At Friday’s Better Newspaper Contest Awards Luncheon, held in Fredericksburg, the Bee-Picayune won first place in general excellence in Division 3, competing against the larger semiweekly newspapers from throughout South Texas.
The judges from Florida commented: “Bright and informative. Good use of newsroom tools,” about Editor Scott Willey’s front pages.
The Bee-Pic also collected a second place in news coverage.
Judges said about Willey’s news writing, concerning the tragic death of popular Moreno Middle School student Leslie Arredondo, “Well written and insightful, without being maudlin.”
In editorial writing, the Bee-Pic won another second place.
Judges said of Co-Publishers Jeff and Chip Latcham’s entries opposing the city sales tax proposition last year, “Nice use of a graph to support the argument. Strong case made for an issue apparently important to the community.”
Jason Collins’ feature writing garnered a third place. Judges said of his stories about Robert Herring’s unusual hobby of flint knapping (making arrowheads and hunting tools) and John Galloway’s collection of worthless cash (old paper money originating from Beeville banks), “A wonderful treatment of a very unique topic and person.”
Also, in the community service category, the Bee-Pic earned an honorable mention for its front-page series, titled “Pain at the Pump,” about how high gas prices last year were affecting the local economy.
In addition, the Refugio County Press won several honors, including first places in news coverage and feature photos by Editor Kenda Nelson, in Division 1, for smaller weeklies, and The Progress, covering Live Oak and McMullen counties, took a third place in Division 2, for larger weeklies, for Editor Rita Arnst’s news photos.
STPA members heard guest speakers Joe L. Galloway of Refugio, on his extensive career covering wars from Vietnam to Iraq and the Cold War in Russia; and S. Griffin Singer, University of Texas journalism professor emeritus, on proper use of headlines and using InDesign to keep papers fresh.
They also enjoyed a president’s reception at the Admiral Nimitz Museum ballroom with a Big Band playing music from the World War II era and a tour of the LBJ Ranch and “Texas White House,” followed by a barbecue at a park on the Pedernales River.