Click here to view the results of the NETPA Better Newspaper Contest.
North and East Texas Press Association held its annual convention April 10-12 in Tyler.
Mark Engebretson, editor of The Lake Country Sun, Graford, received the association's Sam C. Holloway Award, presented each year since 1958 to an outstanding NETPA member and journalist who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in support of the association while also upholding high standards of journalistic integrity and service to the community.
Todd Griffith, production manager and webmaster of the Wise County Messenger, Decatur, received the association's Tom Mooney Award, signifying support of NETPA at the highest level for faithfully upholding its efforts, goals and ideals.
Keynote speaker Dr. Don Newbury, whose career in higher education spans more than 40 years, mixed his stand-up routine with the daily news in "From Adam's Rib to Web Pages and Fibs." Newbury's feature column, "Idle American" appears in many newspapers.
Griff Singer, director of the Dow Jones News Fund Editing Excellence Center School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, moderated a panel discussion sponsored by the Texas Newspaper Foundation and titled, "Dealing with Disasters." Panelists showed footage of disasters across the state and what a newspaper can do to cover, protect and inform their readers promptly and safely.
NETPA President Engebretson, a panelist, shared his personal account of wildfires that devastated the Possum Kingdom area in 2011. Engebretson talked about how close the fire came to his home and the newspaper office, and how his Faceboook postings proved to be an asset in informing the public of safe and unsafe areas. Other panelists were: Oren Hale, 1st assistant county fire marshal; Nick Harrison, Texas A&M Forest Service; J. Lynn Lunsford, Federal Aviation Administration Mid-States Public Affairs manager; Scott McCloud, senior communications consultant, AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co.; and Capt. Michael Bernier, commander, Civil Air Patrol Texoma Composite Squadron.
Rob Durham, editor of the Breckenridge American, conducted the Scholarship Live Auction, a fund-raiser for the NETPA Scholarship. NETPA Better Newspaper Contest Chair Jessica Woodall, Kilgore News Herald, announced the contest awards.
Board members were elected as follows: Mark Engebretson, Lake Country Sun, chairman of the board; Don Treul, Tri County Leader, Whitehouse, president; Jessica Woodall, Kilgore News Herald, first vice president and contest chair; Suzanne Bardwell, Gladewater Mirror, scholarship chair; Cher Thompson, Hood County News, secretary and treasurer; Rick Craig, Hood County News, golf chair; Dan Moore, Grand Saline Sun, finance chair; and Todd Griffith, Wise County Messenger, website chair. Directors were elected as follows: Bryan Giguere, Winnsboro News; Austin Lewter, Whitesboro News-Record; Joyce Hathcock, Mineola Monitor; Rob Durham, Breckenridge American; Mindy Kimbro, Olney Enterprise; and Scott McCloud, SWEPCO, will continue as corporate representative.
The association's next annual convention will be held the second weekend of April 2015.