine Cover: Taylor Beck, second place

• Local News Coverage (Trox Bankston Trophy): Staff, second place

It was also a big year for The News’ advertising department, which won 11 awards in the GPA Advertising Contest. Those awards will be presented at a later date; however, The News can announce the paper and the following advertisers won awards in the contest:

• Bread & Butter Bakery & Cafe

• Fox Winery

• Interior Beauty Designs

• Hardy’s Floor Covering

• Horace Johnson Foundation

• Dent Scene

• Protective Solutions

• Hibachi Grill Express

• Duct Dusters of Georgia

• Salem UMC

GPA awards
From left, Covington News proprietor Patrick Graham and Editor and Publisher Taylor Beck are photographed after The News earned first in General Excellence in the 2022 GPA Better Newspaper Contest. - photo by Special to The News