Reporter wins eighth-straight General Excellence award

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Shelby County Newspapers, Inc., took the Alabama Press Association’s top honor for the eighth-straight year at the association’s recent summer convention awards banquet.

The APA’s General Excellence award recognizes the top newspaper in the state in each division. The Shelby County Reporter competes in the contests’ Division C, which is open to large weekly newspapers across the state.

The Reporter also won the APA’s Advertising Sweepstakes award, the top award for the advertising portion of the contest, as well as the General Web Excellence award.

All Alabama entries in the contests were judged by the West Virginia Press Association. The contests were open to content published in 2013.

The Reporter also won the following awards in the contest:


Editorial contest


Best Newspaper Website

First place


Best Feature Photo

First place – “Fun at the Fair” by Jon Goering


Best Photo Essay

First place – “Fun at the Fair” by Jon Goering


Best News Photo

First place – “Fall Fling” by Jon Goering


Best Use of Graphics or Illustrations

First place – “Sex offenders report” by Jamie Dawkins and Amy Baldis


Best Special Section

First place – Football 2013

Second place – Profile 2013


Best Niche Publication

First place – Shelby Living by Katie McDowell

Second place – H Life by Amy Jones and Cassandra Mickens

Third place – Visitors Guide 2013


Online Breaking News Coverage

First place – “Lawsuit filed against Shelby County Schools, Daniel Acker Jr.” by Neal Wagner

Third place – “Gunman holds several Chelsea Middle students hostage” by Christine Boatwright.


Best use of Social Media

Second place – Humane Society social media partnership


Best Sports Photo

Second place – “Hoopin’ for Helena” by Jon Goering


Best In-depth News Coverage

Second place – Pelham City School System coverage


Best Spot News Story

Second place – “CMS students held hostage” by Christine Boatwright


Best Headline

Third place – “Art from the Heart”


Creative use of Multimedia

Third place – poll questions


Best Sports Feature Story

Third place – “A league of his own” by Drew Granthum


Advertising Contest


Online Revenue Builder

First place – iPad mini contest

Second place – E-Newsletter


Best Presentation of Online Advertising

First place


Best Single Ad, Half Page and Under – color

“Vino and Van Gogh” by Daniel Holmes

Best Innovative Online Advertising Single Ad

Second place – Coolbox by Meagan Mims

Third place – Nichols Outfitters by Rhett McCreight


Best Niche Publication

Second place – Shelby Living

Third place – 2013 Visitors Guide


Best Classified Page or Section

Third place