The Bee-Picayune also won a second-place award for best newspaper web Site, third-place award for its community service project and fourth-place awards in editorial writing and news photography.
The TPA convention was held June 18-20 in Austin.
At total of 192 newspapers entered 1,896 entries in the contest this year.Contest entries were published in 2008.
Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association members judged this year’s contest.
Judges said they were impressed with the Bee-Picayune’s headlines, and gave the semiweekly newspaper the top prize in that category.
The Bee-Picayune entered three headlines: “Dolly not doing diddley! First hurricane to hit Bee County in four years dumps rain, blows some but causes little damage”; “Bride’s ‘I do’ hits snafu – Iraq sandstorm may delay wedding day for Beeville bride-to-be”; and “Misty eyes in rain drop room: Created to help unfortunate children in time of need, storeroom of clothing, toys and dry goods is disorganized and half-empty.”
A judge from the Oregon Newspaper Publisher’s Association gave the Bee-Picayune headlines a rating of excellent for cleverness, creativity and originality.
“Attention grabber,” the judge commented on the Hurricane Dolly headline. “Works well with the second deck.”
As for the wedding snafu headline, the judge commented: “Gotta read this story.”
And for the Misty Eyes headline, the same judge said, “Nice word play — not too flip and gets a point across.”
The Bee-Picayune’s Web site earned a ranking of excellence for its content, timeliness of stories and consistency.
“I like your blog-like interface,” the judge said. “Navigation works well.”
The Bee-Picayune’s community service project, a series of stories, photos and editorials titled “Pain at the Pump,” also earned judges’ praise.
“Thought provoking,” the judge commented. “The editorials were well-written and convincing. They proved very effective at setting the stage for the series of local news articles. Collectively, the series explored the global ‘cause and effect’ perspective and the local realities of the higher energy costs. The local perspective captured the essence of house the business person, the worker, and the government are feeling the pinch and the sacrifices each are having to make. Well done.”
Bee-Picayune editorial writers Jeff and Chip Latcham also garnered judges’ respect.
“Excellent local significance,” the judge commented.
The Bee-Picayune entered two editorials in the contest. “Vote no on city proposal: Economic growth generates returns” urged voters to cast nay ballots in the city referendum regarding the use of 4b sales tax for street repair and maintenance.
“Use of graph to illustrate your point was a real plus,” the judge said. “You made a strong point that the economic development spending had paid off.”
In a second editorial, titled, “City needs to come to grips with economic development,” the editorial writers for the Bee-Picayune urged the City of Beeville, Bee Development Authority and Chamber of Commerce to work together to improve economic development opportunities in the region.
“A reasonable argument made,” the judge concluded.
Judges gave the Bee-Picayune an excellent rating for the composition of its news photos entered in the contest.
The photos, a kid jumping into the swimming pool by Scott Reese Willey, and firefighters battling a house fire taken by Gary Kent, finished fourth in the competition.
“Great framing and shot!” the judge commented on Willey’s photo.
“Good composition,” the judge commented on Kent’s photo.