South Whidbey Record earns awards in newspaper competition

The South Whidbey Record earned 20 awards for excellence in advertising and news coverage in the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2010 Better Newspaper Contest.

Awards in the competition were announced Friday at the association’s annual conference in Wenatchee.

The Record won honors in advertising, news reporting, column writing, page design and photography, including eight first-place awards.

“I’m very proud of the South Whidbey Record staff and their accomplishments,” said Marcia Van Dyke, publisher of the Record, Whidbey News-Times and Northwest Navigator.

“It was thrilling to be in the audience at the WNPA conference as the South Whidbey Record took award after award, 20 in all. This team has worked hard and overcome many challenges this past year. It’s nice to see that other industry professionals recognize their exceptional work,” she said.

Rebecca Collins and Allison Tapert won first place for best ad that had multiple advertisers for their “Clip or Click!” promotion.

Collins and Tapert also won second place in best “Convey an image.”

They also won third place for best special promotion advertisement.

Collins and Terri Tinker nearly swept the awards for best use of color in a full-page ad. They won second and third place in the category, for advertisements created for Linds and the Glass Eye Studio.

In news, Roy Jacobson, Jeff VanDerford and Brian Kelly won a first place for breaking news for their coverage of the Glendale flood.

In early April 2009, a broken beaver dam about three miles upstream from Glendale Road was blamed for the unexpected swelling of Glendale Creek, which wiped out a section of the road and the culvert under it and sent a wall of water, mud and trees rushing down the canyon into the Glendale beach community, forcing an evacuation.

“This showed some hustle by the news team,” the judges said, praising the reporters’ quick arrival on the scene and the comprehensive coverage of the reporting itself. “This was a fine job for the readers, and even put the event into historic context.”

Jacobson also earned a first-place award for best health or medical story for “The long road back.” It described the efforts of a Clinton man and his family to rebound from brain damage caused by his fall from a ladder at his home.

The judges noted the story’s moving, compelling narrative of one family’s struggle: “This is a story I will remember and have thought of many times since reading it. Thank you.”

VanDerford won first place in the best general feature story (short) category with “Two years before the mast.” The profile followed Sheridan Catlin, a 2005 graduate of South Whidbey High School, as the Navy ensign embarked on his first sea duty aboard the guided-missle destroyer USS Shoup after his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy.

VanDerford also won a third place in best government reporting for a story on Washington State Ferries’ proposed reservation system.

Kelly earned a third-place award for best environmental story for an article that examined the high number of car-versus-deer accidents on the South End.

Jacobson also won third place in business reporting, for a look at the possible impacts of making the Langley Marina a diving destination.

Record columnists were once again named the best in the state.

Frances Wood won first place for best topical column for Whidbey Birding.

“Even people who aren’t birders should enjoy this column. [The ] writer has a light touch but infuses the columns with lots of information, personal observations and research data — very readable,” one of the judges said.

Margaret Walton earned the second-place award in the same category, for Whidbey Recipes.

“I like the way the writer blends personal anecdotes in the lead to introduce the recipes,” one judge noted.

Record Island Life editor Patricia Duff took first place for best story on the arts.

The article, “Two Gems,” recounted the story of painter Josie Gray, an octogenarian from the west coast of Ireland, and Tess Gallagher, a longtime poet from the Olympic Peninsula, who found love through a confluence of art.

The judges had this to say: “Enticing lead. A well-written, sweet story about art and love. It kept me reading through to the end.”

Duff also earned a second-place award for best feature page design.

Kelly, the editor of the Record since 2005, won a first-place award for front-page design.

He also won seven awards for photography.

He won first place in best spot news photo (color) for his photo of salmon returning to Glendale Creek to spawn after the disastrous flood.

Kelly won a second place for best feature or scenic photo (black-and-white) and another second place for best sports action (color).

He also picked up third-place awards in best portrait (black-and-white); best feature photo (color); pictorial photo (color); and best photo essay/picture page (color).

This year’s competition was judged by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. A total of 77 newspapers in four circulation groups from around the state participated, with a total of 2,492 individual entries submitted.

The Record is owned by Sound Publishing, and the company’s newspapers earned 174 individual and staff awards in this year’s contest.

The Record won the most awards of any newspaper in Sound Publishing, followed by the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber (19 awards), and the Whidbey News-Times and Bellevue Reporter (13 apiece).

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