For the second year in a row, the News Journal has been named the best large weekly newspaper in Kentucky.
The News Journal brought home a total of 24 Excellence in Kentucky Newspaper Awards, including a first place award for General Excellence in the large weekly newspaper division, during the Kentucky Press Association’s annual banquet Friday night in Lexington.
“Newspapers are a vital part of the communities in which we live, and I’m proud to say that the News Journal has again been judged as one of the very best in Kentucky. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff to provide, week in and week out, the best news and sports coverage to our readers,” said News Journal Publisher Trent Knuckles.
“It is gratifying that our peers recognize the excellence we strive for in each edition of the News Journal. I also want to thank our ownership, Forcht Group of Kentucky, and its CEO, Mr. Terry Forcht, for his continued and unwavering support of this newspaper and the need for excellent journalism.”
Overall, the News Journal captured seven first place awards, 10 second place awards and seven third place awards.
News Journal Sports Editor Trevor Sherman led the way with eight individual awards.
Sherman received first places awards for best sports story, best sports column, best use of social media and best sports picture essay.
“Perfect way to showcase what you might read in the newspaper this week!” judges wrote about the best use of social media entry. “Very good work!”
“Love the up close action on the mat,” judges wrote about the best sports picture essay entry.
Sherman received second place awards for best sports column, best sports feature story and best sports special section.
“Great cover. Love the local coverage and eye popping photos,” judges wrote about the best sports special section award.
Sherman received a third place award for best sports feature story.
News Editor Mark White received seven individual awards, including first place awards for best business/agribusiness story and best headline.
White’s business story focused on the closure of Merry’s Flowers, which had been in business for 40 years on Main Street in downtown Williamsburg.
White’s best headline entry included the headlines: “Double Fowl-Tality Fire”, “Drunk man accused of crashing moped with beers dangling from it” and “Loose connection short circuits Ky. Wildbots during competition”.
White received second place awards for best general news story, best feature story and best general news picture.
White’s second place best feature story profiled Williamsburg horse enthusiast Phillip Perkins, who hitchhiked to his first Kentucky Derby at age 12, and last year went to his 70th consecutive Kentucky Derby.
“The reader can feel the pleasure and excitement this man gets from going to the Derby. An awesome job of conveying that plus his knowledge of the race,” judge’s wrote.
White received third place awards for best ongoing/extended coverage story and best breaking news picture.
“Kept with story from beginning to end. More papers should do this, especially when someone is accused of a crime and later acquitted,” judges wrote about White’s coverage of Williamsburg businessman Eddie Moore’s trial and subsequent acquittal of first-degree sexual abuse and use of a minor in a sexual performance charges.
Reporter Dean Manning took home four individual awards.
Manning received second place awards for best ongoing/extended coverage story and best business/agribusiness story.
“This is a case where I don’t think any of the reforms that were taken would have been done without the newspaper’s reporting forcing the library’s hand. Well done,” judges wrote about Manning’s coverage of issues at the Corbin Public Library.
Manning received third place awards for best breaking news coverage and best general news picture.
Publisher Trent Knuckles brought home one second place award for best sports story.
The News Journal staff received three total awards, including second place for best use of social media, and third place awards for best special section and best editorial page.