South Whidbey Record staff were honored with 12 awards last weekend at the 2017 Better Newspaper Contest.
Organized by the Washington Newspapers Publishers Association, the contest weighs hundreds of entries from dozens of weekly and twice weekly publications across Washington. As always the contest was judged by an out-of-state news group; this year it was the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.
The Record took home awards in advertising, editorial and opinion, and photography.
Starting in advertising, Lead Creative Artist Erin Goodfellow cleaned up with four awards. That includes first place in the use of color category for a full page ad for Gemkow Construction. She also took second place in best single ad for a single advertiser category for an ad for Linds, third for use of clip art and third for youth oriented content in the Falcon Sports Guide.
Also cleaning house was reporter Kyle Jensen, who took home four awards. He won first in the best health or medical story category for his piece on Theo Wells, a terminally ill Freeland resident who decided to decided to end her life under the Death with Dignity Act.
Jensen earned second place in the best personality profiles category for his story on Langley do-it-yourselfer George Springer. He also won third place awards in news of the weird for his story on a fish that fell from the sky, and in breaking new photography for his shot of firefighters extinguishing flames on a burning truck.
Sports and news reporter Evan Thompson earned a second place award in the best sports personality profile category for his story on Luc Gandarias, a blind eighth grader in cross country.
Finally, editor Justin Burnett won first place in best news story (long), for his piece on water quality in Maxwelton. He also won third for comprehensive coverage of the Clinton-to-Mukilteo ferry route. In addition, The Record earned a third place award for its editorial concerning a bill from Langley City Hall.