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Democrat earns 25 awards, runner-up for Blue Ribbon

The Corydon Democrat was named the second best nondaily newspaper in the state Saturday during the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation Newsroom Seminar and Better Newspaper Contest Awards Luncheon. Staff members brought home 25 awards, including 10 first-place ones, from the 43rd annual event, held at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Campus Center.
The judges commented that The Democrat ‘is a serious newspaper with a traditional look. It is rich in content and well-organized throughout. It’s obvious through the editorial page and elsewhere that the community is engaged with the paper.’
The Corydon Democrat has won the Blue Ribbon award a record-number 14 times and been in the top three several times since the award’s inception in 1972.
Judges for this year’s contest came from the Virginia Press Association. They judged 2,875 entries from 87 newspapers divided into six divisions based on circulation and whether published daily or nondaily.
The Herald-Tribune in Batesville won this year’s Blue Ribbon award in the nondaily division, while the Daily Journal in Franklin received the Blue Ribbon for daily newspapers.
In addition to its second-place Blue Ribbon finish, The Corydon Democrat placed first in General Excellence for Division 2 for the second straight year. This award is based on points received for all other awards. The next closest newspaper in Division 2 was The Dearborn Register with 15 awards.
Those awards picked up by The Corydon Democrat staff were:
Best News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure ‘ first, Alan Stewart, for his story about the Indiana Attorney General’s Office shutting down a Mauckport puppy mill; third, Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, for her story about Bart Zimmerman’s death at a Cannelton lock and dam while trying to save other fishermen after their boat capsized.
Best General Commentary ‘ second, Lee Cable, for his personal account about drownings and giving up watching television.
Best Editorial Writer ‘ third, Spieth-Saylor, for encouraging the North Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees to vote to renovate Morgan Elementary School and for the school board and teachers to settle the contract dispute.
Best Business/Economic News Coverage ‘ second, Stewart, for his look at the county’s riverboat casino 10-year history.
Headline Writing ‘ first, staff.
Best Short Feature Story ‘ first, Brian Smith, for his story about Corydon’s Charlie Phillips and his collection of golf balls.
Best Profile Feature ‘ first, Stewart, for his look at Joyce Oglesby and how she offers help with relationship issues.
Best Sports News or Feature Coverage ‘ second, Smith, for his look at the Old Capital Wrestling Club’s 31-year history.
Best Sports Columnist ‘ second, Smith.
Best Coverage of Local Impact of the Recession ‘ second, staff.
Best Spot News Photo ‘ first, Stewart, for his picture of a house fire in New Middletown.
Best Sports Feature Photo ‘ first, Smith, for his shot of the North Harrison Lady Cats’ bench prior to the Corydon Invitational.
Best Feature Photo ‘ first, Stewart, for his on-high shot of the 2008 Light Up Corydon fireworks show.
Best Video Story ‘ first, Stewart, for his look at harness racing at the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon; second, Sara Smith, for a hoops contest; and third, Stewart, for an additional day at the horse race track in Corydon.
Best Editorial Cartoonist ‘ third, Eric Schulz.
Best Editorial Page ‘ third, staff.
Best Sports Section ‘ first, Smith.
Best Feature Section or Page(s) ‘ first, staff.
Best Business Section or Page(s) ‘ third, staff.
Best Special Section ‘ second, Smith, for his 2008-09 basketball preview.
Best Web Site ‘ third (Chris Timberlake is the site’s manager).