2002 Better Newspaper Contest — News Writing

Division 2 Dailies
1st. The Baytown Sun – Two compelling pieces. Well written and well researched.
2nd. Lubbock Avalanche Journal – Thorough coverage of two important, breaking news stories.
3rd. Odessa American – Good coverage of two breaking news stories. (Brian) Rogers did a fine job capturing what happened in the courtroom and turned in a solid piece on the resignation of Tyree.
4th. The Galveston County Daily News – Very thorough coverage of the “day of rescues” and the “lockdown.” I was impressed with the sources and the hustle of the reporters on both stories.

Division 3 Dailies
1st. Waxahachie Daily Light – Your coverage of “gunfire in the school” won this award. Great coverage of breaking news! Lots of sources and a wealth of info for readers/parents starved for details about what happened. The trial story was interesting, too. Nice details.
2nd. Ennis Daily News – Two fine stories. It was a real coup to get the interview with Andrea Webb. The story was a great read. At times I felt I was in the classroom, too. The story on murder victim Stacey Jones was good, but I found myself wanting to know more about her, what type of mother she was, her dreams, aspirations, etc.
3rd. Athens Daily Review – Two good pieces of work. Fine sourcing. Nice quotes. Very readable!
4th. Texas City Sun – The benzene story earned you this award. Great job on an important story. The other story was essentially a meeting story that didn’t go beyond the board room.

Division 4 Semiweeklies
1st. Williamson County Sun – Very in-depth! Good sources in both stories – and some great quotes!
2nd. Burleson Star – Nice storytelling! A wealth of useful information in the story on PIDD. Good details in the court story!
3rd. Wharton Journal-Spectator – A nice balance of reporting and storytelling. Good quotes. Nice background/history in “Gas ’er up.”
4th. Wise County Messenger – Good coverage of spot news – particularly the plane crash. Good quotes.

Division 5 Semiweeklies
1st. The Angleton Times – Compelling writing, solid reporting. Well-sourced.
2nd. Mabank Monitor – Solid reporting, writing. Good setting of scene. Gave me sense of place, people.
3rd. The Clifton Record – No one quoted in school bus story. Otherwise good account. Solid job on the Bush visit.
4th. San Benito News – Great news stories. On “dangerous crossing,” good job of adding context to what could have been an accident brief. Good price on yellow ink?

Division 6 Weeklies
1st. Austin Business Journal – Stories of great interest to business-oriented readers.
2nd. Park Cities People – Package on Highland Park slaying was tremendous reporting and writing. Good job on Sept. 11 reaction.
3rd. The Jasper NewsBoy – The Abitibi story needed the voice of company officials; otherwise good reporting and organization. Lapsed into some editorializing at the end. Ealand story should have reported the probation sentence up high, but overall good story-telling. Keep it up.
4th. Fredericksburg Standard Radio/Post – I liked the historical reference in the shooting story. The fact that he was free on an appeal bond should have been higher. The tornado story could have benefited by more anecdotal material from victims. Good, solid news stories. Good job for your readers.

Division 7 Weeklies
1st. Medina Valley Times – Good lead on the storm. Made me want to read the rest. Really told a story. Didn’t just report it. Another good lead on “surviving story.” Great job of letting subject tell the story.
2nd. North San Antonio Times – Terror: Good lead. Good story throughout. Moore loss: Good information. Well told. All the right quotes from the right people.
3rd. The Free Press Buda – Good stories. Well explained with details and attribution.
4th. Mineola Monitor – Great local news stories. Interesting information presented well.

Division 8 Weeklies
1st. The Community News Aledo – Good headlines and photographs. The leads are good and add a personal touch to the stories. Good use of color, action photos. This is one of the better night photos of a fire I’ve seen in a long time. You did a great job of showing the impact to the owner’s and children’s lives, etc.
2nd. Pilot Point Post Signal – Good headlines. Leads are pretty good. Nice attention to detail.
3rd. Crowley Star – Good writing overall.
4th. The Shiner Gazette – (Residents) Perhaps you could make your lead a little more personal by showing how the passage or failure of the issue will affect one child. Good story overall. Good use of chart. (Citizens speak) You’ve done a good job of presenting different views on a touchy subject.

Division 9 Weeklies
1st. Lancaster Today – Good news and enterprise. The reporter has done his homework and it shows. Good job!
2nd. The Canadian Record – Both stories were packed with information. The second, in particular, was well done, giving the reader an idea of who the killer was and who the victim was.
3rd. The Winters Enterprise – I thought both stories were well done and interesting. The writer got into the meat of the story and supported it with good background information.
4th. Lexington Leader – Both of these stories were incredibly interesting. Well done.

Division 10 Weeklies
1st. Little Elm Journal – Armey: What an opportunity to tie into a national story! Good strong writing. Fire: Good footwork on talking to victims.
2nd. Benbrook Star – America rocked: Wow! What a local twist to a big national story! Summertime: Good sold reporting. Good lead. Made me want to go further into the story. Both stories exhibit good “stick-to-it” skills; go after the local story.
3rd. Alvarado Star – Broadway: Good quotes! Strong emotional impact to story. Plane: Good lead. Good reporter legwork. Covered all the bases.
4th. The International Presidio – Hernandez: Poor girl! I think I would have moved the $ matter closer to the lead. To me that is crucial. Here she is in a wheelchair and daddy has all the bucks! What a story!! I hope you followed up. Police chief: Lead a bit complex. This appears to be a complicated situation. Would it be better for readers on something like this to have broken this into two or more stories? Good use of description. Lot of work here.