WENATCHEE - Sunnyside's Daily Sun News has been awarded second place honors for general excellence by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA).
The presentation of the second place plaque, for state newspapers with paid subscriptions of between 2,601 and 5,000 readers, was made at the WNPA's annual awards convention in Wenatchee this past week.
Considered a Group II newspaper by the WNPA, based on its daily circulation count, the Daily Sun News and newspapers of similar size were critiqued by journalists from the state of Texas. The top newspaper in Group II this past year was deemed to be the Anacortes American.
From a total of a possible 500 points, the Daily Sun News tallied a score of 467 in the contest, which takes into account page design, advertising, depth of news coverage, quality of photos and graphics, and opinion pages presentation.
"We're very pleased with the scores we received," said DSN Publisher Tim Graff. "In this contest, any score over 400 shows we're on the right track to presenting a quality product to our readers."
The highest marks the DSN received came in page design-a 96 from a possible perfect score of 100. The judges commented that the Daily Sun News pages are easy to navigate and use, and showed consistency from one day to the next. Suggestions for improvements included placing the larger headlines at the top of the pages and creating a full-cover lifestyles section.
In the area of news coverage, the DSN scored a 95. Judges said there is a good mix of community and "relevant" news, and that there are good informational stories that help readers understand the decisions being made in Sunnyside.
A score of 93 was given to the DSN's opinion pages. The judges noted that the Sunnyside newspaper only provides an opinion page twice a week instead of daily, but that the pages are presented well. The judges also suggested that the local newspaper provide more of an "institutional" voice instead of publishing as many guest editorials as it does.
In the area of photos and graphics, the judges gave a score of 92, referring to many of the photos as "gorgeous." The judges suggested that larger photos be placed on the front page.
The DSN scored a 91 for the presentation of the advertising on its pages. The judges especially singled out the newspaper's classified ads section, noting the wider column widths and that the section is "airy, not heavy from type that is scrunched in."