Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, Feb. 12 newspaper on Page A1.
COLUMBUS — The Vinton-Jackson Courier won five Osman C. Hooper Awards on Thursday, Feb. 6 as part of the annual Ohio News Media Association convention held in Columbus.
The Hooper Awards are bestowed to non-daily newspapers around the state of Ohio. The Courier competed in Division B for circulations of 2,501 to 4,299. This is the first year The Courier has competed in this circulation division.
The Courier received third place in its circulation division for overall News Coverage. Courier news staff Tyler Buchanan, Sydney Dawes and Jeremiah Shaver were recognized by the judges for this category. In addition, The Courier received first place in its division for Sports Coverage.
Judges stated The Courier’s sports coverage contained “captivating leads without score-data dumps.”
Also in its circulation division, The Courier received third place for Best News Photo, credited to Sydney Dawes.
“I thought the ability to capture the tilt of the girl’s head showing the joy of riding in the wagon was a perfect encapsulation of this event,” judges commented.
The Courier placed second out of all divisions for the Community Awareness category, which highlights how a newspaper addresses a community issue. This award was credited to Dawes, Buchanan and Andrew Hudnall. The Courier submitted several articles about cancer rates in Vinton County for this category.
“Excellent work outlining a problem critical to county residents,” judges commented.
Finally, The Courier received first place out of all divisions for Best Website. Judges stated that the design of the website is “clean” and “easy to navigate.”
Other Courier ‘sister papers’ earn awards
The Pike County News-Watchman, edited by Matt Lucas, earned seven awards on Thursday. This included second place in news coverage, second place in sports coverage, second place in newspaper design and second place in advertising. In addition, Julie Billings was credited with two awards: third place for Best Sports Feature, which nodded to her two-parts series entitled “Five Thompson brothers — A legacy in basketball and education,” and first place for Best Sports Photo.
“You can definitely see the intensity and determination of the player trying to get every inch possible against his rivals,” judges stated.
Finally, the News-Watchman placed third in Community Awareness for their reporting about radioactive materials at Piketon Plant. This award was credited to Matt Lucas and Sherry Stanley.
The Athens NEWS, edited by Terry Smith, earned 13 separate awards in a variety of categories.
The NEWS staff was awarded first place in its division for the Best News Story category. Their submission was their story about efforts to find out who funded and organized a “vote no” campaign against a school building levy. The award was credited to Conor Morris and Kayla Beard. The NEWS also received third place in the In-Depth Reporting category, credited to Morris; second place for Best Local Profile, credited to Dennis Powell; first place for Original Columns, credited to Smith; first and second place for Best Editorial, credited to Smith; first place for newspaper design, credited to Smith; third place for best page design, credited to Laura Zielinski with a contributing image from Smith; first place for advertising and first place for Best News Photo, credited to Jordan Kelley.
The NEWS also placed for third best website, third for News Coverage and first place for Best Special Section/Edition.
The NEWS competed in Hooper Awards Division A for newspapers with a circulation rate above 4,300, and the News-Watchman competed in Division B along with The Courier.