Newspaper nabs 14 awards in HSPA contest
After a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation again had its Better Newspaper Contest Awards, announcing the winners online Friday, with The Corydon Democrat coming away with 14 awards and tying for first, with the Brown County Democrat, in General Excellence, which is based on points for the various awards.
For years, the awards luncheon, preceded by newsroom seminars, took place the first Saturday in December with entries covering a 12-month period. In 2019, the Foundation moved the event to the second Saturday in September. COVID canceled the program in 2020, which then expanded the contest period to include entries — stories, columns/editorials, photos and sections — from May 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2020. Divisions were reduced from six (two non-dailies and four dailies, based on circulation) to four (two non-dailies and two dailies), with awards given in 28 categories.
This year’s contest was judged by members of the Kansas State Press Association.
Top individual recipient for The Corydon Democrat was former sports editor Brian Smith. He received first place in Best Sports Event Coverage for his story titled “Once-in-a-Lifetime,” about the Lanesville Eagles’ baseball team playing the Louisville Stars, and third in the same category for his story about basketball player Bronson Kessinger playing as a member of the Indiana State University Sycamores in Louisville; second in both Best Sports Commentary and Best Sports Feature Photo; and first for Best Sports Action Photo. Smith’s entry in Best Sports Section took top honor in that category.
Former sports editor Chris Timberlake received a second place in the Best Sports Action Photo category.
Editor Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor earned first in the Best Portrait category.
Smith and Spieth-Saylor pulled their favorite headlines and received second place in the Best Headline Writing category.
Staff Writer Kaitlyn Clay, who joined The Corydon Democrat staff in December 2019, placed second in the Best Business/Economic News Coverage about how local businesses were adapting to COVID-19.
The staff also won first for Best Feature Section or Page(s), second for Best Newspaper Design and Best Website and third for Best Editorial Page.
Points from all these awards led to tying with the most points in the Non-Daily Division with the Brown County Democrat of the General Excellence category.
The Blue Ribbon awards, which began in 1972, with both a daily and non-daily paper earning the award, went to the Herald Journal in Monticello (non-daily) and Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne (daily).