The Alabama Press Association announced the winners for its 2018 Better Newspaper Contest last Friday, and Lagniappe took home 14 awards, including first place in some of the biggest editorial categories.
Lagniappe competes in Division C, the state’s largest weekly newspapers.
Reporter Jason Johnson took first place in Best In-Depth News Coverage for a series of stories on Mobile County Sheriff’s deputy Chris Parsons.
Johnson was also awarded second place in the Best Business Story or Column category for “Growing market for the Southern Oyster.”
Reporter Dale Liesch authored the first-place winner in the Best News Feature Coverage or Story category with “DACA recipients face uncertainty as Trump asks Congress to act.” He also won third-place recognition in the Best Headline category for “Barley Legal.”
Lagniappe co-publisher Ashley Trice won two awards for her column writing — first place for Best Humorous Column and second place for Best Editorial Column or Commentary.
Co-publisher Rob Holbert took second and first in those categories, respectively, placing second in Best Humorous Column and first in Best Editorial Column or Commentary.
Lagniappe was also recognized six times in the advertising categories, including three first-place awards, two second-place awards and one third-place award.
Other local newspapers winning reporting awards included the Citronelle Call News with seven editorial awards in the C Division and the Fairhope/Daphne Courier with 16 in the Division D.
The Call News won a third-place mention in Best Spot News, a second place in the Best Human Interest Column category, a third-place for Best News Photo and a first and two second-place awards in sports coverage categories.
In Division A, large dailies, the state’s three Newhouse-owned newspapers — Birmingham News, Huntsville Times and Mobile Press-Register — competed as Alabama Media Group and gathered 29 editorial awards, although none of those came from coverage generated in Mobile.
“We were excited to get the kind of recognition we received in this year’s contest,” Trice said. “It’s only our second year competing in the Better Newspapers Contest and our focus tends to be on more investigative and in-depth reporting, so we did quite well in the categories we entered. There are still some big ones left, so hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to have our name called again.”
Fifteen categories remain to be announced at the APA’s annual convention in Orange Beach July 21, including General Excellence, Story of the Year, Public Service and Freedom of Information.
This year 62 newspapers submitted more than 2,100 entries to be judged in the Better Newspaper Contest. They were judged by members of the Virginia Press Association.