From an original story by Tuscaloosa News staff.
The Tuscaloosa News won first place in the General Excellence category in Division A of the Alabama Press Association’s 2018 Better Newspaper Contest.
The News also won first place in the Best Public Service and Freedom of Information-First Amendment categories and the Story of the Year award in the annual contest.
Overall, The News won 34 awards, including 14 first-place, nine second-place and 11 third-place awards. The contest recognized work done in 2017. Division A includes the state’s largest newspapers and media organizations.
Sixty-two newspapers submitted 2,129 entries in the contest, which was judged by the Virginia Press Association.
In the APA’s Better Advertising Contest, The News captured 12 awards, including third place in the Advertising Sweepstakes category for overall performance, and in a new segment, the APA Better Magazine Contest, Tuscaloosa magazine, a quarterly publication produced by The Tuscaloosa News, won six awards, including a tie for first place in the Magazine of the Year category.
The awards were presented Saturday night during the APA summer convention in Orange Beach.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort our employees give every day, and being recognized by your peers is certainly gratifying,” said News Publisher Jim Rainey.
“But the greater reward is the support we continue to receive from this community, our readers and advertisers.”
The General Excellence award is based on points awarded for issues submitted in that category, and awards won in eight general categories for news, sports and photo coverage, single-event category winners and advertising and magazine contest awards.
The News’ special section, “Should Your Kid Play Football?,” won the Best Public Service award. The section, spearheaded by Executive Sports Editor Tommy Deas and published in October, took an in-depth look at the dangers of the sport in light of evidence linking it to traumatic brain injury, but also the positive impact it has on participants, its importance in society and other benefits.
“To Play or Not to Play,” Deas’ lead story for the section, was named Story of the Year, which the judges award to the top story among all stories submitted in all divisions of the contest.
The FOI-First Amendment Award went to staff writer Stephanie Taylor for her comprehensive report on how law enforcement and the University of Alabama handled an allegation of sexual assault made by a UA student. Taylor combed through voluminous records, most of which had to be obtained by a court order, and her efforts revealed that crucial information was omitted from a story about the controversial case by a national media outlet.
The News also won first-place awards for:
• Best Newspaper Website (tuscaloosanews.com)
• Best Local Economic Coverage
• Best Use of Photographs/Editorial Content
• Best Layout and Design
• Best Business Story or Column for “Farmers Assess Disaster’s Toll,” staff writer Ed Enoch’s story on the financial impact of an extended drought on Alabama farmers
• Best Sports News In-Depth Coverage for “Should Your Kid Play Football?”
• Best Use of Graphics or Illustrations for “Concussion awareness has shot through the roof”
• Best Headline for “Alabama says no Moore” by City Editor Ken Roberts for a story on the results of the state’s special Senate election
• Best One-Time Special Section – Newsprint or Glossy for “Should Your Kid Play Football?”
• Best Niche Publication – Newsprint or Glossy for “Running Wild,” The News’ college football preview magazine
The News won second-place awards for:
• Best Lifestyle/Family Pages
• Best Sports Coverage
• Best Production and Printing
• Best Sports Single Event Story for “Byrne Introduced as Tide AD” by staff writer Ben Jones and Aaron Suttles
• Best Local Sports Column for “Remembering a dad who took pride in being a father” by staff writer Joey Chandler
• Best Use of Graphics or Illustrations for “A future without football?”
• Best Headline for “Glazed and enthused” by Ken Roberts for a story on the Krispy-Kreme Challenge charity run
• Best One-Time Special Section – Newsprint or Glossy for “Ten: A Decade of Dominance,” a retrospective on Nick Saban’s 10 years as the University of Alabama football coach
• Best Use of Social Media for The News’ Tidesports.com Twitter feed
The News won third-place awards for:
• Best Local News Coverage
• Best Editorial Page or Section
• Best Spot News Story for “A larger than life legacy,” staff writer Mark Hughes Cobb’s story on the death of Jack Warner
• Best Editorial for “A courageous response sends a strong message” about a man’s reaction after his sister was murdered
• Best Human Interest Column by Joey Chandler
• Best Editorial Column or Commentary for “Roy Moore was not the only loser on Tuesday” by Tommy Stevenson
• Best Spot News Photo for “Claybrook Fire” by Erin Nelson
• Best Photo Essay for “Honor Flight” by Photo Editor Gary Cosby Jr.
• Best One-Time Special Section – Newsprint or Glossy for “A Driving Force,” a look at the 20-year anniversary of production at Mercedes-Benz’ Tuscaloosa plant
• Best Niche Publication – Newsprint or Glossy for “2018 Photo Calendar”
• Best Creative Use of Multimedia for “Your Guide to Tuscaloosa Regional Softball” by Tommy Deas and Molly Walsh
In the APA advertising contest, The News won first-place awards for:
• Best In-Paper Promotion of Newspaper for “Amazing Teachers”
• Best Classified Display Ad for “Another Broken Egg”
• Best One-Time Special Section – Newsprint or Glossy for “Mercedes”
Second-place awards in advertising went to:
• Best Single Ad Over Half-Page – Color for “Tuscaloosa Tire”
• Best In-Paper Promotion of Newspaper for “Impact”
• Best Presentation of Online Advertising
• Best Innovative Online Advertising – Single Ad for “Piggly Wiggly”
• Online Revenue Builder for “Amazing Teachers”
Third-place awards in advertising went to:
• Advertising Sweepstakes
• Best Classified Page or Section for “Career Expo 2017”
• Best Single Ad Half-Page and Under – Color for “Ervin’s”
• Best Signature Page for “Martin Luther King”
In the APA magazine contest, Tuscaloosa magazine won first-place awards for:
• Magazine of the Year (tie with Vestavia Hills magazine)
• Best Photo Essay for “Dressing the Part” by Gary Cosby Jr.
• Best Single Ad for “Get Beach Ready” for the Locker Room
The magazine won a second-place award for:
• Best Photo Essay for “Healing Hands” by Gary Cosby Jr.
The magazine won third-place awards for:
• Best Personality Profile for “Fuller Goldsmith” by staff writer Drew Taylor
• Best Business Feature for “Sold!” by magazine Editor Becky Hopf
The News was also recently honored with 33 awards in the annual Alabama Associated Press Media Editors newspaper contest, including nine first-place, 12 second-place and nine third-place awards. The paper also won the Freedom of Information, Newswriting Sweepstakes and Sportswriting Sweepstakes awards.
Read the original story here.