2005 Better Newspaper Contest — Editorials


Division 2, Dailies
Division 3, Dailies
Division 4, Semiweeklies
Division 5, Semiweeklies
Division 6, Weeklies
Division 7, Weeklies
Division 8, Weeklies
Division 9, Weeklies
Division 10, Weeklies


Division 2 Dailies 7,000 to 99,999

1. The Courier, Conroe - "The public has a right to know" and "Officials must be called out" Good job taking local government to the task on both editorials.

2. The Facts, Clute - Michael Morris. "Reforming process could reduce burden of jury duty" Good lead, informational. Well done. "County's body removal contract flawed" Good job handling difficult topic.

3. The Beaumont Enterprise - "Kreuzer should follow Powell, step down" A strong stance on an important issue. Well-done. "Renaming Jap Road just right thing to do" The paper should be proud of their leadership, shown in this editorial.

4. The Galveston County Daily News - "Something not to be proud of" by Heber Taylor. Well-written and eloquent. Backs itself nicely. "Some suggestions for gambling debate" by Dolph Tillotson. Well-thought out.

Division 3 Dailies Less Than 7,000

1. Hereford Brand - "The 'Hammer' has outstayed his welcome" Hard-hitting. Hits the nail on the head. (Sorry, couldn't resist.) This well-argued editorial takes a clear stand. Don't know whether it reflects community sentiment, but if it's a controversial stand, extra applause. "U.S. corporations dismantle nation's industrial base. Tight writing and an especially good conclusion.

2. Waxahachie Daily Light - "Voice of Democracy" I like the way you balance and explain the First Amendment issues with local concerns about sexually oriented business. I'll bet you lowered the temperature with your restrained and reasonable tone. "Cradle of apathy" Good, forthright argument on an important local issue.

3. Seguin Gazette-Enterprise - "Pay raise for teachers should be based on reality" The points you make are well made, but it's disappointing that you fail to tell us whether teachers should be paid more in Texas or not. "Time to take pay decision out of county" Concise and sensible.

4. Plainview Daily Herald - "Temporary outrage won't change face of television" and "Incident most foul turns out positively" Both editorials are well-written and well-argued, but they tread well-worn paths.

Division 4 Semiweeklies 4,001 or More

1. Wise County Messenger - Skip Nichols. "Don't let petty precinct politics foil future plan" Good job of setting out the reasons the county need a plan and the obstacles to achieving it. You take a clear stance and name names. "Something's missing" Sweet.

2. The Graham Leader - "Political homicide turns suicidal" Starts very strong, but the ending is a failure of nerve. "Rollin' back the neighborhood" Again, a promising and courageous beginning peters out. Still, in both editorials you show you're willing to take on hot issues and to speak truth to power.

3. Williamson County Sun - "Hold an election on Prop. 13" A sensible proposal, well-argued. "McDaniel for commissioner" By taking on the opponent's (wish you'd named him), you transcend the usual endorsement editorial.

4. Wharton Journal-Spectator - "Don't believe every rumor" Nice to try to set people's mind at ease. Ending is a non sequitur. "Study up on school finance" Good use of graphic (although it's not "at the left") and well reasoned. Nice ending.

Division 5 Semiweeklies 4,000 or Less

1. The Sealy News - "Record voter turnout shows something else" This piece clearly stresses the importance of voting to readers. "We're your hometown newspaper, aren't we?" Good job.

2. The Canyon News - "Let the job go away, Mr. Talley" Good description of local events with a good history lesson. "Our watchdog, not lapdog, role" Well-written. Good job.

3. Perryton Herald - "Restore college tax" Clear, concise message. Important to the community. Good job. "Good job, show buyers" A well-written piece of praise for the community.

4. The Highlander, Marble Falls - "Funding unfunded incentives" Good job asking tough questions. "Thirty-two years of goodwill" Always good to see an editorial devoted to a local event.

Division 6 Large Weeklies

1. The Cameron Herald - "Close it!" This takes the kind of hard stance that editorials should take. "Let the public into EMS meetings" An important matter taken seriously. Good arguments.

2. The Jasper Newsboy - "Allegations subject to news process" Well-written explanation of newspaper policy that few understand. "DA should fix problems or be removed" Thorough and engaging story.

3. Cedar Creek Pilot, Gun Barrel City - "Time to muffle the mufflers, please" Good sense of humor while keeping to the point. Quality work. "Millions at risk in county vs. EPA showdown" Short, sweet and to the point.

4. Azle News - Bob Buckel. "Let the party pay" Good use of information and keeping on point. "Raid on game room looks like power trip" A strong stance, just what a newspaper needs.

Division 7 Medium Large Weeklies

1. Mineola Monitor - Gary A. Edwards. "Show a little interest" Informative and opinionated - a good combination. "Sex in the city" Strongly worded and rightly so.

2. The Free Press, Buda - "The Trust has returned" Good use of facts and figures to back up opinions. "A bellydance at Budafest one sunny life" Nice lead. Brings the reader into things.

3. Clifton Record - "County dental team answers the call" by Nathan Diebenow. A fine ode to members of the community. Additions of photos were a nice touch. "Emergency vehicles deserve right-of-way" by David Anderson. A statement for safety's sake should always be welcome. Well written.

4. Lake Travis View, Lakeway - Gary Dinges. "The bells tolls for toll road opponents" Well-written with obvious passion. "Decision favors few, hurts many" An important look at an important community topic.

Division 8 Medium Weeklies

1. Lancaster Today - "Imagine - a new day in LISD elementary education with bond funding needed school and classroom upgrades" Good job describing the school's predicament. Well done. "A truck route compromise is all right, if Big Trucking is really compromising" A good, strong editorial.

2. Leader News, Lytle - "Voters can rectify what Jimmie Casias wouldn't" Strongly worded and backed-up well. "Editorial" Good job informing the community about the skate park.

3. The Smithville Times - Christopher Waghorne Gwin. "Involvement is the answer" Well-written. Always good to see the community lauded. "In thanks" Good job putting words to difficult-to-describe emotions.

4. Rockwall County News - "Lesson learned - When it comes to Texas school finance, legislators need to avoid past mistakes" Good specifics to back up point. Well-written. "Building on a strong foundation" Nicely done. Giving credit where credit is due.

Division 9 Small Medium Weeklies

1. The Canadian Record - "No room at the inn" by Laurie Ezzell Brown and "Hell or high water" These editorials were by far the best overall. Leads were a little long. Strong, to the point, community at heart.

2. Hico News-Review - Jerry McAdams. "The McAdams Column 1 & 2" Jerry McAdams tells it like it is! His style is a little long, but then again we are told everything is bigger in Texas.

3. The Citizen, Clear Lake - "No time to spare" and "A Sensible Solution" The Citizen's editorial writer stays focused on community issues.

4. The Clarendon Enterprise - Roger Estlack. "Health Nazis put Coca-Cola in crosshairs" and "Clarendon's advancement now complete" Perhaps Mr. Estlack's best editorial opinion is his "warning" at the top of his commentary: (WARNING: The following column is an editorial (i.e. an opinion, a point of view) and may contain ideas with which some readers may freely disagree. It could be harmful to liberals, socialists and other small mammals. Read at your own risk.)

Division 10 Small Weeklies

1. Normangee Star - "Time for city council issues critical to town's future" Well-written. "It passed and it is needed, but what a patchwork it created" Does well expressing concerns over situation.

2. The Eldorado Success - Randy Mankin. "Shouldn't we expect just a bit more from God's one true church" Well-written, well-argued, informing readers while backing a stance. "Charley Waite's brand of foreign policy" Excellent piece.

3. East Bernard Express - "EMS slow but sure" Good local focus. "The time is right" Short and to the point.

4. The Morton Tribune - Danny Woolam. "Just My Opinion 1 & 2" Well argued piece on the Iraq war. The author's passion in this piece is clear.