Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jackson County Advocate Wins 14 Statewide Awards

Staff take home seven First Place plaques, including Best News Story and Best Front Page
The Advocate Staff
We are happy to report that your hometown newspaper, the Jackson County Advocate, received 14 awards at the Missouri Press Association’s annual conference in Branson, Missouri last Saturday, including seven First Place wins.
Editor Andrea Wood accepted First Place plaques on behalf of the newspaper for the following:
• Best Front Page (Still Flying High),
• Best Community Service Project (Arthur McGregor Memorial Scholoarship fundraising event),
• Best Coverage of Family Living, and
• Best Photo Illustration (with Seann McAnally - Fixing Forgotten Foreclosures)
Wood also accepted a Second Place award for Best Headline Writing (Crossing the Line - about the RHS and HMHS football teams’ merger) and Third Place for Best Photo Illustration (with Colleen May - Founding Family)
Reporter Paul Thompson won four awards in a variety of categories in his first year with the Jackson County Advocate.
Thompson took home the First Place plaque for Best Humor Columnist for three of his first-person commentaries: on being the “new guy”, meeting Ebenezer the donkey, and watching a rain-soaked Harry’s Hay Days Parade.
“Paul has a nice, conversational style,” said the judges. “More importantly, he has a sense of timing - setting up punch lines throughout his columns - and then delivering a nice kicker at the end. I thought he turned his weakness - being new - into a real strength.”
Thompson also won Third Place for Best Sports Story featuring James White’s high jumps; Third Place for Best Story About the Outdoors for “Carving a Niche” and Honorable Mention for Best Investigative Reporting for “Main Street Inn Closes as Court Cases, Taxes Pile Up.”
Reporter Mary Kay Morrow took home three awards for her coverage of the Hickman Mills C-1 School District.
She won first place in the highly-competitive Best News Story category for her article “C-1 Constituents Express Safety Concerns.”
“The writer starts with a single incident (a gun discovered at RHS) and expands from there; showing the big picture; that students and adults don’t feel safe in schools,” stated the judges. “Like the varied sources and studies cited; loved the comment from the former city council member (Alvin Brooks) that we’re all in denial.”
Morrow also placed 1st in the state for Best Story About Education for “The Perfect Touch” about the opening of the Freda Markley Early Education Center.
“Wow, this is certainly not your typical brick-and-morter story,” stated the judges. “Morrow makes it known this is a special place, and then tells why it needed to be a special place.”
For Morrow’s coverage of the entire process of closing Hickman Mills High School, she was awarded third for Best Feature Series.
Reporter Seann McAnally took home two awards for his article, “Fixing Forgotten Foreclosures - One Block at a Time.”
His photographs of foreclosed homes in the Ruskin area took home First Place for Best Photo Illustration.
In addition, his article was awarded Third Place in the highly-competitive Best News Story category.
“I liked the writing style on this news feature and enjoyed the descriptions of neighborhoods and Jerry Mitchell,” stated the judges. “Felt like I was riding along.”
The staff of the Jackson County Advocate expresses its appreciation to all our readers and local businesses who make it possible for us to publish award-winning coverage of our community.
Thank you!

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