For the third consecutive year, the Statesboro Herald was named the best small daily newspaper in Georgia during the Georgia Press Association’s annual awards banquet Saturday in Destin, Fla.
The Herald earned a first place in the General Excellence category of the 2012 Better Newspaper Contest in Division D for daily papers with 8,000 and under circulation. The annual contest is run by the Georgia Press Association, which represents 34 daily and 120 weekly newspapers in the state. The Herald also won first place in General Excellence in 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2011.
The Herald earned 25 awards in the contest, including nine first place, nine second place and seven third place honors for work that was published in 2011. The paper, which is owned by Savannah-based Morris Multimedia, captured more awards than any other of the 12 papers in Division D.
“To be recognized as the best is a testament to the hard work of the entire staff,” said James Healy, operations manager for the Herald. “I congratulate our staff for putting together such a quality product for our readers.”
The Herald website — statesboroherald.com — was named the third best in the state, competing with all the newspaper websites in Georgia.
Photographer Scott Bryant won eight awards, including two first places. His photo of a coach talking to a young baseball player, while another gets ready to field a ground ball earned first in the Sports Feature category. His series of photos from the Dancing with the Statesboro Stars fundraiser at the Averitt Center earned first for Best Photo Essay.
He also earned second place in the following categories: Photo Essay, Best Photo Gallery on a Newspaper Web site and Spot News Photo. He won third place in the following: Sports Feature Photo, Feature Photo and Best Photo Gallery on a Newspaper Web site.
Reporter Holli Deal Bragg earned a first place in the Feature Writing category for a series of three stories, including one about a Statesboro family meeting the man who received the heart of their son after he was killed in a tragic accident. She also won first place in the Serious Column category, for a series of three columns, including one about her love of the Ogeechee River.
In investigative reporting, Bragg was awarded a second place for her story about the closing of a Statesboro daycare facility, and she won a third place in Hard News Writing.
Sports writer Mike Anthony earned a first place in Sports Column Writing for a series of columns about Georgia Southern football. Vince Johnson won second place Sports Column writing for stories about The Masters.
Herald writer Al Hackle won first place for Education coverage and second place in Feature Writing.
Herald reporter Jeff Harrison earned a second place for Education Coverage.
In awards given to the newspaper as a whole, the Herald earned the following:
Editorial Writing – For editorials written about the re-election of Gary Lewis and city of Statesboro alcohol laws.
Lifestyles Section – For sections edited by Katherine Kennedy, James Healy and Casey Stoddard.
Special Sections – For the Pride sections generated by the entire staff
Layout and Design – For a selection of pages designed by James Healy, Casey Stoddard and Eddie Ledbetter.
Special Sections – For the 9/11 10th anniversary special section edited by James Healy.
Website – Judged among every newspaper website in the state
Other Morris Multimedia newspapers also were recognized for their work in 2011. The Times in Gainesville won first place General Excellence and 25 total awards in Division B for papers of circulation between 15,000 and 40,000.