And the winner is ... you, the readers.
Messenger staff members may be the ones holding 22 new awards from three different statewide contests, but the newspaper’s readers are the real winners.
“Our goal is to provide the best and most complete coverage for our readers,” said Messenger Editor David Critchlow Jr. “And when our staff earns statewide recognition, we feel like our readers are getting the benefits of all that hard-earned acclaim.”
The 22 awards were presented during recent banquets hosted by the University of Tennessee-Tennessee Press Association and the Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors, both in Nashville, and the Tennessee Sports Writers Association event, which was held in Lebanon.
Headlining the winners was reporter Chris Menees, who won first place in the TPA contest for education reporting, as well as first place in the TAPME contest for features reporting and feature photography. She also claimed second-place awards for feature photograph from both TPA and TAPME.
The judge’s comments on the education reporting stated: “Wonderful job covering all aspects of education for your community. Overall, a terrific job.”
Critchlow added, “We dedicate a great deal of newspaper space to education coverage and are proud to do so to highlight the exceptional accomplishments of our students and teachers. Chris does an excellent job coordinating that effort, but other staff members contribute to the coverage, including Donna Ryder, Kevin Bowden and Glenda Caudle. They all do a superb job.”
Mrs. Menees’ first-place awards from TAPME were for a feature story about an unusual fish surgery performed by a local veterinarian and for a feature photo from the 2011 Obion County Special Olympics competition. Her second-place honors from TAPME and TPA both involved photos of children playing.
The sports department, comprised of Sports Editor Mike Hutchens, sports reporter Kevin Weaks and photographer David Fuzzelll, garnered 11 awards for the newspaper this year, including six from TSWA, three from TPA and two from TAPME (see related story).
“The sports staff continues to do an outstanding job covering sports in Obion County,” Critchlow said. “I would venture to say that no newspaper our size — and some larger — comes close to The Messenger in dedication to local sports coverage. Our readers have come to expect top-notch coverage and we will continue to do our best to provide that in the future.”
Bowden claimed top prize in the TAPME contest for daily deadline reporting for his coverage of the Goodyear plant’s closing. He also earned second place TAPME recognition for spot news photography and fifth place from TPA in best news reporting.
Mrs. Ryder claimed a third place award for spot news photography, while The Messenger website was selected third in the state for newspapers its size. In addition to the newsroom staff, Fuzzell, Allison Hollowell and Shannon Terrett are responsible for maintaining, designing and updating the website.
“It was another excellent year for our staff members in statewide competitions and I’m thrilled to see their hard work recognized,” Critchlow said. “But I’m also happy for our readers, who benefit from our staff’s dedication to providing the best possible local coverage of news and sports.”
Published in The Messenger 7.25.12