SYAKIMA - A total of eight awards, two of them for top honors in the categories of ad campaigns for a single advertiser and color feature photographs, were bestowed on the Daily Sun News last Friday evening at the 2012 Better Newspaper Contest Awards banquet hosted by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association in Yakima.
Washington state's newspapers were judged this year by the New York Press Association.
In the category of ad campaigns for a single advertiser, several advertisements created for Oord Dairy were deemed the best in their class, which took into account both color and black-and-white ads. The winning ads were created by Marnie Gibbs and Aaron Rider, employed at the Sunnyside newspaper as an advertising sales representative and a member of the production department, respectively.
The New York Press Association judges' comments included "Can't miss seeing it; can't miss it is a dairy. Cute art, nice message."
The Daily Sun News' other first-place award was earned by reporter/photographer Laura Gjovaag for a photo she snapped while aboard a hot air balloon at the 2011 Great Prosser Balloon Rally. The judges noted Gjovaag took advantage of her great vantage point and interesting subject matter to come up with a well-composed shot. They added that they had "...seen plenty of hot air balloon pictures, but this is the best we've ever encountered."
The Daily Sun News also was singled out for three second-place awards last Friday night. They included:
...the Sunnyside newspaper's annual "Salute to Heroes," published each Veterans Day to help honor local military veterans. The second-place award came in the category of non-tourism special sections. Credit was given to the entire DSN staff for producing the award-winning entry.
...production department manager Kim Morris' use of clip art in an ad that promoted a free swim session at the city pool. The New York judges noted that the unusual clip art was very effective in creating motion for this interesting ad.
...a color photo essay page created by reporter/photographer Jennie McGhan and production department design specialist Job Wise. The second-place entry focused on Bickleton's 2011 pioneer picnic and rodeo. The judges said Wise's clean page design made good use of the space and varied photos; and that McGhan's photographs were a great example of how to report on a community event through photos.
The Daily Sun News also was presented three third-place awards in the 2012 statewide contest. Two of the awards were earned by former DSN photographer Rod Smith - one for a photo of athletes reacting to winning a league championship and the other for a shot of a youngster enjoying a warm afternoon in the city pool. Rider also captured third-place honors in the category of color pictorial for a photo he snapped of a bee collecting pollen.
In the category of general excellence, in which each of the WNPA member newspapers are judged in five areas (advertising, news & community events, opinion pages, photos and page design), the Daily Sun News garnered a total of 38 points from a possible perfect score of 50. In each of the five areas assessed, the New York Press Association judges could award up to 10 points.
The two areas in which the Sunnyside newspaper fared the best were news & community events, and photos. In each area the judges awarded a score of 9.
Said the New York judges, "They cover community events that matter to local people. Front pages are all local, which show commitment to the local readers; lots of sports with photos...good photos, clear and sharp."
In the areas of advertising and opinion pages, the DSN received scores of 7 in each. The judges noted they would like to see at least one local editorial each week.
The lowest score the Sunnyside newspaper received, a 6, came in the area of page design. The judges said readability is good, but that four and five-deck headlines hurt the overall design.