EDITOR'S COLUMN | Record has record showing at contest

Warning: shameless bragging ahead about the South Whidbey Record’s awesome staff.

They rock, according to the panel of Tennessee Press Association judges who reviewed entries in the 2013 Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest. Not only did Record staff clean house with personal awards, but the newspaper was also distinguished with the highest of honors — first place in general excellence.

In a nutshell, judges stacked The Record up to other newspapers in the same circulation category across the state — about 21 papers in all — and rated us the best. The honor goes to Associate Publisher Kim Winjum, former Editor Jim Larsen, reporters Ben Watanabe, Michaela Marx Wheatley, and myself; columnists Susan Knickerbocker, Margaret Walton, and Frances Wood; Rebecca Collins and Michelle Wolfensparger from our production staff; and longtime administrative coordinator Lorinda Kay.

In personal achievements, Record employees took home a total of 10 individual awards in advertising, news writing and photography.

In advertising, Collins and Winjum claimed second place in the multiple advertisers category with the regular section, “I brake for Clinton.” Wheatley, Wolfensparger, Winjum and Collins also placed third in a special sections category for the annual publication, Winter on Whidbey.

In the editorial department, Watanabe took second in the Best Sports Personality Profile category for his story last year on Keegan Warwick, a young wrestler with a heart condition.

Watanabe also placed third in the Best Education category for his story on the South Whidbey School District’s purchase of iPads.

Working as a Record reporter until August, I also fared well with awards in news writing and photography.

Finally, Whidbey News-Times assistant editor Jessie Stensland was also honored, for the second year in a row, with News Writer of the Year. Though not a Record reporter, her crime coverage regularly appears in the newspaper.

Whew — what a mouthful. That concludes this long list of achievements .What else is there to say but, “Wow.” Putting out a newspaper is no easy task and is even harder to do well.

To the Record staff, I congratulate you. It really is an honor.

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