The Wylie News, The Sachse News, Murphy Monitor, The Princeton Herald and The Farmersville Times, all C&S Media group newspapers, won multiple awards at the 2022 North and East Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.
The awards were presented at the annual NETPA convention held at The Inn at Circle T in Hamilton April 7-9.
The Wylie News, The Sachse News, The Herald and The Times competed in Division 4, the large weekly category and placed in multiple categories entered. The Murphy Monitor competed in Division 5, the small weekly category.
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.
The Farmersville Times took home first place in General Excellence. Entries were judged on two complete – May 13 and Dec. 2 — editions that were submitted by staff. “This is a great issue, judges commented, adding, “and these reporters know how to take photos.”
Also placing in the General Excellence category were The Wylie News (second place), The Sachse News (third place), the Monitor (third place Division 5) and The Princeton Herald (fourth place.) Division 4 Judges’ comments included, “good headlines, photos and local copy.”
In the Feature Photo Division 4 category, The Princeton Herald and The Sachse News took home second and third and place respectively.
“This one has a slightly different look to it, an unusual angle, with the bull coming right at us, and the beast’s front hoofs almost clicking together,” judges said of the Princeton rodeo photo.
In Division 5, the Monitor earned a first place win for feature photos by Tina Lopez and Karen Chaney. Judges commented, “the photo of the mothers on the gridiron packs great humor. I’m sure many readers got a big kick out of this one.”
For Feature Story, the Times picked up a first place win for stories submitted about a couple married 70 years, and for one about a “Legacy of Love.” Both stories were written by Associate Publisher Sonia Duggan.
Judges commented, “70 Years – A beautiful love story told in a beautiful way. The writer seems to capture the love the couple has shared over the years. Legacy of Love – Out of tragedy new hope can be found. This is what happens when a community rallies around the family and surrounds them with faith and love. A graceful reminder to always trust in God.”
Another first place win was earned by the Monitor in Division 5 for stories about four Wylie ISD teachers by Don Munsch and a feature about a Murphy gardener’s bounty by Duggan.
“This story gives readers a deep look at a home gardener, and the writing is super clean and easy to read,” judges said. “That’s not as easy as it looks. And I award bonus points to any feature writer who can get a nice anecdote into the middle of a feature. This writer did it. Kudos.”
In Headline Writing, The Wylie News and the Monitor earned second place, The Herald earned third and The Sachse News and Times tied for fourth.
In News Photo, second place went to the Herald, third went to the Sachse News for photos of graduation, Winter Storm Uri and Memorial Day celebrations.
In News Writing, the trio of Dustin Butler, Duggan and Munsch took home a second-place win for reporting about how supply chain issues were affecting the community. “This team of reporters not only did a solid job of reporting on the issue but seemed to have fun while doing so. Clever lead and turns of phrases like ‘Business is popping at the local popcorn manufacturer,’ were a delight to read. The citizens of Wylie are being taken care of by a solid group of journalists, who care about the community they cover.”
In addition, The Sachse News placed third for stories by Butler about a member of the SHS cheer squad and how the city dealt with the winter storm. The Herald placed fourth.
In Division 5, stories written by Munsch about the proposed wastewater treatment plant and paramedics working in a pandemic earned a first place win. “Nice coverage – way to go citizens for standing up and voicing your concerns,” judges said.
In Page Design, C&S Media swept Division 5 for pages designed by C&S Media staff Debra Engstrom and Charlene Loggins. The Sachse News earned first place, The Wylie News second, the Herald third and the Times, fourth. In Division 5, the Monitor took home first place as well. Judges commented, “Front page feature art was great and “layout was very clean.”
In Sports Coverage, Division 5, the Herald placed second, the Times fourth. In Division 4, the Monitor placed first. Judging of two issues as one entry is based on quality of writing, range of coverage, photos, layout/design and suitability of headlines.
The Sports Photos category was swept by C&S Media publications. The Wylie News and the Monitor both placed first in their respective divisions followed by the Times (second), Herald (third) and The Sachse News (fourth). Judge were plentiful in their accolades, commenting “excellent photos” and “full of action.”
In Sports Writing, the Monitor placed first and The Wylie News placed second for stories by sports reporter Kyle Grondin. The Times took home the third place win in this category.
“Excellent writing and storytelling,” judges said of Grondin’s submissions. “These articles are very informative. I love that both covered sports considered not typical coverage for high school in Texas but were so well written and informative that it was easy to follow along. Great use of quotes throughout.”
In Advertising, ads designed by Engstrom and Loggins earned a first place win for The Wylie News, third place for the Times, and fourth for The Sachse News. “Very nice designs,” judges commented. “Great use of clipping paths.”
Newspapers that earn the most points for placing in the top three places are ranked in the Sweepstakes category. Overall, in Division 4, The Wylie News earned first, the Times third and the Herald fourth. In Division 5, the Monitor placed first.
“I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish in 2021 given the fact that COVID-19 continued to disrupt some events and sports that we normally cover when there is not a pandemic,” Publisher Chad Engbrock commented. “Sonia and I, and our entire staff worked hard, looking for each and every opportunity to offer our readers coverage they could count on in our newspapers which have served the communities for seven decades.”