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Newspaper writers, editors, designers, and publishers won top awards tonight in the Tennessee Press Association’s 2016 newspaper contest, co-sponsored by UT.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Jackson Sun, the Lebanon Democrat, the Standard Banner (Jefferson City), and the Portland Leader won the top general excellence awards at the association’s dinner ceremony, held in Franklin. General excellence honors are based on total points accumulated for awards in five circulation categories.

Awards highlights:

  • This marks the seventh year in a row that the Jackson Sun has won the general excellence award and the third year in a row that the Chattanooga Times Free Press has won the award in its category.
  • The Chattanooga Times Free Press received ten first-place awards in the category of newspapers with a combined weekly circulation of more than 200,000.
  • The Jackson Sun captured six first-place awards in the category of newspapers with a combined weekly circulation between 50,001 and 200,000.

As part of the annual contest, UT’s Edward J. Meeman Foundation honors newspapers with $250 awards in the categories of editorials, best single editorial, and public service. The Commercial Appeal (Memphis) swept all three Meeman Awards for newspapers in its circulation group. The News-Herald (Lenoir City) won the top award for editorials and best single editorial in its circulation category.

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

The Mississippi Press Association judged a total of 1,360 entries from seventy-three of the association’s 122 member newspapers. UT has co-sponsored the annual contest since 1940.

A complete list of winners is available online.


Charles Primm (865-974-5180,

Robyn Gentile (865-584-5761,