Thursday, July 16, 2009
Newspaper wins seven awards
The South Reporter won seven awards in the Mississippi Press Association’s 2008 Better Newspaper Contest, highlighted by the prestigious Photo of the Year.
Russell Johnson’s picture of a 9-month-old baby being found alive 15 hours after a house explosion on Cuba Street was judged the best photo last year from all newspapers in the state – weekly and daily.
It showed rescue personnel carrying the baby to a nearby ambulance.
The judges, from the Arizona Press Association, wrote “An amazing photo with great access.”
Barry Burleson, editor of The South Reporter, surprised Johnson with the award during last week’s meeting of the Holly Springs mayor and board of aldermen.
“It is extremely difficult for a weekly newspaper to win this award,” Burleson said. “This is a tremendous honor for Russell (Johnson), the newspaper and our community.”
Sue Watson’s spot news story that accompanied Johnson’s photo won a second-place award. It was headlined – “Miracle after miracle.”
The South Reporter competes in the largest circulation category for weekly newspapers.
Watson won another second-place award for her personality portrait. It was of James Brown bowing his head in remembrance during a Veterans Day ceremony.
Photographer Ronnie Day and editor Barry Burleson also won two awards each.
Day won second place in the sports feature photo category. His photo, with a caption “Back to back titles,” was of the Marshall Academy Lady Patriots, their fans and coaches celebrating a 2008 state championship in fast-pitch softball.
Day won third place for his personality portrait of Marshall Countian Peter Hellwig, who was featured in the newspaper’s 2008 Profile Edition.
Burleson won third place for his sports news story on the H.W. Byers Lady Lions winning their first ever state basketball championship.
Burleson received honorable mention recognition for the game story on the MA football Patriots’ win over rival Indianola during the 2008 season.
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