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CHATTANOOGA — Journalists, editors, designers and publishers from across the state won top awards in the Tennessee Press Association’s 2009 newspaper contest, co-sponsored by the University of Tennessee.

The Commercial Appeal (Memphis), the Daily Herald (Columbia), the Southern Standard (McMinnville), the Standard Banner (Jefferson City) and the Erwin Record won the top general excellence awards at the association’s summer convention and awards luncheon held today in Chattanooga.

UT has co-sponsored the annual contest since 1940.

General excellence honors are based on total points accumulated for all award categories. This marks the seventh consecutive year the Erwin Record has won the top award for its category.

Contest awards are given in five categories based on average weekly circulation, including small and large daily and non-daily papers. The Kentucky Press Association judged a total of 1,477 contest entries from 84 association papers.

Among the highlights:

– The Erwin Record also earned the most first-place honors with six. It won for make-up and appearance, community lifestyles, best news reporting, best education reporting, public service and best news photograph.

– The Chattanooga Times Free Press won five first place awards, for community lifestyles, best graphics and/or illustrations, best personal humor column, best sports photograph and best special issue or section.

– The Southern Standard won five first place awards, for make-up and appearance, local features, editorials, best single editorial and best news photograph.

The university’s Edward J. Meeman Foundation honored 10 newspapers for their accomplishments in editorial writing and public service journalism with $200 awards in the categories of best single editorial, editorials and public service.

The foundation was established in 1968 at UT to fund the contests and support journalism scholarships and faculty fellowships.

Newspapers receiving Meeman awards:

– Bristol Herald Courier, the Southern Standard, the Daily Herald (Columbia), the Hickman County Times (Centerville), and the Independent Herald (Oneida), best single editorial;

– Grainger Today (Bean Station) and the LaFollette Press, editorials; and

– News Sentinel (Knoxville), the Greeneville Sun and the Shelbyville Times-Gazette, public service.

Winners of four first-place awards:

– Bristol Herald Courier, for editorials, best single editorial, best feature photograph and promotion of newspapers;
– News Sentinel, for best single feature, Sunday editions, headline writing and public service;
– The Daily Herald, for best single editorial, best personal column, best personal humor column and best education reporting;
– The Daily News Journal (Murfreesboro), for make-up and appearance, local features, editorials and investigative reporting; and
– The Tennessean (Nashville), for sports writing, best spot news story, best education reporting and investigative reporting.

Winners of three first-place awards:

– Grainger Today, for best graphics and/or illustrations, editorials and best sports photograph;
– Herald And Tribune (Jonesborough), for local features, headline writing and promotion of newspapers;
– Memphis Business Journal, for local features, community lifestyles and best personal column;
– Shelbyville Times-Gazette, for sports writing, investigative reporting and public service;
– The Commercial Appeal, for make-up and appearance, best personal column and best news photograph;
– The Greeneville Sun, for best news reporting, public service and best sports photograph;
– The Leaf-Chronicle (Clarksville), for best single feature, best spot news story and best news photograph;
– The Mountain Press (Sevierville), for sports writing, headline writing and best special issue or section;
– The News Examiner (Gallatin), for best single feature, best news reporting and headline writing; and
– The Standard Banner (Jefferson City), for best feature photograph, best sports photograph and best special issue or section.

Other first-place award winners:

-Hickman County Times, best single editorial and best personal humor column;
-Independent Herald, best single feature and best single editorial;
-LaFollette Press, sports writing and editorials;
-Roane County News (Kingston), best news reporting and best sports photograph;
-The Daily News (Memphis), best spot news story and investigative reporting;
-The Wilson Post (Lebanon), best single feature and community lifestyles;
-Union City Daily Messenger, best personal humor column and best special issue or section;
-Ashland City Times, sports writing;
-Chester County Independent (Henderson), best feature photograph;
-Citizen Tribune (Morristown), community lifestyles;
-Crossville Chronicle, best feature photograph;
-Herald-Citizen (Cookeville), best feature photograph;
-Independent Appeal (Selmer), make-up and appearance;
-Johnson City Press, local features;
-Lewis County Herald (Hohenwald), best spot news story;
-Macon County Chronicle (Lafayette), public service;
-Macon County Times (Lafayette), best special issue or section;
-Mt. Juliet News, investigative reporting;
-Overton County News (Livingston), best news photograph;
-The Gallatin Newspaper, best education reporting;
-The Humboldt Chronicle, best personal humor column;
-The Jackson Sun, best news reporting;
-The Lebanon Democrat, best spot news story;
-The Newport Plain Talk, best education reporting;
-The Oak Ridger, headline writing;
-The Paris Post-Intelligencer, best personal column; and
-The Tomahawk (Mountain City), best personal column.

A complete list of winners is available by visiting http://www.utk.edu/news/docs/tpa2009/master_list.pdf.

C O N T A C T :

Charles Primm, UT Media Relations, (865) 974-5180, primmc@utk.edu
Robyn Gentile, Tennessee Press Association, (865) 584-5761, rgentile@tnpress.com