Messenger staff members lauded in statewide contests

Messenger staff members lauded in statewide contests

Posted: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 9:04 pm

The judges have spoken and, according to them, the staff at The Messenger is among the best in Tennessee.
From news coverage and editorial commentary to photography and design, seven members of the sports and news staffs were recognized with a total of 26 awards in three statewide competitions.
Entries were submitted in contests conducted by the University of Tennessee/Tennessee Press Association, the Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors and the Tennessee Sportswriters Association and evaluated by out-of-state judges.
The Messenger sports staff, led by longtime sports editor Mike Hutchens, claimed 14 awards, including four first place awards from TSWA — Writer of the Year and Best Investigative Series (Hutchens), Best Headline Writer (sports reporter Kenneth Coker) and  Best Special Section (Hutchens, Coker and photographer David Fuzzell). (See related story.)
From the news staff, Special Features Editor Glenda H. Caudle was honored by TPA in the Best Single Editorial category for entry, “An Open Letter to John Tanner.”
According to the judge’s critique: “A clear winner, if for no other reason than its unique approach. However, the success of this piece goes far beyond that. It is well thought out, logically put together and brings the matter at hand down to the simplest, most obvious of levels. If anyone, including the congressman, had wondered why face-to-face meetings were necessary, now they know.”
In the TAPME contest, Associate Editor Donna Ryder won first place in the Feature Photography category for her photo, “All Smiles.”
The picture is of a youngster holding a chicken while grinning from ear to ear during the Obion County Fair.
One judge described it as, “A fantastic moment of jubilation.”
Mrs. Ryder also claimed an honorable mention in TAPME’s Feature Photography category, second place in the Photo Journalism category and third place in the Body of Work in Photography category. In the TPA competition, she claimed a fifth-place finish in the Best Feature Photograph category.
For his coverage of a boat capsizing at Reelfoot Lake and the successful rescue efforts, staff reporter John Brannon earned second place honors in the TPA contest for Best Spot News TAPME’s Daily Deadline Reporting category.
Staff reporter Chris Menees earned third place in TAPME’s Photo Journalism category for her feature “On Target,” which was the October 2009 coverage of the 101st Airborne Division’s military exercise in Troy.
“We are a small-town community newspaper, but we are proud to deliver award-winning coverage comparable to any newspaper in the state and this region,” said Publisher David Critchlow. “In these annual statewide contests, we compete against newspapers much larger than we are with much more extensive resources. In the end, however, we proudly submit the work of our staff members and their hard work is recognized among the best anywhere.
“I certainly hope our readers join me in congratulating our award-winning staff members.”
Published in The Messenger 7.28.10

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