‘News-Leader’ wins 6 first-place awards in state competition

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    EUREKA SPRINGS – The Nashville News-Leader won 16 awards, including six for first place, at the Arkansas Press Association convention Saturday, June 30, at the Inn of the Ozarks.

    In addition to the first-place awards, the paper received seven for second place, two for third place and one honorable mention.

    The News-Leader was second in APA’s General Excellence competition based on points for awards in the individual contest areas. The Carroll County News of Berryville won first place in General Excellence.

    Members of the Louisiana Press Association judged the Arkansas entries. The News-Leader competes in the medium weekly division. Entries were from 2017.

    First place

    First-place entries and judges’ comments where given include the following:

    News story – Terrica Hendrix, “Blevins Superintendent Resigns.” “In a category with a large number of stories featuring solid reporting, this one stood out above the rest due to the quotes obtained by the reporter. I could imagine myself being in the room listening to those conversations. Very good job.
    Best beat reporter – John R. Schirmer, education beat

    Sports news story – John R. Schirmer, “Scrappers win Class 4A title with 4-1 victory over Shiloh.”

    General interest column – Louie Graves, “Bluebird of hope.” “Great story about the bluebird,” the judge said.

    Single sports feature photograph – John R. Schirmer. The photo showed the baseball Scrappers receiving their 2017 Class 4A state cham-

    pionship trophy. “Good shot of a big moment for this championship team,” the judge said.

    Picture page/photo essay – Louie Graves, John R. Schirmer, Stand Up for America picture page. Nice placement and good variety of photos. Eye-catching lead photo.”

    Second place

    Sports feature story – John R. Schirmer, “Love of sports leads former Scrapperette to athletic training.” The judge said the story provided “a strong glimpse of Kristen Busby’s character as well as her skills. It’s the kind of feature that leaves us with respect for work that’s often taken for granted.”

    Humorous column – Louie Graves “A hospital idea.” “Cute .. funny,” the judge said.

    Single news photograph – Louie Graves, “Placing the footbridge.” The judge cited “good composition and wide shot that captures the action.”

    Feature photograph – John R. Schirmer, “Hometown Christmas.” “Clear, good quality photo.”

    Best graphic design portfolio – John R. Schirmer. “Like the clean look of your front page. Love the picture of the state champs.”

    Coverage of tourism – John Balch, Louie Graves. “The photo pages are nice, and it is always good to get pix of faces from our community into the paper, but surely there was or could have been more reporting done on these events. Where are the stories?”

    Coverage of health/medical – Terrica Hendrix, Shawn Dale. “Well-rounded coverage.”

    Third place

    News story – Louie Graves, John Balch, “Skimmers help thieves fill ‘er up for themselves at area gasoline pumps.” The judge said it was a “well-done story with solid reporting.”

    Headline writing – Louie Graves, “Bluebird of hope – Message is straw in the beak of a tiny bird.” “The headline has a great relationship to the story. Intriguing and gets a reader into the column.”

    Honorable mention

    Sports feature photograph – John R. Schirmer. The picture showed Coach Jared Jones falling from a pyramid as other coaches caught him. “The look on this fellow’s face is priceless. Glad they caught him!”

    Rex Nelson of Little Rock was the emcee for the awards luncheon Saturday. He is a senior editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and is the radio play-by-play announcer for Ouachita Baptist University football games. The OBU radio network is the largest in NCAA Division II.

    The APA convention was held June 27-30. Graves and Schirmer represented the News-Leader.

    APA members attended workshops on Adobe Creative Suite, legal issues, the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, distinguishing between real and “fake” news, and others. They also heard a debate among gubernatorial hopefuls Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Jared Henderson and Mark West. (See related story.)

    Graves is a past president of the association. He attended a breakfast June 28 to honor the past presidents and participated in passing the gavel to the new president, Tom White of Monticello during lunch the same day.

    Schirmer has been elected to the APA board of directors. His term began at the conclusion of the convention.