2012 Texas Better Newspaper Contest - Community Service
Monday, 18 June 2012 20:19

Daily Division
1. Corpus Christi Caller-Times:
“Premont Independent School District” – An assistant football coach said to the Premont football team before a critical game: “I’m asking you to carry this town on your shoulders.” That’s what this newspaper did. Through deep reporting, compelling writing and photographs and informative graphics, the Caller-Times chronicled the impact that a school district closing would have on a small rural community. Rhiannon Meyers and Michael Zamora embedded themselves in that community, and the exquisite detail reflected in their stories and images had an impact. The state of Texas gave the district another year to prove itself. This met the highest standard of public service journalism.

2. New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung: “The River Wild” – The Herald-Zeitung’s in-depth series, “The River Wild,” asked hard questions about the impact tubing crowds had on the river community. It documented everything – from the impact of the poor behavior of drunk tubers to the effectiveness of law enforcement and public ordinances. This helped spur action by an informed citizenship. Strong editorials and local columns added insight to that community conversation.

3. The Daily Sentinel, Nacogdoches: “Burmese refugees” – The Daily Sentinel brought enlightenment and understanding to what could have been a divisive issue – the hiring of Burmese refugees to fill factory jobs. The revelatory reporting helped this community grow.

4. Victoria Advocate: “Barefoot Sunday” – One writer’s personal experience on a mission trip to Africa helped prompt empathy and compassion in her community. She built a bridge between Texas and Africa that helped bring more than 5,300 pairs of shoes to impoverished people in Malawi. That’s quite an impact.

Semiweekly Division

1. The Bastrop Advertiser: “Anatomy of a Fire” – Excellent coverage from wide variety of angles.  A lot of good information given to readers. Great help and effort to restore and bring community together. Used newspaper as it should be – to disseminate info.

2. Hood County News, Granbury: “Fight Hunger, Feed Hope” – Good concept followed throughout the year. A lot of good info. A wide variety of stories.

3. Burleson Star: “John Matthews criminal investigation” – Excellent coverage and investigation. Paper pushing for open records/info essential to resignation and indictments. Great journalism.

4. Wise County Messenger, Decatur: “Feeding Wise” – Great presentation. Coverage throughout the year. Great logo. Good information.

Weekly Division

1. The Ozona Stockman: “Keeping public informed on wildfires and drought” – Outstanding work! Not many weeklies would have gone this far to protect the community.

2. Tyler County Booster, Woodville: “Taste of Tyler County” – $7,800 is a great gain for Relay For Life. These books are not easy to produce.

3. The Clifton Record: “Raising $80,000 fire truck” – Excellent job. Most people do not think much about volunteer fire departments until they need them. Then they want them to have the best equipment.

4. Jewish Herald-Voice, Houston: “Help the Berry children” – What a story! There is no telling what would have happened to these children had the JHV not jumped on top of this. $1,000,000? Wow!