Announced during the group’s 127th annual convention at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel, the GPA contest recognized achievements in newspaper journalism and handed out the prestigious Freedom of Information Award for the daily and weekly newspaper that did the most during the previous year to uphold the principles of the First Amendment and to protect the public’s right to know.
Judged in one of nine divisions based on circulation, The Daily Tribune News received two awards as a publication with two staff members also being honored.
The newspaper’s 2012 series “All In A Day’s Work” garnered the first place prize for feature writing. Submitted for the contest were Jessica Loeding’s “Feeling the Heat: Nothing could have prepared me for the sheer physical demand of the job” from April 7, 2012, focusing on the Bartow County Fire Department; Mark Andrews’ “Teachers set primary focus on students” on May 6, 2012, offering a look at a typical day for teachers; and Matt Shinall’s Aug. 5, 2012, feature, “Bartow cattlemen stake their lives and legacy every day,” focusing on Shady Grove Farm.
The Daily Tribune News also received third place for community service after a lengthy look at the county’s budget. The “Bartow’s Budget” series ran almost every Friday for most of 2012. The focus of each story was looking at the budget of a different department within the county government.
DTN Photographer Skip Butler took home first place for his spot news photo from a May 19, 2012, armed robbery. The photo shows a suspect in the armed robbery being placed into a Cartersville Police Department vehicle after he allegedly held up a downtown business in broad daylight, leaving the owner injured after he was pistol-whipped by the two suspects.
Butler joined The Daily Tribune News in 2006 and has earned two first-place honors prior to this year.
In the religion coverage category, Features Editor Marie Nesmith earned second place for her work on faith-based pieces. Nesmith submitted three articles, which earned her the distinction: “Helping Hands: Smither family’s recovery bolstered by community’s support” on Jan. 22, 2012; “Friendship Table brings warm food to many” from Feb. 26, 2012; and “In-county mission effort inspires students to serve for a lifetime” on July 15, 2012.
Nesmith has worked for The Daily Tribune News for more than seven years. While at the newspaper, she has earned awards through the GPA’s contest, including two previous wins for
The Georgia Press Association presented 651 awards in 36 categories to 84 newspapers. For a full list and look at the winners, visit www.gapress.org.