Newspaperman and publisher of the Eldorado Success and the Big Lake Wildcat, Randy Mankin, is the new president of Texas Press Association. Mankin was elected to the position during the Awards Luncheon at TPA's summer meeting in Corpus Christi on June 21.
At the conference, the following awards were given:
Larry Jackson, former Fayette County Record editor and publisher, and Mac McKinnon, publisher of the Dublin Citizen were both honored with the Golden 50 Award. The award commemorates 50 years of work in journalism.
SPIRIT OF FOI AWARD
Two Texas newspapers have received the annual Spirit of FOI Award for their extensive work using and examining the state's open records laws.
The Nancy Monson Spirit of FOI Award, presented by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and the Texas Press Association, was given to the Temple Daily Telegram among Class AA, or mid-sized newspapers, and to the Alvin Sun among Class A, or small, newspapers. There were no entries in the largest size category.
The annual award honors journalists and news organizations for outstanding efforts that uphold First Amendment principles and promote freedom of information and public access to government.
The Temple Daily Telegram staff won recognition for its multi-city audit of government compliance with the Texas Public Information Act. The series of reports found that two police departments were overcharging for records and that other governmental agencies had policies not allowed by law.
Kathleen Holton of the Alvin Sun received the award for shining light on how city officials were running up costs as they considered building a shooting range. The newspaper used the Texas Public Information Act to request emails, meeting minutes and expenses incurred on the proposed project.
FRANK MAYBORN AWARD FOR
Denton Record Chronicle publisher Bill Patterson received the 2014 Mayborn Award for Community Leadership. Outgoing TPA President Greg Shrader lauded Patterson for his many years of service both at home in Denton County and in Austin. He said Patterson, who is active on TPA's Legislative Advisory Committee, "continues to carry the torch to fight for the public's right to know."
Patterson is immediate past chair of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Denton Board of Trustees, having finished his second term as chair since beginning board service in 1991. He also serves as a representative to the Texas Health Resources Physician Compensation Committee.
Additionally, Patterson is a past chair of both the Denton Chamber of Commerce and the United Way of Denton County. Patterson also is a past president of Texas Daily Newspaper Association. He is co-chair of a community needs assessment committee and has served on the University of North Texas Athletic Council and the Texas Women's University Foundation Board.
The Mayborn Award is named in honor of the late Frank W. Mayborn, publisher of the Temple Daily Telegram and lifelong proponent of civic leadership by newspaper executives. Along with the plaque, Patterson named the University of North Texas as the recipient of a $3,000 scholarship award. School officials at UNT will select an outstanding full-time student journalist to receive the scholarship award.
FRED HARTMAN EXCELLENCE
IN SPORTSWRITING AWARD
Alvin Sun sports editor Stephen Collins received the 2014 Fred Hartman Excellence in Sportswriting Award.
Collins accepted the award from Fred B. Hartman. Griff Singer, director of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund's Center for Editing Excellence at the University of Texas, was this year's judge.
"Collins provides a great portfolio exhibiting his abilities at features as well as live events. His lengthy interview with Reid Ryan, a member of the legendary baseball family and now president of the Houston Astros, went into areas many readers would not have been aware of. A delightful story," Singer wrote in his notes.
"Covering sports for smaller Texas newspapers is a challenging task. In many instances, being the sports editor/writer is just one of several other jobs these tireless folks must perform. Selecting a winner from this year's entries was not easy. Clearly, the top three finishers are providing their readers with great coverage, including timely, interesting features. What's special is they are doing more than just play-by-play stories. And they stepped out to cover some of the sports that often are bypassed."
Each year the Fred Hartman Award competition alternates between two fixed circulation breaks: newspapers over 10,000 and those under 10,000. This year the contest was open to journalists currently employed with a Texas newspaper under 10,000 in circulation. Recipients receive a plaque and a $1,000 check.
The award is sponsored annually by Hartman Newspapers, a family-owned company started by the late Fred Hartman.
2014 TEXAS BETTER
There were 159 newspapers competing in this year's contest. Additionally, there were 1,566 entries and the results are posted in the Winners' Circle at texaspress.com.
2014-15 TPA OFFICERS
The newly elected Board of Directors include President Randy Mankin, Eldorado Success and the Big Lake Wildcat; First Vice President Glenn Rea, The Cuero Record and Yorktown News-View; Second Vice President Randy Keck, The Community News, Aledo; Treasurer Patrick Canty, Odessa American; and Chairman Greg Shrader, The Lufkin News.