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Newspaper editors, writers, designers, and publishers won top awards today in the Tennessee Press Association’s 2012 newspaper contest, co-sponsored by the University of Tennessee.

The Tennessean (Nashville), the Jackson Sun, Southern Standard (McMinnville), Grainger Today (Bean Station), the Gallatin News Examiner and Herald and Tribune (Jonesborough) won the top general excellence awards at the association’s awards luncheon held today in Nashville.

General excellence honors are based on total points accumulated for awards in five categories, based on average weekly circulation.

This marks the fourth time in five years that Southern Standard has won the general excellence award. This also marks the third year in a row that the Jackson Sun has won in its category. This year’s results also produced a rare tie, with Grainger Today and the Gallatin News Examiner sharing the general excellence award in the same category.

The Texas Press Association judged a total of 1,401 entries from seventy-three of the association’s 122 member newspapers. UT has co-sponsored the annual contest since 1940.

Other highlights:

  • The Tennessean received nine first-place honors in its circulation category, for best single feature, sports writing, editorials, best spot news coverage, best news reporting, best education reporting, investigative reporting, best special issue or section and best website.
  • The Shelbyville Times-Gazette and Southern Standard each received six first-place awards. The Times-Gazette won for make-up and appearance, best personal column, investigative reporting, headline writing, public service and best special issue or section. Southern Standard won for best single feature, editorials, best personal humor column, best spot news coverage, best news reporting and promotion of newspapers.

The university’s Edward J. Meeman Foundation honored newspapers for their accomplishments in editorial writing and public service journalism with $250 awards in the categories of editorials, best single editorial and public service.

Newspapers receiving Meeman awards:

  • The Tennessean, the Leaf-Chronicle (Clarksville), Southern Standard, Memphis Business Journal and the Portland Leader, editorials;
  • News Sentinel (Knoxville), the Daily Herald (Columbia), the Mountain Press (Sevierville), Grainger Today and Herald and Tribune, best single editorial; and
  • News Sentinel, the Leaf-Chronicle, Shelbyville Times-Gazette, Gallatin News Examiner and Chester County Independent (Henderson), public service.

The foundation was established in 1968 at UT to fund the contests, provide professional critiques of journalists’ work and support journalism students and faculty.

Additional top winners in the overall contest include:

  • Chattanooga Times Free Press, for local features, best personal column, best news photograph, best sports photograph and promotion of newspapers;
  • Gallatin News Examiner, for best personal column, best news reporting, investigative reporting, public service and best special issue or section; and
  • News Sentinel, for make-up and appearance, Sunday editions, best graphics and/or illustrations, best single editorial and public service.

A complete list of winners is available here (pdf).

C O N T A C T :

Charles Primm (865-974-5180, charles.primm@tennessee.edu)

Robyn Gentile (865-584-5761, rgentile@tnpress.com)