YAKIMA - The Daily Sun News in Sunnyside was presented seven awards at the 121st annual Washington Newspapers Publishers Association convention, staged in Yakima this past weekend.
Two of the awards were for advertisements, including the first place entry in the "most effective use of small space ad" category. Created by former Daily Sun News production specialist Becky Pina, the ad keyed on an espresso shop, the Daily Buzz, celebrating its second anniversary of doing business in Sunnyside.
"Very attractive, good use of small space," the judges from Louisiana noted of Pina's advertising creation.
The other advertising award garnered by the Daily Sun News came in the "multiple-advertiser ad, full page or larger" division. Deemed the third best ad in this category, it was a 2007 Christmas showcase of advertisers. The entire Daily Sun News production staff was credited for creating the multiple ads in this series.
The lone news-writing award presented to the Daily Sun News was earned by Corey Russell, a reporter on staff at the DSN for three years. His story focused on Mabton city administrator Ildia Jackson's dismissal from her post. Russell earned a second place award in the category of "best government reporting."
The judges in the news-writing contest said of the piece, "he said-she-saids, or in this case a she-said, she-said, are always difficult to properly balance. But the writer does an excellent job of presenting the points of view of both the mayor and the fired city administrator.
"This was particularly difficult," the judges continued, "because some of the issues involved were difficult to accurately describe in just a few words, yet the story continues to flow nicely even through the detours into the necessary bureaucratic details."
Two photography awards were also presented to the Daily Sun News. Both shots were captured by long-time DSN photographer Rod Smith.
In the "best color feature photo" division, Smith's shot of a spider resting in its web was judged the first place winner.
"What a picture! Excellent photo. Great detail. Beautiful shot," the judges wrote.
Smith also earned a second place award in the category of "best color scenic or pictorial photo." The photo was of a horse standing in a pasture with a blazing sunset behind it. The judges noted the strong colors Smith captured in the photo.
The final two awards the Daily Sun News received were for the newspaper's Who's Who special section, created by the sales and production staffs; and for its Valley Farmer - Spring Edition special section, created by the news and production staffs.
The Who's Who publication earned a first place award in the category of "best special section - merchandising." The contest judges noted the section was a concise means of featuring a variety of business people in the community. "Clean layout, easy to follow, interesting, excellent job," the judges wrote.
The Daily Sun News' 2008 Valley Farmer - Spring Edition was deemed the second best entry in the "best special section - special events/festivals" category. The judges said, "A lot of work went into this. Well thought out, interesting stories...good idea for the region. Nice work."
In a separate critique of the entire operations at the Daily Sun News by the judges in Louisiana, the Sunnyside newspaper scored 420 points from a possible 500.
Of the five areas critiqued, the DSN scored the highest in thoroughness and quality of news coverage, scoring a 90 from a possible 100.
The four other areas judged included photos and graphics (85), page design (85), advertising (80) and opinion pages (80).