Tuesday, July 15, 2014

TOP STORY >> Top news, editorial prizes go to Leader

The Leader garnered 29 awards, including first-place awards for hard-nose reporting and tell-it-like-it-is editorials, at the annual Arkansas Press Association meeting.

Overall, the newspaper and its staff were honored with five first-place awards, five second-place awards, six third-place awards and 10 honorable mentions.

The newspaper also placed second for general excellence in the large weekly division.

Staff writer Rick Kron took first-place honors in investigative reporting about North Metro’s financial problems and in-depth series reporting about the wet-dry issue.

The judges — reporters, editors and publishers from Tennessee — said about his hospital article, “Kron sounds a clear warning to the community in this well-written piece. Love the details about broken clocks, unfilled hand sanitizers. Stay with this story.”

Kron, along with Sarah Campbell and Joan McCoy, took first in education coverage.

“Excellent writing, coverage and initiative. Best example of seeking out news stories rather than simply reprinting school press releases. Good use of art, as well,” the judges, wrote.

Creative Editor Christy Hendricks and Editor Jonathan Feldman won first-place honors for best front page. According to the judges, the page was a “clean, inviting design with effective layering. Clear page hierarchy guided the reader through this page.”

Feldman also took first place in editorial writing with his piece on the “Public must be informed.” (See Editorial column at left)

Campbell took home a second-place award in feature writing with her story, “Young witness tells of evils in Nazi Germany.” The judges said it was “an interesting read with very good, detailed, gripping quotes.”

Campbell also took second place in investigative reporting with her report on Pulaski County Special School District’s discipline rates.

Sports editor Ray Benton and sports writer Graham Powell took second for Best Sports Page. The judges liked the photography and variety of articles.

Campbell, Kron, writers Jeffrey Smith and John Hofheimer, as a group, took second in coverage of health and medical. The judges called the collection of articles “well written.”

Air Force Staff Sgt. Jake Barreiro’s story on a detailed look at raising an autistic daughter took second in the freelance category.

Campbell took third in the news story category with her article “Amidst fears, firearms sales spike.” Benton took third in sports column writing for “Red Devils, Panthers look strong.”

Publisher Garrick Feldman took third in the news/political column division with his “Waiting for Big Brother” piece. Editorial writer Ernie Dumas took third for “Ignorance no excuse.”

Photographer David Scolli took third in the single sports feature photograph competition.

Hofheimer, Smith, Campbell and Kron took third-place honors in the business/agricultural coverage competition.

Hendricks and Lisa Tigue took third for best website.

Honorable mention awards went to Hofheimer in the news story competition and Managing Editor Eileen Feldman for her “For a Pledge of Allegiance” editorial. Benton took two honorable mentions in the sports news story category.

Campbell and Kron both received honorable mentions for beat reporting. Scolli received three honorable-mention awards for his sports photography.

The newspaper also received honorable-mention awards for its high school football and graduation special sections.