The Farmersville Times won multiple awards at the 2019 North East Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.
The awards were presented at the annual NETPA convention held last week at the Hilton Garden Inn in Tyler.
Awards were based on submissions in categories including General Excellence, Advertising, Column Writing, Editorials, Feature Story, Headline Writing, Page Design, News Writing, Sports Writing, Sports Coverage, Feature Photo, News Photo and Sports Photo. Special optional categories included Journalist of the Year, Photographer of the Year and Community Service.
The newspaper competed in the large weekly category and placed in all 13 categories entered and two out of the three optional categories.
The Times place first in Feature Story for stories about a family’s adoption experience and a local animal rescue nonprofit written by News Editor Wyndi Veigel. Judges commented, “Nice writing style captured the subject matter well. And the artwork and packaging really topped it off nicely!”
News Writing also earned first place. Stories submitted included coverage of the Islamic cemetery and a toddler that allegedly died as a result of abuse written by Veigel. “Overall solid reporting and good, straight-forward, clean writing. Solid hard news work,” judges said.
The Times also captured a first place win in Sports Photography for photos by Victor Tapia and Tom Charles. Judges commented, “An incredible job capturing the power of the decisive moment. Wonderful!”
A feature photo of the FHS color guard by Charles and bubbles at a Fourth of July event earned a second place win in Feature Photography. “Nice work!” Judges said. “The color guard photo is so colorful and fluid!”
Quality of writing, range of coverage, photos, layout/design and headlines were judged in the Sports Writing category and earned second place. David Jenkins is Times Sports Editor.
Column Writing by Veigel and Publisher Chad Engbrock also placed third. “Both pieces were well written. It’s good to see newspapers who are willing to tell the world why we are so valuable!”
In addition, Headline Writing, Page Design and Advertising earned third place wins.
Veigel was named Journalist of the Year. To be considered, each journalist entering must submit five stories for judging. Veigel’s entries included stories about the Islamic cemetery, adoption, animal rescue, a train derailment and mayoral controversy. “Solid leads and very good writing backed by sound reporting,” Judges said. “The writer has a really good command of writing good hard news and features. Great work!”
Coverage of the Summer Reading Club at the Farmersville Library also earned a first place for The Times in the Community Service category. Entrants were required to submit a scrapbook of all evidence supporting a community project published in 2018.
“Everything about this project was simply fun and fantastic!” judges said. “The paper pulled together an entire community to help kids love to read.”
At the end, wins are tallied with points for each place, and overall The Times won Sweepstakes with 800 points in the large weekly division.
The publisher commented, “I’m proud of the staff and the quality of work they produce with the resources we have available. Hopefully, this will serve as a catalyst for increased support for the paper through subscriptions and advertising.”
From Staff Reports • [email protected]
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