For the second consecutive year, Columbia County News-Times was named the best newspaper in its class in Georgia at the Georgia Press Association’s 2014 Better Newspaper Contest awards banquet on Friday.
The News-Times received first-place honors in General Excellence among large, nondaily newspapers published more than twice per week at the organization’s 128th annual convention held at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. It was the 10th time in 15 years the News-Times has been honored with the General Excellence award.
“I’m very proud of the News-Times staff for their continued hard work and dedication in serving the readers in Columbia County,” said Publisher Steve Crawford, who replaced Barry Paschal after he retired in June 2013 following 11 years at the newspaper’s helm. “In a year with a much smaller staff and a change in leadership to contend with, this is a well-deserved honor.”
Overall, the News-Times garnered 18 awards this year, including first-place awards in eight categories.
Individually, photographer Jim Blaylock received two first-place awards for Feature Photo and for Photo Essay, for his effort to document Marvin United Methodist Church’s run at breaking the Guinness World Record for most sandwiches made in one hour.
Blaylock also won a second place for News Photo and two third-place awards in the Feature Photo and Photo Essay categories.
Staff writer Valerie Rowell was honored with a first place in Feature Writing for a story about a Grovetown man working to become a falconer. Rowell also received second- and third-place awards in Hard News Writing and Business Coverage, respectively.
Publisher Steve Crawford received a first-place award in the Serious Column category and sports writer Scott Rouch was awarded a third-place for Sports Column.
The News-Times also was honored with first place awards in the Local News Coverage, Editorial Page and Page One design categories.
2014 Georgia Press Association Awards:
First Place – General Excellence, Editorial Page, Feature Photograph, Feature Writing, Local News Coverage, Page One, Photo Essay, Serious Column
Second Place – Hard News Writing, Headline Writing, News Photograph, Page One, Sports Section
Third Place – Business Coverage, Feature Photograph, Newspaper Website, Photo Essay, Sports Column