The Columbia County News-Times won 22 state journalism awards, including six first-place honors for work done in 2001, it was announced Friday at the annual convention of the Georgia Press Association.
The paper earned first-place awards for local news coverage, front page design, newspaper illustration and three separate photography categories in the GPA's annual Better Newspapers Contest.
The News-Times also received a second-place award in the General Excellence category in its division, which includes the state's largest community newspapers.
"We're thrilled at these awards, which recognize the team effort we put into producing a great newspaper for Columbia County," said Barry Paschal, publisher of The News-Times. "News editor Jason Smith, and former publishers Bill Kirby and Les Simpson, have set high marks for us with these awards. Jason and I, and the rest of The News-Times staff, are eager to continue providing the best coverage for our community."
Staff photographer Jim Blaylock was among the state's biggest winners with six individual awards - earning two first-place awards for best feature photo and best news photo, second-place awards for photo essay and photo illustration, and third-place awards in sports photo and feature photo categories.
Jon Tanner earned a first-place award for newspaper illustration and Chris Thelen earned a first-place for best sports photo.
The News-Times won second-place awards for general excellence, community service and coverage of the local impact of the 9-11 terrorist attack.
Former staff writer Preston Sparks won a second-place award for sports writing and former photographer Todd Bennett won a second-place for sports photography.
Sports editor Mike Howell won a third-place award for sports writing, and the newspaper staff won third-place honors for sports coverage, religion coverage, business coverage and headline writing.
The News-Times also won two awards for advertising.
The competition was judged by out-of-state journalists.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.