OLYMPIA Chronicle staff members brought home five first-place awards from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest last Friday night.
The Chronicle also earned third place for general excellence in its circulation size, which ranges from 5,001 subscribers to 12,750.
“Our staff continues to produce award-winning news coverage of the people, places and events shaping North-Central Washington,” Publisher Roger Harnack said, noting the staff came home with 16 awards.
In 2012, the staff won 17 awards in the contest.
“I can’t say enough about out our staff’s dedication to readers and advertisers here.”
The Methow Valley News in Twisp and the Okanogan County Gazette-Tribune in Oroville were also recognized during the gala celebration at the Red Lion Hotel.
The Chronicle grabbed the only General Excellence award presented to newspapers in Okanogan or Ferry counties.
That award is presented to the Top 3 newspapers and judged on advertising, opinion, page design, news coverage and photography.
“Our staff has worked hard to be among the best newspapers in the state,” Harnack said.
Judges summarized The Chronicle by saying advertising “grabs the attention” and reporters do a “great job of covering as much as possible.”
Judges also said the newspaper’s opinion pages provide a “to the point” look at issues, while providing “ample space for reader letters.”
When it came to photography and page design, judges said the staff effectively uses dominant art and structures pages in a manner easy for readers to follow.
Chronicle Sports Editor Al Camp led The Chronicle team with a pair of first-place awards – best sports feature with his “Holy Crap!” coverage of the Conconully Outhouse Races and best sports portrait with his picture of 3-year-old Leandra Agee of Omak during the Okanogan-Omak Rotary Fish Derby in Conconully.
Veteran reporter Dee Camp nabbed first place for best lifestyle feature story with “Growing up as a ‘dam’ kid.”
Julie Bock and Teresa Myers won first place for best use of clip art in an ad, which was designed for Grandma’s Attic.
The Chronicle staff also took top honors for best front page design with its “Gas War” issue from Sept. 7, 2012. That same issue earned Bock and former Managing Editor Cary Rosenbaum a third-place award for best business news story for their coverage of lower prices heating up competition between Okanogan County gas stations.
The Chronicle won more than a dozen total awards.
Brad Skiff won second place for best editorial cartoon.
Dee Camp and Harnack won second place for best editorial pages.
Al Camp earned second place for best sports action photo, edging Harnack, who took third in the same category.
Al Camp also earned third place for best sports news story and, along with Harnack, took second place in best sports page design.
Dee Camp took third place for best long personality profile.
She also placed third for best comprehensive coverage of a single issue, along with Harnack and Managing Editor Garrett Rudolph.
Myers and Bock teamed up, too, for third place for best ad for a single advertiser promoting a sale, smaller than a half page.
Other area newspapers winning awards were the Methow Valley News (21 in the 2,751-5,000 subscriber division) and the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune (four in the less than 2,750 subscriber division).
Methow Valley News’ Marcy Stamper won first place for best spot news photo, second place for best government reporting and second place for best health or medical story. Sue Misao won first place for best portrait.
Laurelle Walsh won first place for best pictorial photo, third place for best environmental story and third place for best story on the arts.
Publisher Don Nelson won first place for best editorial, second place for best general feature story, short and third place for best business news story.
Mike Maltais won first- and third-place honors for best sports stories; and Solveig Torvik won first place for best topical column.
Nelson and Misao won first- and third-place awards for best photo essays.
The Methow Valley News also won first- and second-place awards in lifestyle/culture special sections, as well as first place for tourism/community special section. It also earned a third-place award for an ad campaign.
Brent Baker won four awards for the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune in the smallest newspaper circulation category.
He took first place in best long general feature story and best long personality profile. He also earned a second-place award for best action sports photo and a third-place award for best sports news story.