The Winona Times and The Conservative newspapers were among Mississippi newspapers receiving editorial awards during the annual convention of the Mississippi Press Association June 22 in Biloxi.
The 2018 Better Newspaper Contest was judged by volunteers from the Kansas Press Association. Forty-three newspapers submitted a total of 1,937 entries into this year’s editorial contest. The Winona Times was judged in the mid-sized weekly category, while The Conservative was judged in the small weekly category.
The Winona Times received two first place awards in the Better Newspaper Contest.
Sports reporter Robbie Robertson won first place for Best Planned Series of Stories with his Top 11 to Watch series. His series features local football players whom coaches expect will play a major part of the team in the upcoming football season.
One judge said, “Amazing series! Every newspaper can borrow this idea and replicate it in their community. Fantastic!”
Editor and Publisher Amanda Sexton Ferguson received first place for her weekly commentary column.
Second place nods went to Ferguson for Best General News Reporting for her story, “Community mourning loss of teen;” sports photographer Chris Todd for Best Sports Action Photo for Tiger pole vault; and Robertson for Best Personality Portrait for Jalen Campbell.
The Winona Times staff received a second place award for the 2018 Wedding Bells section.
Ferguson also received a third place award for Best Newspaper Design for the Winona Times.
The Conservative brought home on first place award. Robertson won a first place plaque for Best Game Story for Carroll Academy’s win over Benton Academy.
The Conservative sports coverage received several other awards this year as well. Photographer Kevin Brunt received a second place award for Best Sports Action Shot for his J.Z. George baseball coverage, and Amy Lindsey won third place for Best Sports Action Shot for her Carroll Academy football coverage.
Ferguson brought home second place awards for her weekly commentary column in The Conservative, as well as second place for Best Headline.
The Conservative staff won second place for Best Sports Page.
"The work of these reporters, photographers, and their organizations shows the continued vital significance of community journalism," said MPA Executive Director Layne Bruce. "We congratulate all of the winners for their efforts this year."
Founded in 1866 and now in its 153rd year, MPA is trade association representing Mississippi newspaper media.