Although The News did not place in General Excellence, as it did last year by winning top honors in Georgia Press Association’s annual competition, its editorial staff still earned 10 awards, including four first place honors.
Excellence in layout and design was acknowledged by judges as the News was awarded the first place Hal M. Stanley Trophy.
Reporter Gabriel Khouli received a first place award for investigative reporting for his series localizing the housing market crash. Receiving first place honors in this category for a first year reporter is very rare.
After several down years, the sports department returned to top form. Sports editor Josh Briggs won first place in sports writing for The News’ first win in that category since 2004.
The News’ fourth first place award went to photographer Brittany Thomas for her stormy photo illustration of super high school athlete Karl Williams.
Thomas also took home two second place awards for best web photo and feature photo.
Reporter Amber Pittman received two second place awards as well — one for hard news writing and another for feature writing.
A third place award went to The News for editorial writing. Judges cited following up on a renegade commissioner and offering solutions to the problem he presented as the reason the paper placed in this category.
Finally, The News’ interactive website CovNews.com, was recognized for the first time since its existence with third place honors in the best website category.
The News’ competes in Division E for all tri-weekly and bi-weekly newspapers with a circulation of 20,000 or less. Judges for this year’s GPA awards were members of the Texas Press Association.