GateHouse Media newspapers recognized by Associated Press Media Editors

31.05.2017 John Crouch Awards

Four GateHouse Media newspapers were recently recognized at the Associated Press Media Editors‘ annual contest, which honors excellence and innovation in journalism.

The Sarasota, Florida, Herald-Tribune won the Public Service Award for newspapers with a 40,000 to 149,000 circulation for “Bias on the Bench.”

Judges said:

For its outstanding work documenting significant racial inequities across Florida in sentencing, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune is the winner in a strong category of entries. “Bias on the Bench” analyzed sentencing patterns of trial judges, revealing that blacks frequently received far longer sentences than whites convicted of similar crimes. Sarasota dug into data, documenting discrepancies across the state and looking at some individual judges whose sentencing was fraught with racial injustice.

The Springfield, Illinois, State Journal-Register won the Public Service Award for newspapers with up to a 39,000 circulation for “Enough.”

Judges said:

Illinois lawmakers’ inability to agree on a state budget has become a national example of political inertia. The State Journal-Register led a collaborative statewide effort to show the impact of the budget stalemate. Newspapers across Illinois decried the legislative inaction through stories, editorials and columns, prompting tens of thousands citizens to respond. The State Journal-Register’s leadership was particularly impressive and unique since editorials drove their call for action. This was a strong example of leadership, determination and ingenuity.

The Peoria, Illinois, Journal Star won the First Amendment Award for newspapers with up to a 39,999 circulation for “Police Report Unmasked.”

Judges said:

By waging a 2 ½-year battle with the city of Peoria to obtain a police officer’s report about her colleagues’ and supervisors’ misuse of on-the-clock time, the Journal Star proved it had the moxie — and was willing to commit to resources — to fight hard for records that properly belong to the public. The Journal Star litigated the case to the appellate level, winning at every turn, and produced an investigative report — “Police Report Unmasked” — that revealed how officers went home or did other personal activities while they were on the taxpayer-funded clock. The police chief and many other department leaders ultimately left the city or were reassigned.

The Peoria, Illinois, Journal Star won the Community Engagement Award for newspapers with up to a 74,999 circulation for “City of Disparity.”

Judges said:

The City of Disparity project shows what can be accomplished by a small local staff with deep commitment to community engagement. An impressive turnaround for the paper’s image and meaning to the local community. The most meaningful part is the engagement is ongoing with agencies, city officials and the community. The project’s success rests in the community learning troubling facts about itself. This project was sure to spark conversation.

The Sarasota, Florida, Herald-Tribune earned an honorable mention for the Al Neuharth Award for Investigative Reporting for newspapers with a circulation up to 74,999 for “Bias on the Bench.”

Judges said:

At the heart of this entry was impressive analysis of tens of millions of records. That analysis and the study and reporting that surrounded it were presented in a sophisticated package that was as effective on digital platforms as it was in print. It’s no wonder it went viral, and no wonder state lawmakers were quick to act.

Corina Curry of the Rockford, Illinois, Register Star earned an honorable mention for the News Reporting Award for newspapers with a circulation up to 39,999 for “Sub Nation.”

Judges said:

Education reporter Corina Curry identified a potentially problematic trend and decided to find out the impact, not only on the region she covers but in other communities across the country. The breadth of her reporting on this important issue, which included filing dozens of records requests in myriad states, was impressive, especially coming from a smaller media outlet. That broader context was essential to giving Curry’s readers a full understanding of the increasing use of substitute teachers. The database is an added bonus. The graphics were attractive and informative.

For more information, visit the Associated Press Media Editors.



Norwich Bulletin honored by Society of Professional Journalists

26.05.2017 John Crouch Awards

The Bulletin of Norwich, Connecticut, was recently recognized with a number of awards by the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists’ at the organization’s annual awards dinner.

Top honors went to reporter Ryan Blessing, who earned the prestigious Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award, which is awarded for a story or stories having a significant impact on the public interest. His Derbygate reporting on a group of public officials who attended the Kentucky Derby broke in October 2016, and Blessing has kept up with the story with additional coverage since.

Other awards included:


Honorable mention: “With high-tech firms investing in state, skilled workers are in big demand;” Francesca Kefalas

Diversity coverage

Third place: “‘I’ve had a good journey’;” Ryan Blessing


First place: “Hinchey, Bilda went on $340,000 trip;” Ryan Blessing


First place: “Senior exercise class gains devout following;” Lauren Flaum

Local reporting

Third place: “Taxes are taking a big bite in smaller towns;” Ryan Blessing

Single editorial

Second place: “‘Fake news’ swindles the gullible, hurts real thing;” Brendan Cox

Sports feature

Third place: “Norwich trainer fights to get back in the ring;” Brett Poirier

Second place: “Coaches emerge from NFA;” Owen Poole

Sports photo

Third place: “Fitch walks off with title in another 1-run thriller;” John Shishmanian

For more information, visit The Bulletin.

Best Of GateHouse 2016 Editors, Newspapers of the Year announced

26.04.2017 John Crouch Awards

Best of GateHouse 2016 (3)

The evidence that GateHouse Media newsrooms #DoJournalismWithImpact was on full display at our 2016 Best of GateHouse contest, and we could not be more proud to announce our Newspapers of the Year and Editors of the Year.

Challenges in the industry have only emboldened these leaders and their newsrooms to deliver enterprising work that reveals systemic injustice and demands change. The expanding horizon of digital storytelling has provided new avenues of creativity and interaction with readers — and our top editors and newsrooms are leading the way.

A huge thank you goes out to our judges from Ball State University’s College of Communication, Coordinator of Unified Media Juli Metzger and Ball State Daily News adviser John Strauss, for making incredibly difficult decisions amid our largest-ever number of phenomenal submissions.

Also of note, Mark Baldwin, executive editor of the Rockford Register Star, has been awarded the first GateHouse Media #DoJournalismWithImpact Leadership Award.

“Mark is a national advocate and expert for news literacy, and his engagement efforts in the Rockford community have been courageous and thoughtful,” said Bill Church, senior vice president of news. “He exemplifies an editor who understands the importance of high-touch journalism.”

Please join us in congratulating these talented individuals and tenacious newsrooms.

WINNER: Dennis Anderson, Journal Star, Peoria, Illinois, for demonstrating high-level community engagement by nurturing relationships with his readers and doing important journalism, including uncovering how local law enforcement were doing personal business on the taxpayer’s clock.
RUNNER-UP: Mike Smith, Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, South Carolina

WINNER: Angie Muhs, State Journal-Register, Springfield, Illinois, for leading a wide range of reader engagement programs and directing bold coverage, concentrated on state and government accountability, including a front page editorial calling for resolution to the state budget impasse.
RUNNER-UP: Lynne Sullivan, Herald News, Fall River, Massachusetts

WINNER: Eric Dundon, Courier-Post, Hannibal, Missouri, for demonstrating sophisticated reader engagement using social media, events and public service journalism. This may be a small newsroom but it shows focus and grit, executing on impactful journalism and using analytics to increase its reach across platforms.
RUNNER-UP: Jason Hunsicker, Daily Express, Kirksville, Missouri

WINNER: Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Florida
This newspaper sets the gold standard for community journalism. It has powerful design, smart reader engagement and killer enterprise. Their investigatory journalism goes beyond the ordinary. In fact, there is nothing ordinary about the Herald-Tribune.
RUNNER-UP: Register Star, Rockford, Illinois

WINNER: Herald News, Fall River, Massachusetts
In a very competitive field of smaller newspapers, the Herald News stands out with its big ambitions, local community leadership, excellent print presentation and creative digital storytelling. The newspaper made an impressive demonstration of not only setting a news agenda, but fostering solutions-based community engagement.
RUNNER-UP: Gainesville Sun, Gainesville, Florida

WINNER: Courier-Post, Hannibal, Missouri
This newspaper developed new ways to engage readers including a monthly health and wellness insert celebrating New Year’s resolutions and thoughtful reporting in several multi-day series throughout the year. This scrappy newspaper also dived into social media, and made smart use of Google Analytics to decide how and when to play stories, demonstrating an understanding for the technology, which in concert with strong journalism grows digital traffic.

WINNER: Wareham Courier, Wareham, Massachusetts
This newspaper has a strong local, local presence. Photos are included with nearly every story and headlines are engaging. This paper also interacts with readers in print and online. The digital presence is equally strong, with videos and photos. The Facebook page is an intimate snapshot of life in Wareham.

Columbus Dispatch, Herald-Tribune recognized at National Headliner Awards

18.04.2017 John Crouch Awards

Untitled design (2)

The Columbus Dispatch and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune were recently announced as winners at the 83rd National Headliner Awards, which recognizes journalistic merit in the communications industry.

Dan Gearino of The Columbus Dispatch in Columbus, Ohio, won first place in the business news coverage by an individual or team category.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s “Bias on the Bench” investigative report, by writers Emily Le Coz, Elizabeth Johnson and Josh Salman, won second place in the public service performed by publishing material in a daily newspaper category.

For more information, visit

State Journal-Register honored with Associated Press awards

7.04.2017 John Crouch Awards





The State Journal-Register of Springfield, Illinois, recently won a total of five awards from the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors.

Photographer Ted Schurter won first place in the feature photography category for an image of the May 6 wedding ceremony of Brandon Thomas and Destini Schafer at Memorial Medical Center and Executive Editor Angie Muhs earned a first-place award for editorial writing.

Editorial page editor Kate Schott earned a second-place award in editorial writing and photography editor Rich Saal took home a second-place digital storytelling award for his “Counter Culture” project.

The newspaper earned second place in the best website category.

For more information, visit

Sarasota Herald-Tribune honored with Batten Medal

4.04.2017 John Crouch Awards

Herald-Tribune logoThe Sarasota Herald-Tribune‘s Bias on the Bench was recently named as the winner of the American Society of News Editors‘ 2017 Batten Medal for achievement in public service journalism.

Reporter’s Emily Le Coz, Elizabeth Johnson and Josh Salman piece on racial bias in Florida court system was up against work from The Boston Globe and the Houston Chronicle.

From the judges:

“This is data reporting at its best, using the records to illustrate beyond a doubt the racial biases that regularly come into play in sentencing. The shoe-leather reporting was equally impressive, delivering powerful anecdotes that reinforced what the data has already told us and bringing this important issue to life. All of this was packaged elegantly, and powerfully, for the web. Bravo!”

For more information, visit

Spartanburg Herald-Journal honored by South Carolina Press Association

24.03.2017 John Crouch Awards


The Spartanburg Herald-Journal was recently honored with 44 press awards, including the President’s Cup for receiving the most awards out of any mid-sized publication in South Carolina for the seventh time in nine years, at the South Carolina Press Association’s annual meeting.

The Herald-Journal won 17 first-place awards, including in the General Excellence and Newspaper Website categories, and was named the top newspaper website in South Carolina, winning a Best of the Best designation against other publications of all sizes.

The inaugural Nourish cookbook won top honors in the Feature Special Section category.

Reporters Daniel J. Gross and Zach Fox won first place for Reporting In-Depth for “Face of Fear,” their profile of accused serial killer Todd Kohlhepp. The companion “Face of Fear” webpage by GateHouse Media’s Nick Dumont was crowned Best Digital News Project.

Reporter Bob Montgomery took home first in Enterprise Reporting for an article about shortfalls in the South Carolina pension system. And Executive Editor Michael Smith won top honors for Editorial Writing.

Other awards include:

First place:
Pam Stone, humor column writing
Daniel J. Gross, beat reporting (crime)
Alyssa Mulliger, food writing
Todd Shanesy, spot sports story
Alex Hicks Jr., general news photo
Alex Hicks Jr., sports feature photo
Alex Hicks Jr., humorous photo
Tom Priddy, pictorial
Dyhanna Sansoucie, page one design portfolio
Zakerij Dennis, illustration.

Second place:
Unsung Heroes,” sports special section
Big Ben” (Fall 2016 Spartanburg Magazine), feature magazine
Alyssa Mulliger, government beat reporting
Alyssa Mulliger, food writing
Dan Armonaitis, arts and entertainment writing
Eric Boynton, sports enterprise reporting
Dhyanna Sansoucie, single page one design
Alex Hicks Jr., sports action photo
Alex Hicks Jr., personality photograph or portrait
Zakerij Dennis, illustration
Bob Montgomery, Tom Priddy and Alex Hicks Jr., integration of print and web coverage.

Third place:
Larry Seil, illustration
Staff, opinion page section
Alyssa Mulliger, health beat reporting
Making the Grade, news special section
2016 Marching Madness, feature special section
Alyssa Mulliger, beat reporting (housing)
Wil Shelton, lifestyle feature writing
Jose Franco, food writing
Alex Hicks Jr., spot news photo
Zach Fox, arts and entertainment writing
Alex Hicks Jr., general news photo
Alex Hicks Jr., sports feature photo
John Byrum, personality photo or portrait
Alyssa Mulliger, feature video
Super Bowl 50 preview, sports special section.

For more information, visit

Fayetteville Observer honored with press association awards

13.03.2017 John Crouch Awards

Fayetteville NC observer logoThe Fayetteville Observer was recently honored with a number of editorial and advertising awards by the North Carolina Press Association.

In addition to the NCPA awards, public safety reporter Monica Vendituoli was given the Walter Spearman Award For Outstanding Writing by a reporter with two years or less experience by the Associated Press.

First place editorial awards included:
Greg Barnes, General News Reporting, “Beyond the Boulevard”
Staff, Online Breaking News Coverage, Sept. 28 flooding
Greg Barnes, Investigative Reporting, “Why did Rylan die?”
Andrew Craft, Feature Photography, “Clarkzilla”
Staff, Newspaper Only Sports Coverage, “Super Pirate”
Drew Brooks, Beat News Reporting, 440th Airlift Wing

Second place editorial awards included:
Chick Jacobs, Dailies Only Deadline News Reporting, “Haymount Grill Gutted By Fire”
Amanda Dolasinski, Feature Writing, “Becoming American”
Chick Jacobs, Profile Feature, “I Kew I Would Get Home Paul Dallas”
Andrew Craft, Sports Photography, “Diving Touchdown”
Myron Pitts, Lighter Columns, “Baby girl changes the game; steals hearts”
Bret Strelow, Sports Columns, “Westover graduate savors ‘frozen moment’ with Ali”
Staff, General Excellence for Newspaper Websites,
Andrew Craft, Spot Photography, “Waters Rise”

Third place editorial awards included:
Greg Barnes, Profile Feature, “It Takes a Village”
Stephen Schramm, Sports Feature Writing, “Dreams Die Hard Here”
Mariano Santillan, Illustration/Photo Illustration, “Battle In Full Swing”
Andrew Craft, Amanda Dolasinski and Hrisanthi Kroi, Best Multimedia Project, “Becoming American”
Bill Kirby, Lighter Columns, “‘Uncle Frank looks good, don’t he?'”
Myron Pitts, Serious Columns, “Racist message on VanStory Hills door”

First place advertising awards included:
Andrew Bradley, Best Retail Ad, Pet Starz
Eddie Harris, Best Use of Color, Evolution Ink
Jennifer Fisher, Best Innovative Concept/Wild Card, Tri-State Wine Festival Invitations
Jennifer Fisher, Best Newspaper Promotion, Readers’ Choice Awards Voting
Jason Beck and Jennifer Fisher, Best Special Section, Thrive
Jennifer Fisher and Mariano Santillan, Best Community Service Signature Page or Best Shared Page, Readers’ Choice Awards Ballot
Jennifer Fisher, Best Small Ad, Das Bavarian Haus
Jennifer Fisher and Eddie Harris, Best Advertising Campaign, Ladies Night Out
Andrew Bradley, Best Real Estate Ad in a Niche Publication, Addison Ridge
Jennifer Fisher, Best Shared Page in a Niche Publication, Westwood Shopping Center

Second place advertising awards included:
Jennifer Fisher, Best Food Ad, Carlie C’s $1500 Grocery Giveaway
Andrew Bradley, Best Apparel, Jewelry & Accessories Ad, John Allen Shoes
Andrew Bradley, Best Color Institutional Ad, Fayetteville State University
Jennifer Fisher, Best Community Service Signature Page or Best Shared Page, Home Sweet Home Contest
Jennifer Fisher, Best Advertising Campaign, Thrive
Staff, Best Niche Publication, Paraglide

Third place advertising awards included:
Andrew Bradley, Best Food Ad, Edible Arrangements
Andrew Bradley, Best Color Restaurant/Entertainment Ad, El Burrito
Andrew Bradley, Best Color Institutional Ad, Fayetteville Technical Community College
Andrew Bradley, Best Use of Color, Mountaire Farms Better Carolina Award
Jason Beck and Jennifer Fisher, Best Niche Publication, Retail Therapy Holiday Gift Guide

For more information, visit

Hannibal Courier-Post honored at Missouri Associated Press Media Editors contest

10.03.2017 John Crouch Awards

mo-hannibal_logoThe Hannibal Courier-Post was recently recognized with a number of awards at the yearly Missouri Associated Press Media Editors contest and was one of only five newspapers in the state to earn a General Excellence award.

In addition to General Excellence, the Courier-Post took home five first place awards, three second place awards and six third place awards — more than any other newspaper in its division.

First place awards included:

  • Danny Henley, Investigative Reporting
  • Beverly Darr and Eric Dundon, Spot News
  • Eric Dundon, Feature news photo
  • Eric Dundon, Explanatory graphic
  •, Best website

Second place awards included:

  • Trevor McDonald, Investigative reporting
  • Eric Dundon, Feature writing
  • Kelly Goodhart, Photo story

Third place awards included:

  • Eric Dundon and Danny Henley, Investigative reporting
  • Eric Dundon, Opinion writing
  • Kevin Graeler, Sports feature writing
  • Danny Henley, Spot news photo
  • Eric Dundon, Photo story
  • Janet Blair, graphics

For more information, visit

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