Paper staff awarded for skill, weirdness

Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record reporters excel at finding and telling quirky stories.

  • Tuesday, October 12, 2021 2:02pm
  • News

Reporters at the Whidbey News-Times and the South Whidbey Record excel at finding and telling quirky stories.

The staff at the two newspapers won ten awards at the Washington Newspapers Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, including three in the coveted News of the Weird category. The awards were announced during an online event Saturday.

Reporters, editors and photographers from 51 newspapers across the state submitted 1,200 entries for editorial content during this year’s contest. The Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record competed in Group 3 of four categories based on size.

Kira Erickson won second place in the News of the Weird category for the story “Art piece snatched from sculpture garden” for the News-Times and third place for “Hoppin’ around the Christmas tree” for The Record.

In addition, she was awarded second place in the Animal Feature Story category for “Farm promoting genetic diversity, a flock at a time” for the News-Times.

For The Record, she also won third place in Social Issue Story for “Trust named after daughter will support island charities.”

For the News-Times, Emily Gilbert won third place in News of the Weird for “Winging it,” a story about Oak Harbor’s famous inflatable fowl. She also won third place in Environmental Story for “Madrona to make way for bigger McDonald’s.”

Editor Jessie Stensland won first and second place for the editorials “No, we don’t need permission to report on meetings” and “Council doesn’t need AI software.”

In addition, Stensland won first place for Humorous Column. The category requires the entry of three columns, all of which could be described as quirky.

Former Publisher Keven Graves won first place in page design for the edition that featured “Winging it.”

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