Herald and News staff earns 10 statewide journalism awards

The Herald and News took home 10 awards from the annual state competition among member newspapers of the Oregon Newspaper Publisher’s Association. One of H&N’s accolades was in the general excellence category.

The paper’s staff won first place in best web design, as well as second place awards for best enterprise reporting, best local column, best sports story, best page one designs and best multimedia element.

H&N also walked away with the third place award for general excellence within the paper’s group.

The competition judges work from 2013. H&N competes in the ONPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s second-largest newspaper group, which includes papers with circulations of 10,000 to 25,000.

“Under editor Gerry O’Brien’s direction, the Herald and News has focused this past year on connecting with our community and readers through content we hope is both relevant and engaging. We truly appreciate the recognition by ONPA,” H&N publisher Heidi Wright said. And, I’m very thankful for all of the talented folks in our newsroom, who work hard to bring the news to our readers.”

The newspaper also received accolades in the community advocacy category for its effort with Klamath Promise, a community-wide initiative to raise the graduation rate of high school students. While it did not win in this category, the judges had high praise.

“Rather than merely reporting on the issue of low graduation rates, the newspaper chose to partner with the school district to find solutions,” the judges wrote. “We hope to see strong results from this effort in the future.”

Winners from the ONPA’s Better Newspaper Contest

First place wins include:

  • Best web design.

Second place wins include:

  • Best enterprise reporting for “Bullying: Beyond the schoolyard” by Samantha Tipler, which focused on cyber bullying as well as solutions the school district was employing.
  • Best local column for “Injuries don’t stop former KU coach” by Steve Matthies, about wrestling coach Bob Kerr, who had fallen and injured his head. He’s coached at KU, Henley, Chiloquin and other places throughout the Klamath Basin and has resumed some of his coaching duties.
  • Best sports story, for “Alive and winning” by Brett Sommers, about Bonanza student Ryan Stewart who came back from a serious car crash injury to pitch for the high school baseball team.
  • Best page one design by page designer Nicole Crapps and former staffer Jacob West.
  • Best multimedia element, for “Semi truck recovered” by Dave Martinez. This was a time-lapse video detailing how a truck was recovered after driving into the ice-covered Klamath Lake.

Third place wins include:

  • Best special section or issue for Klamath Life magazine by the H&N staff
  • Best coverage of business and economic issue, for “MUD up for vote Monday” by Holly Dillemuth, on the proposed municipal utility district by the city.
  • Best overall website
  • Overall newspaper excellence.

– Tristan Hiegler, H&N Staff Reporter

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