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The Covington News wins 13 GPA awards
Advertising, editorial staff comes away with five total first-place trophies
GPA awards online photo
From left, David Clemons, editor and publisher of The Walton Tribune; Patrick Graham, owner of The Covington News and The Walton Tribune; and Taylor Beck, editor and publisher of The Covington News; pose at the Georgia Press Association's 2021 Better Newspaper Contest awards banquet held Friday, July 30, at Jekyll Island. (Contributed Photo)

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. — Staff members of The Covington News brought home a baker’s dozen of awards from the Georgia Press Association’s annual convention this weekend.

Of the 13 Better Newspaper Contest awards handed out Friday, July 30, at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, five were for first place in their respective categories — one for the editorial department and four for the advertising department.

Nearly 50 newspapers from around the state entered work from 2020 as part of this year’s Better Newspaper Contest.

“I’m really proud of our team,” Editor and Publisher Taylor Beck said. “To my knowledge, this is the most accolades The Covington News has received in a single year since Patrick Graham took ownership in 2017. And to do so in a year like this is really a testament to the dedication of our staff.

“As journalists, we obviously don’t do what we do for the awards or acclaim, but it’s certainly nice for our staff members to be recognized for the hard work they put in each day to produce a newspaper this community can enjoy and, more importantly, count on.”

Editorial awards won by The News include:

  • Special Issues: The News, third place
  • Community Service (W.G. Sutlive Trophy): Tom Spigolon, second place; Spigolon, third place
  • Best Newspaper Website:, third place, weekly newspapers
  • Magazine Product: The News, third place
  • Enterprise Story: Tom Spigolon, first place; Taylor Beck, second place

Advertising awards won by The News and its business partners include:

  • Food: Blue Willow Inn, second place
  • Service/Institutional: Providence Classical Christian School, first place
  • Nontraditional: COVID-19 closures and updates, first place; Newcomers’ Guide, second place
  • Spot Color: Iron Will Dog Training, first place
  • Signature Page, Law enforcement salute, first place

Graham also owns The Walton Tribune in Monroe, which was honored as the top newspaper in Georgia for its size for a fifth consecutive year.

Editorial awards won by The Tribune include:

  • Best Use of Graphics and Illustration (Albert and Dorothy Jenkins Award): David Clemons, first place, weekly newspapers
  • Best Photo Gallery on a Newspaper Website: Deborah Stewart, third place, weekly newspapers
  • Page One: David Clemons, third place
  • Business Writing: Andrew Kenneson, first place
  • Magazine Product: The Tribune, third place
  • Best Editorial Page (J.C. Williams Trophy): The Tribune, second place
  • Serious Column (Otis A. Brumby Trophy): David Clemons, first place
  • Breaking News Writing: Stephen Milligan, third place
  • Headline Writing: David Clemons, first place
  • Feature Photo: Stephen Milligan, second place
  • Feature Writing: David Clemons, second place
  • Lifestyle/Feature Column: David Clemons, first place; Andrew Kenneson, second place
  • Layout and Design: The Tribune, first place
  • Photo Essay: The Tribune, third place
  • Education Writing: Stephen Milligan, third place
  • Editorial Writing (H.H. Dean Trophy): David Clemons, first place
  • Sports Feature Photo: Brett Fowler, second place; Fowler, third place
  • Sports Section: The Tribune, first place
  • Sports Coverage Story: Stephen Milligan, second place
  • Sports Feature Story: Brett Fowler, third place
  • Sports Column: David Johnson, first place; Brett Fowler, second place; Chris Bridges, third place
  • Sports Photo: Brett Fowler, first place; Fowler, third place
  • Investigative Reporting: David Clemons, third place, Division C
  • Community Service (W.G. Sutlive Trophy): The Tribune, second place
  • Local News Coverage (W. Trox Bankston Trophy): The Tribune, second place

Advertising awards won by The Tribune and its business partners include:

  • Real Estate: Algin Realty, first place; Reliant Homes, second place
  • Motor Vehicle: Loganville Ford, first place
  • Health Care: Davis Family Orthodontics, first place
  • Home Furnishings and Appliances: Mattress Choice, first place
  • Apparel, Jewelry and Accessories: Blue Hound Custom Tees, first place; Winged Foot Running & Walking, second place
  • Nontraditional: #WaltonStrong Visions 2020, second place
  • Miscellaneous: “Working to Keep Walton Strong,” second place
  • Online Banner or Tile Ad: State Rep. Bruce Williamson, second place
  • Full Color: Monroe Golf & Country Club, first place; Liberty First Bank, second place
  • Spot Color: Magnolia Salon, first place; Alcovy Internal Medicine, second place
  • Newspaper Promotion: “Unmatched Coverage of Friday Night Football,” second place
  • Special Section: Election Guide 2020, first place; George Walton Academy 50th anniversary, second place
  • Classified Section: The Tribune, second place
  • Small Page Ad: Your Pie, first place; Monroe Animal Care Hospital, second place
  • Advertising Campaign: Liberty First Bank, first place; Britt’s Home Furnishings, second place