Newspaper staff wins 20 awards in state contest

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Carroll County Newspapers editorial staff won a total of 20 awards, including five first-place honors, in the Arkansas Press Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper editorial contest.

The awards were announced Saturday at the association’s annual convention in Hot Springs.

Managing editor Scott Loftis won four first-place awards in the Medium Weeklies division. Loftis took top honors for News Story, Best Beat Reporter, Sports Column and News/Political Column. It was the third consecutive first-place award for Loftis in the Sports Column category.

Photographer David Bell, a regular freelance contributor, won first place for Single Sports Action Photograph.

Associate editor Samantha Jones won third-place honors in the Medium Weeklies category for In-Depth Series Reporting, General Interest Column and Humorous Column. Jones also earned Honorable Mention in the Best Beat Reporter category for Larger Weeklies for her coverage of Eureka Springs city government for the Lovely County Citizen.

Former reporter Kelby Newcomb won second place for Best Headline among Medium Weeklies. Newcomb also took third-place honors for Feature Story.

Freelance photographer Charles Chappell took third place in Single Sports Action Photograph and Picture Page/Photo Essay.

Page designer Brad Stout won third place for Best Front Page.

Bell took third place for Single News Photograph, and honorable mentions for Single Feature Photograph and Picture Page/Photo Essay.

Loftis took third place for Sports News Story, and Loftis, Jones and Newcomb shared third place for Political Coverage.

The Carroll County News took third place in the General Excellence category for Medium Weeklies. It was the fourth consecutive year the newspaper has finished among the top three, including first place honors in 2017 and 2018.

“The awards are something we look forward to every year,” Loftis said. “We don’t do our job to win awards, but it’s nice to be honored. It also lets us know how well we are doing in our primary mission, which is to provide quality news products for the people of Carroll County. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and I appreciate everyone who has contributed to that effort.”

A total of 39 newspapers from across Arkansas participated in the contest. They were divided into divisions based on their circulation and publishing frequency. Six newspapers competed with 206 entries in the Medium Weeklies division while eight newspapers submitted a total of 311 entries among larger weeklies.

The contest was judged by members of the North Carolina Press Association.

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