with nearly 20 awards
Apr. 19, 2018
SANDY—The Sanpete Messenger came in a close second in a contest for General Excellence in community journalism last weekend.
At an awards banquet Saturday, April 7 at the Jordan Commons in Sandy, the Emery County Progress edged out the Messenger by two points to take the top award in the Utah Press Association Better Newspaper
“We thought we had a very credible entry,” publisher Suzanne Dean said. “We put a lot of time and thought into selecting items for judging and writing explanatory statements.
“We were pleased with our first places in several of the reporting and layout categories. We were a little disappointed that we didn’t place in news coverage, because that’s usually our strong suit. But overall, we’re satisfied with and proud of our performance.”
The contest covered work published during 2017. The Messenger competed in the small-newspaper category for papers with circulations of up to 2,500.
The Messenger took first, second or third place in 19 out of 28 categories. That included 10 first-place prizes, one fewer than last year, when the Messenger did win the General Excellence prize.
The General Excellence calculation is pretty simple. Newspapers receive three points for each first place, two for each second place and one for each third place. The newspaper with the most points takes the top prize.
Robert Stevens, managing editor, took first place in feature stories for a story about the possibility that a person in a photo taken in the Indianola area in the 1800s was Butch Cassidy. He took first place in sports writing for coverage of Gunnison High taking state in baseball.
The Messenger’s Beautiful Yard contest, which Stevens coordinates, was selected as Best Community event.
Lloyd Call, advertising manager, got credit for designing the Best Sports Page and Best Lifestyle Page (the prize was based on submission of three samples in each category).
Dean took first place for her editor’s column. She and Call shared an award for “Best Advertising Idea,” which involved seeking ads from companies where some of the Beautiful Yard Contest winners purchased their supplies.
The whole staff played a role in first places for Best News Series, a prize recognizing coverage of the case of Police Chief Ron Rasmussen in Ephraim, and Best Photo Page, which featured a selection of photos from Fourth of July celebrations throughout the county.
Finally, Kyle Parry, a freelance contributor, took first place for Best Sports Photograph for a photo taken at a Snow College soccer game.
The Messenger took second places for best general news story, best editorial, best digital breaking news story, best front page, best circulation promotion and best self-promotion.
The newspaper’s third place finishes were for best general news story, best feature series, best news photograph and best use of ad color.