Herald-Star receives two AP awards

COLUMBUS – The Herald-Star received two awards from the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Sunday afternoon.

Staff Writer Linda Harris earned second-place honors in the best business writer category, while the newspaper’s staff earned second place in the best special sections category for its work in producing a section welcoming Gov. John Kasich to town to deliver his 2012 State of the State Address in the auditorium of Steubenville High School.

“We’re happy that the work of Linda and our staff was recognized by their peers,” said Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. “Our division is extremely competitive, which makes their honors even more significant.”

The Herald-Star competes in the AP’s Division II, which includes, newspapers with daily circulations between 8,000 and 12,999. The entries for the that division were judged by editors from The Courier, in Houma, La., and the Cumberland (Md.) Times-News. The awards covered work produced during the 2012 calendar year.

When evaluating the work of Harris, the judges said that it features “good writing,” and that she has “an interesting way of telling stories.”

The special section offered an in-depth look of the success achieved by the staff and pupils at Wells Academy, which had been named the top public school in Ohio, and a preview of Kasich’s visit. The section included responses from more than 70 area residents, who were asked what they would have asked the governor if they had the opportunity.

According to the judges, the section featured “nice pictures and lots of reader input” while offering “nice coverage.”

First place in the special sections category went to The Bryan Times. David Berman of the Chillicothe Gazette finished in first place in the best business writer category.

General Excellence awards for 2012 went to The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, The (Canton) Repository, the Springfield News-Sun, the Chillicothe Gazette and The (East Liverpool) Review.

The Columbus Dispatch won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishments in pursuing freedom of information. The Dispatch won with its entry “Counting Kids Out.”

Sixty-seven daily newspapers submitted 2,742 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2012.

The awards were presented as part of the OAPME’s Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon held at the Hilton Columbus at Easton Town Center.