Reporter wins general excellence award

The Shelby County Reporter has been named Alabama’s best weekly newspaper for the third consecutive year.

The Reporter again won the Alabama Press Association’s General Excellence Award.

“Winning our state’s top prize for newspapers for a third straight year is humbling, an honor for those in our building who have worked so hard to make this happen,” said Publisher Tim Prince. “I am immensely proud to work alongside them.”

The paper garnered nine other first place awards in the annual Better Newspaper Contest.

The winners were announced the last week of May. Earlier in the month, the Reporter also won the APA’s Sweepstakes Award, the advertising portion of the contest.

The Reporter competes in Division C against other large weekly newspapers.

“We still have much work ahead of us, both online and in print, to continue to serve Shelby County in the manner they expect from their hometown newspaper and Web site … we are committed to do just that,” Prince said. “The greatest award a person in our business can receive is for a member of our community to log onto our Web site, subscribe to our newspaper or drop a quarter in one of our newspaper racks – such in the truest indication of whether we are meeting the demands of those we serve or not.”

The Reporter earned first place awards for best lifestyles and family pages, best sports pages, best layout and design, best use of photographs and editorial content, most improved and best special section for Profile 2008.

The paper also took home several individual categories, including:

-FOI – first amendment award for “Faces in the crowd” by Justin Averette. This story brought attention to the rising number of sex offenders who call Shelby County home.

-Best sports photo for “In a cloud of dust” by Ashley Vansant. This photo from March featured cowboy and former Cornerstone running back Austin Vinsant.

-Best headline for “Wii-living the good times” by Justin Averette. This play on words served as the title for a story about seniors learning to play Nintendo.

The Reporter won second place honors for best editorial page, best local economic coverage, best photo essay and best use of graphics or illustrations.

The paper earned third place marks for best sports in-depth coverage, best feature photo and best news photo.

More than 75 newspapers across the state submitted 2,917 entries in the BNC contest, which was judged by the North Carolina Press Association.