For the fifth consecutive year, the Statesboro Herald was named the best small daily newspaper in Georgia during the Georgia Press Association’s annual awards banquet Friday in Jekyll Island.
The Herald earned a first place in the General Excellence category of the 2014 Better Newspaper Contest in Division C 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, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The Herald earned 11 awards in the contest, including seven first place, two second place and two third place honors for work that was published in 2013. The paper, which is owned by Savannah-based Morris Multimedia, Inc., captured more awards than any other of the 11 papers in Division C.
“It is truly a staff effort,” said James Healy, operations manager for the Herald. “I commend editor Jason Wermers and his team for their hard work. It is an honor, indeed, to be recognized by our peers.”
Photographer Scott Bryant won four awards, including two first places. His photo of a Georgia Southern student and his canine companion at graduation earned first in the Feature Photograph category. Also, his photo of a wild play at home plate was named best in the Sports Photograph category.
He also earned a second place for a Sports Photograph and a third place in News Photograph.
Sports editor Matt Yogus earned first place awards in both the Sports Writing and Sports Column categories. His group of stories about Georgia Southern’s football team joining the Sun Belt and the impact of defeating Florida won the top Sports Writing award. Yogus' columns also about the Sun Belt and the Florida game earned first in Sports Columns.
Reporter Holli Deal Saxon won first place in the Serious Column category for a group of columns about the Ogeechee River and other topics.
Herald editor Jason Wermers and former Herald reporter Jeff Harrison won a first place award for Education Coverage.
Herald reporter Al Hackle earned a second place for Business Coverage.
Other Morris Multimedia newspapers also were recognized for their work in 2013. The Times in Gainesville won second place General Excellence and 12 total awards in Division B for papers of circulation between 8,000 and 40,000.