Reporter a top paper at South Texas contest
Representatives from The Reporter attended the 83rd Annual STPA Convention, held at the Embassy Suites in San Marcos. STPA is the largest regional press association in the nation.
The win marks the third year in a row and 15th time overall The Reporter has taken top prize. The weekly has won Sweepstakes for 13 of the past 20 years. The Reporter just outpaced the Port Aransas South Jetty and The Hays Free Press to take top honors.
“We’re proud of our staff and are fortunate to have longtime news writers with us,” said Ken Esten Cooke, publisher. “We do our best each week to bring our readers the best paper we can.”
Cooke said he was pleased to compete against the top weekly papers in the state, including the South Jetty, Free Press, The Fredricksburg Standard and the Pleasanton Express.
The Reporter placed first in humorous columns, for Kathy Cooke’s “Me Tarzan” entry about a spa massage experience, and Bill Martin’s entry about how a football game trip to Llano meant eating at Cooper’s Barbecue.
The paper also took first place in page design with November and December entries.
Editor Mike Brown placed second in the news writing category with stories on DNA evidence at a crime scene and the death of a former Rockdale Tiger football player. “Great lead. Good job telling story of how law enforcement is using creative ways to gather evidence.” And on the Germaine Dawson story, “Sensitive treatment of a difficult subject.”
Brown was also third for editorial writing, and judges cited his “Burden of Proof” entry, which questioned impossible standards during a robbery case.
His feature writing entries on Ku Klux Klan adversary Gus Newton and story on laid-off steelworkers also placed third. “I bet many who live around Milam County were unaware of Gus Newton and his courageous public stance against the clan,” judges wrote.
Bill Martin’s sports pages and photos took second and third place, respectively.
Judges comments included:
Humorous columns—(1st) Very entertaining! Finding that perfect restaurant at every out-oftown game is always important!
Page design—(1st) Yes, it’s busy. But there’s a lot of news packed in these pages. They’re organized, interesting, easy to read.
Advertising—(3rd) Your ads get the reader’s attention. Great job of keeping the content simple. Nice individuality to each ad.
Sports pages—(2nd) Nice use of standings and supportive info to help reader. Good use of photos, including the inside pages, which are sometimes forgotten. Overall, a great job! Very informative and a nice read.
Sports photo—(3rd) Very nice photo and great packaging on “Rivals” bit.
Editorial—(3rd) Brave to tackle the crime editorial. Facts and details were given in a manner that was easy to follow.
Special Section—(3rd) For FYI. Great guide for the area.