Division 2 Dailies 7,000 to 99,999
1. Galveston County Daily News — Michael A. Smith. Adult Laws Needed: Strong job of explaining the issue, offering details on proposed bill and taking a stance on its likely effect. A lot of research and thought went into this effort. Money for Suffering: Very strong writing, with dramatic twist to make case for storm victims. Writer uses a conversational style but hammers home points quite well.
2. Victoria Advocate — Justice Gone to Dogs: Great lead hooks reader on unique topic. Strong views drive point home effectively. Open Case: Good discussion of key local issue with kicker of offering to help pay for citizen-driven legal action. That’s showing community involvement in a real way.
3. Laredo Morning Times — Police Dept. Must Show Merit: Takes a while to reach point but does effectively with good use of facts throughout. County Leaders: Strong opinion and good use of facts to support your views.
4. Facts, Clute — Michael Morris/Yvonne Mintz. Gaps in Bridge: Solid job on key topic with good use of facts to support views. Seizure of Reporter’s Papers Intolerable: Good lead and detailed description of event. Made your point well without descending into “the police chief is picking on us” rhetoric.
Division 3 Dailies Less Than 7,000
1. Taylor Daily Press — Be Passionate: This seems to have been a hot-button issue in the community, which would justify acknowledging the kind of Web comments made. An effective job in addressing both the euthanasia issue and response to it. Good Communications: A solid job of presenting the facts and reaching a conclusion.
2. Waxahachie Daily Light — We Expect More: Good job of detailing problem and holding agencies accountable. Needs to be more pointed by offering detailed solutions. Train of Disruption: A unique problem but clearly affected the town and justified commentary.
3. River Cities Tribune — SAWS: Alphabet soup of acronyms somewhat confusing, though probably not to devout local readers. Still tackles a key local issue in a detailed manner. Devo Dark Chapter Closed: Good discussion of the death penalty, weighing historical and moral context with details of this case.
4. San Marcos Daily Record — RHR. Battle Lines: Clever use of song lyrics to discuss public discourse, but repeated inserts become distracting after the first few instances. King and Kingdom: An important local topic but could have gone further in making case for keeping sports in perspective.
Division 4 Semiweeklies 4,001 or More
1. Marble Falls Highlander — Imperfect Rules: Sounds like this criticism is well deserved. Keep it up! Good review of history with eye on next election! Miller’s Departure: Excellent point, just because they can discuss a personnel decision behind closed doors doesn’t mean they don’t owe the public an explanation.
2. Beeville Bee-Picayune — Hinojosa’s Cowardice: Way to call out your congressman for being too chicken to hear from constituents! Taking Chance on Kids: Nice defense of a new policy.
3. Hood County News — Monitoring Council: Good call for open government. Mission Granbury: Wow. Way to call them on this. What a racket!
4. Williamson County Sun — County’s Right—For Now: Well written. Fire This Time: Makes you think.
Division 5 Semiweeklies 4,000 or Less
1. Round Rock Leader — Grocery Employee Fired: This is excellent. Unbelievable story. Hopefully this store’s competitor will hire this guy. Kudos to WilCo: Nice support for cause.
2. Gonzales Inquirer — School Traffic Issues: Now this is an issue the local community can relate to. Well done. Here We Go Again: Very well argued. Being transparent is in their self-interest.
3. Perryton Herald — Interlocks Needed: Short, to the point, backed by facts. Well done. Death Penalty Deters: Well put, with supporting case!
4. Lampasas Dispatch Record — Voting Bill: Well argued. Not sure your readers are as interested though. (Maybe to their detriment.) Thanks to McQueen & Company: Nice props for the new, drought-breaking coach. I bet your readers like this.
Division 6 Large Weeklies
1. Rockdale Reporter — Re-Zoning: Way to take on council for trying to pass the buck! Burden of Proof: Excellent points, with good supporting details.
2. Houston Business Journal — Ford Gunter/Bill Schadewald. State Agency: Funny! What hypocrisy of an “environmental” group to keep wasting trees/paper. You keep good records. Nice, detailed history of their incompetence. Check-Writing: Facing the computer age—something we can all relate to.
3. Port Aransas South Jetty — Mary Judson. Fourth Estate: Excellent defense of the newspaper. Of course I like it! A Matter of Doing What’s Right: Good explanation of mayor’s issue and fair call for public officials to meet higher standard.
4. Jewish Herald-Voice — Where Were You: This is what got you 4th place. An excellent call for your readers to remember what evil men can do, with hopes of preventing a repeat. Bridging Gaps: No comment by judge.
Division 7 Medium Large Weeklies
1. Jasper Newsboy — City Strikes Out: Very persuasive. Nice job. Brooks Decision: An unusual move applauded. Good work.
2. Frio-Nueces Current — Desperate and Deadly: Very well done, buttressed by facts, anecdotes and feeling. Reunited: Moving Memorial Day tribute.
3. Colorado City Record — Carol Parsons. Farewell Imagination: You make a good point. I didn’t even hear of this. Something Worth Holding: Wow. A tearjerker. Ought to be required July 4th reading. Thank you for reminding us what America means.
4. Pharr Advance News Journal — G. Romero Wendorf. Levi’s and Haggars: Makes you think. Don’t forget our Congress levies the highest corporate taxes in the developed world. Agree or not, it’s well argued with anecdotes. Drug Test Parents: I bet this made people read and talk. Provocative if nothing else.
Division 8 Medium Weeklies
1. Lake Country Sun — Environmental Lip Service: Local. This Week’s Meeting: Local.
2. Big Bend Sentinel — Obama Address to Students: No comment by judge. Thought Police Cuts Both Ways: No comment by judge.
Judge did not award a 3rd or 4th place in Division 8.
Division 9 Small Medium Weeklies
1. Gladewater Mirror — Lawmakers Wasting Time: Well said! Residents Must Stay Involved: Good call to engagement.
2. Frankston Citizen — Unclear Who Can Vote in Coffee City: Interesting issue. This is a little long, but something voters should learn. Marching Band Plays: This is excellent. Wanted to stand and cheer the band. Good work, and I’m sure they appreciated it.
3. Clarendon Enterprise — Roger Estlack. Era of Bigger Government: Well put. Something affecting all of us. City, Sheriff Back at Odds: Good insight into dispute, with direction of what to do.
4. Eldorado Success — In Memory of Travis and Rachel: Very sad and poignant. Very specific memories. Well done. AEP Should Improve: Who can’t relate to that!
Division 10 Small Weeklies
1. Big Lake Wildcat — Randy Mankin. City Council Wrong: Good primer on open meetings! Way to be instructively critical. Paul Harvey, Good Day: Nice remembrances of a legend.
2. Overton Press — Price of Progress: A good reminder of the value of history. Take Time for 9/11: Duly reminded.
3. Everman Star — Candy McMichen. Open Government: Well put! School Tax Election: Good info.
4. Wallis News-Review — Johnny Griffin. Anniversaries: Solemn reminder of obstacles overcome. We The People: Good points. We are responsible.