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Messenger staff members claim 21 awards in contests

Messenger staff members claim 21 awards in contests

Posted: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 9:13 pm

For many people, it has been a cool summer.
From an awards standpoint, it has been a hot summer for members of The Messenger’s news and sports staffs.
The group won a combined 21 awards in three statewide contests, with the sports department claiming 14 of those (See related story).
“We are proud of the contributions of each of our staff members,” said Messenger Publisher David Critchlow Sr. “And when we put their work up against larger newspapers with more staff members and more resources, it makes it that much better when we bring home the awards.
“Each of our present staff members has won awards, which says a lot for the quality of work they are able to produce. We’re beaming with pride and hope that the community appreciates their contributions as well.”
The Tennessee Press Associa-tion contest, which has been co-sponsored by the University of Tennessee since 1940, held its awards luncheon in Chattanooga.
Contest awards are given in five categories based on average weekly circulation, including small and large daily and non-daily papers. The Kentucky Press Association judged a total of 1,477 contest entries from 84 association papers.
The Messenger reached historic highs in the prestigious contest with seven awards, including two first place finishes.
Reporter Chris Menees garnered top honors in the Best Personal Humor category with her column, “I’m no longer al-lowed to tell my husband where to go.” The column, which shared her husband’s and her adventures using a GPS for guidance, was given across-the-board “excellent” ratings by the judges.
The sports department’s preseason football tab also earned top prize in the Best Special Section or Issue category. While the annual tab has earned first-place recognition in other contests, this is the first time it has done so in the TPA contest. Longtime sports editor Mike Hutchens, sports reporter Kenneth Coker and photographer David Fuzzell compiled the winning entry.
Also winning awards in the TPA contest were Fuzzell, second place, best sports photograph; Hutchens, third place, sports writing; editor David Critchlow Jr., third place, best personal humor column; Coker, fourth place, headline writing; associate editor Donna Ryder, fifth place, community lifestyles.
Winners of the Tennessee As-sociated Press Managing Edi-tors contest were recognized in Nashville, with Messenger staffers earning six awards. In the spot news photography category, Critchlow won top honors for a Fulton house fire picture. Earning second place recognition were Coker in sports photography and Mrs. Ryder in the Individual Achievement/Body of Work Photography category. She was followed in that photo category by Mrs. Menees in third place.
Mrs. Ryder also garnered a third place award for photojournalism, while Hutchens picked up the bronze in the Sports-Outdoor Reporting category.
In the Tennessee Sports Writers Association contest, Hutchens grabbed gold in three categories, including Best Feature Writer, Best News Writer and Best Prep Writer. He added a second place finish in the Writer of the Year category and third place in the Best Series/Investigative category.
Coker claimed a first place award as the Best Headline Writer, while adding a pair of second place finishes in the Best Feature Writer and Best Series/Investigative categories.
“This was a banner year for The Messenger in contests,” Critchlow said. “We appreciate their outstanding efforts and hope our readers do, too.”
Published in The Messenger 8.4.09

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