2012 Texas Better Newspaper Contest - General Excellence
Monday, 18 June 2012 20:28

Division 2
Dailies 7,000 to 99,999

1. Beaumont Enterprise: An absolute standout! Front pages make me want to read more, and the inside pages live up to the expectations. Open-ended answers (9/25) is an outstanding reporting effort. The BE section stands out – content and display. Sports coverage is outstanding. Well-deserved 1st!

2. The Daily Sentinel, Nacogdoches: A relatively small daily, but no one can tell by looking. Has the look and feel of a large metro. Kudos to Robbie Goodrich (HIV story) and Andrew D. Brosig (photos) in particular. Not a weak spot anywhere in this paper. Hopefully, the people of Nacogdoches realize what a gem of a newspaper they have.

3. Victoria Advocate: Layout/design stands out fantastically. Great work by J.R. Ortega on Watts story. Photos on CYFC package (11/20) look great.

4. Midland Reporter-Telegram: 9/11 package simply outstanding. Carrying the theme throughout the paper was great idea. Photography and section fronts stand out. Fire line story well written. Columnist headings look good.


Division 3Dailies Less Than 7,000

1. Greenville Herald-Banner: The Herald-Banner gives the reader a sense and feel of community. Its coverage of the 9/11 anniversary was outstanding and included schools, churches, editorials and a lot of reader participation. It’s Sunday Brunch package is well done. Good calendar and watchdog-type coverage.

2. Jacksonville Daily Progress: The Daily Progress has a good mix of community news coverage – from a retiring police dog hanging out of city hall to handling – mishandling – public tax dollars.

3. Brownwood Bulletin: The Bulletin does a good job of covering its community, but its coverage of the funeral of a firefighter was outstanding – writing and photos excellent and comprehensive. Good diversity of content on page one.

4. Mineral Wells Index: Great coverage of the Texas drought and its effects on our community Good headlines.


Division 4
Semiweeklies 4,001 or More

1. The Williamson County Sun, Georgetown: Excellent newspaper top to bottom. Classic look. Quality writing and overall news coverage. Good editorial page presence and community coverage.

2. Wise County Messenger, Decatur: Strong entry. Great presentation and overall design. Solid writing and inside content.

3. The Highlander, Marble Falls: Good entry in competitive category. Nameplate weak and buried for good newspaper branding. Good appearance. Clean writing.

4. Hood County News, Granbury: Very good overall news coverage.

Division 5
Semiweeklies 4,000 or Less

1. Kilgore News Herald: Extremely compelling cover designs. Back-page sports fronts are smart use of space. Rein in leads that undermine the strength of the story and its design (Saggins story). Strong sports photos.

2. Alice Echo-News Journal: Excellent use of graphics to further illustrate news stories. Strong sports, feature photography. Strong stories, though leads are somewhat weak.

3. Wharton Journal-Spectator: Strong writing, clean composition.

4. Round Rock Leader: Strong cover stories. Unique easy-reading design. Strong community feel. Entertainment section feels out of place.


Division 6
Large Weeklies

1. The Azle News: Boxes above nameplate busy. Headline writing little impact. Inside page organization could be stronger. Overall very well done editorially, graphically.

2. Port Aransas South Jetty: Strong content. Very informative newspaper. Nameplate not prominent enough for good newspaper branding. Writing could be slightly more formal. Reproduction good. Photo selection good. Close 2nd place.

3. Park Cities People, Dallas: Generally good newspaper. Strong page one. Strong community coverage on inside pages.

4. The River Cities Sunday Tribune, Marble Falls: Solid entry in a competitive category. Clean front page. Overall good content. Good use of photos.


Division 7
Medium-Large Weeklies

1. Hays Free Press, Kyle: Strong photography. Excellent layout.

2. The Big Bend Sentinel, Marfa: This newspaper has its pulse on the local community in a way few papers do with excellent writing and a real feel for the local community.

3. The Navasota Examiner: Good local news coverage.

4. Lake Travis View, Lakeway: Layout is eye catching. Stories are appealing.


Division 8
Medium Weeklies

1. The Community News, Aledo: Very attractive front-page layouts. Quality writing.

2. Refugio County Press: Great novelty front page for the championships coverage. Well-written P-1 story on man found beaten.

3. The Springtown Epigraph: Nice job expanding what could have been a routine crash story on P-1 in the May 11 ed.

4. Iowa Park Leader: Unusual front-page layout, but it works.


Division 9
Small-Medium Weeklies

1. The Albany News: Nice layout, design and use of color, and great job keeping it local! I like the photos and use of color, too! Congrats!

2. Crowley Star: Very nice layout and local coverage! Strong and steady in terms of writing, photography, layout and design, op/ed and the reprinting of local issues. Great job!

3. Tri County Leader, Whitehouse: I love the friends and neighbors spotlight. Nice, local, short columns. 911 reflections good – more photos, graphics, pull quotes or things to break up page would have been more appealing. Nice community paper with lots of things to do featured. I would read this paper if I lived there. Good job! One suggestion: Don’t cram too much on front. Some of that (polar express) could have run on jump page.

4. The Jasper Newsboy: Nice op/ed page and good use of community submissions. Good sports photos. More continued inside would be a reader plus. Students of the week is a great feature! Nice rodeo special section.


Division 10
Small Weeklies

1. The Eldorado Success: Why no bylines? Love the writing style. Excellent paper. You have a real grasp on the local community.

2. Pflugerville Pflag: Interesting name! Nice package on veterans story.

3. Alvarado Star: Excellent layout and readability. Strong headlines on front, use of local photos throughout.

4. Joshua Star: Maybe too much on left column on front page. Cute photo of football player and baby.