The judges praised the site’s use of video to tell unique stories. They also liked that the site’s calendar had something for everyone with lots of events going on. For those out there wondering how to get something listed – it’s as simple clicking the “post a new event” link below the calendar.
Nearing 400,000 page views monthly, the site is continuing to grow.
Videos are still a highlight of the product as the judges noted. However, even since this contest, the newspaper has added another feature, “Tales of Old Bee County.”
This series highlights the county’s unique past through some of the old photos it has taken through the years and stored at the newspaper office.
Admittedly, we don’t know everything about these photos anymore. Many were just found in a box in the attic, so we can’t even say for sure they were ever published.
Anyone who hasn’t seen this feature on the site’s homepage at mySouTex.com can also go directly to the series at mySouTex.com/tobc to see it.
This year, 169 newspapers submitted 1,703 entries in the Texas Better Newspaper Contest.
Judging was done by members of the Tennessee Press Association.
It took place over two days, one day in Nashville and one day in Knoxville, the home of their TPA. There were about 30 judges total.
Bruce Harper was the other first place winner for this newspaper at this year’s contest.
Again, it was Harper’s photo of a football opponent grabbing the pants of a Trojan running back that caught the judge’s attention.
One judge simply wrote, “good action/ almost comical.” On the second photo by Harper, a judge wrote, “nice shot” of “peak action of wrestler being thrown to the mat.”
In the news photo category, both Editor Jason Collins and reporter Gary Kent won second place for their work.
Kent’s photo was of a police officer walking with a boy and his dog through the smoke of a fire.
“Good composition,” one judge wrote. “It shows the story of the dog, the boy and the police.”
The judge also appreciated Collins’ photo of a serviceman’s reflection in a veterans’ wall.
In the news writing category, it was Collins and Kent again who took the award — this time a third place certificate.
The judges appreciated the work of Collins on the story about law enforcement seizing horses.
One judge wrote, “effective reporting in a way that surely engaged readers, giving human element to a crime.”
In Kent’s story about the tragic death of three people, one judge wrote, “nice detail, good reporting.”
Bill Clough won a third place certificate in the feature photo category. His entries included a tribute to the late county historian Margaret Moser and another of an auction held by the Amish.
The judge’s comments were simple for both entries.
Clough also received a fourth place for his feature writing style.
For his story of a girl forced to grow up quickly after her father’s death, a judge wrote, “A heartwarming story about a little girl that has a lot of courage and strength.”
His second entry was a Christmas feature of people heading home for the holidays and their stop in Beeville at a well-known restaurant. “A good local story,” the judge wrote.
In the editorial category, Jeff Latcham was awarded third place.
The judges said the entry about former Beeville Mayor Jesse DeRusse was a “nice tribute.”
For the editorial, again written by Latcham, about questionable business dealings at City Hall, they added, “casual writing style but engaging. Good straightforward position.”