The News Journal brought home a total of 30 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 Louisville.
“I’m proud of the 20 years I’ve spent at the News Journal. This is a great newspaper covering a great community,” said News Journal Publisher Trent Knuckles. “We have an extraordinary, experienced staff of professionals who work hard every week to produce a great newspaper. To me, this award is proper recognition of all that effort.”
Overall, the News Journal captured 11 first place awards, including General Excellence, six second place awards and 13 third place awards.
The News Journal swept all the awards in three categories: best enterprise or analytical story, best business or agribusiness story and best use of social media.
“The News Journal won a record number of awards in many categories this year. I think the KPA judges recognized that we have a newspaper that does a whole lot of things very well,” Knuckles said. “We won many awards for the appealing appearance of our newspaper, but we also were recognized for our content. It’s something we realized, and I think our readers realized. I’m just glad those judging our paper saw the same thing.”
News Journal Sports Editor Trevor Sherman lead the way with nine individual awards, in addition to a tenth award that he shared with a staff member.
Sherman got first place awards for best sports story, best use of social media, best sports picture essay and best sports picture.
“Sports is a great way to enhance a Twitter following,” judges wrote of Sherman’s first place best use of social media entry. “This is a great mix of game info, photos and video. Someone who wasn’t at the game would feel like they were by following the feed. Building that trust with the audience will result in an extension of readership.”
He received a second place award for best sports column.
“Good local journalism and topics for a column,” judges wrote.
In addition, Sherman won third place awards for best sports feature story, best use of social media, best sports page/section and best sports special section.
“This was a nice look at these two brothers who were important to the local community’s sports identity,” judges wrote of Sherman’s best sports feature story entry.
Sherman and photographer Ashley Norvell also shared a third-place award for best sports picture essay.
News Editor Mark White received seven individual awards. White received first and second place awards for best business or agribusiness story. He received second and third place awards for best investigative story or series.
White also won a second place award for best enterprise or analytical story. He received third place awards for best ongoing/extended coverage story and best general news picture.
“The photo captures the essence of small towns and patriotism on Memorial Day. Somber faces, salutes and flags reflect the day and the participation of youngsters and veterans,” judges wrote of White’s third place general news picture award.
Knuckles took home four individual awards, including three first place awards for best feature story, best enterprise or analytical story and best headline.
“’Bunch wins by a Bunch’ was just witty enough to make it a win,” judges wrote of Knuckles best headline award.
Knuckles also received a third place award for best column.
Reporter Dean Manning took home three individual awards, including first and third place awards for best breaking news coverage.
“Great job of taking a breaking news story, reporting on it, and then taking a broader view,” judges wrote of Manning’s first place best breaking news coverage award.
Manning also received a third place award for best business or agribusiness story.
“Great topic. Local history is always interesting,” judges wrote about Manning’s business story award.
The News Journal also won several other awards.
Norvell received a second place award for best sports picture.
The News Journal staff received a second place award for best use of social media.
Society Editor Teresa Brooks, Knuckles and White shared a first place award for best lifestyle page.
“Nice variety of different features,” judges wrote.
Knuckles, White and Publisher Emeritus Don Estep shared a third place award for best editorial page.
Knuckles, White and Manning also shared a third place award for best front page.