Ninety-nine newspapers throughout the state entered the contest, with over 3,000 entries in divisions that include daily metro newspapers with circulations of over 40,000 to small weekly papers with circulations of 3,000 or less per week.
The Jones County News Publisher Josh Lurie and Managing Editor Debbie Lurie-Smith attended the conference and were appreciative of the newspaper’s two first place, four second place and one third place awards.
The News took both first and third place in the Special Issue category. The Jones County Chamber Directory won third place in the category and Letters from War took the top prize. Letters from War was one of the special issues for Jones County’s Bicentennial and contained letters gathered and compiled by the Bicentennial Committee Chairman Aubrey Newby.
“I feel like Aubrey shares this award with us,” Lurie stated.
The newspaper’s other first place award is for Page One, which it also won last year. The judge commented that the paper had “daily quality presentation in a weekly” and contained “high-impact stories.”
Sports photographer Kyle Sears captured second place in the Sports Photography category, and Lurie-Smith received seconds for Local News Coverage and Religion Coverage.
The Jones County News also took second place for General Excellence, a category that encompasses every aspect of the newspaper.
“I think I was most excited about this award. We work hard and it’s nice to get a ‘pat on the back’ from your peers. Josh keeps us continually improving with his knowledge of technology and his creativity,” Lurie-Smith said. “We are one of the few newspapers locally owned, and I feel honored that we can compete with the corporations that own several papers.”