Guardian wins statewide awards
Paper honored in Georgia Press Association's
1998 Better Newspaper Contest

From Staff Reports

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - It's nice when someone recognizes your hard work. The fact that it was our peers - newspaper editors, photographers and designers in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee and Pennsylvania - just made the honor sweeter.

Along with papers from around the state, the Georgia Guardian got a moment in the limelight at the awards ceremony for the Georgia Press Association's annual Better Newspaper Contest June 26, 1998. The contest recognizes the best of Georgia's newspapers, from daily papers with circulations of more than 25,000 to weekly publications which print fewer than 4,000 copies.

The Guardian received awards for layout and design, lifestyle coverage, headline writing, illustration, sports photography and feature writing from the Georgia Press Association, a statewide organization dedicated to the constant improvement of the newspaper industry. The Georgia competition was judged by members of press associations from across the country.

The awards banquet was the highlight of the week-long 112th annual GPA convention, which brings newspaper staffers from around the state together to discuss issues, learn the latest reporting, writing and publishing techniques, and see who rises to the top in the Better Newspaper Contest.
The Guardian competes in Division D, the largest statewide category for weekly papers, for those with circulations greater than 7,000.

The Guardian's awards were:

Layout & Design, First Place.
Judges' comments: "Very consistent, simple and clean design. The quality of the inside pages helped us choose this paper over others with better page one designs. Good use of typography and white space."
Lifestyle Coverage, First Place. Judges' comments: "Good balance, variety, photos, stories, very clean, sharp images, great layout too (even though that wasn't judged). Easy 1st place choice."
Russ Bryant, Sports Photograph - First Place. Judges' comments: "Good sports action photo - nothing like being in the right place at the right time."

Headline Writing, Second Place. Judges' comments: "This newspaper has a headline style of its own that is very effective."
Jason Abbot, Newspaper Illustration - Second Place. Judges' comments: "Cartooning style very distinctive. Good use of different mediums. Caricatures capture the likeness of individuals."

Russ Bryant, Sports Photograph - Third Place. Judges' comments: "good, crisp shot - nice action shot."
Francis Zera, Feature Writing - Third Place. Judges' comments: "Very well written and researched pieces. Good ideas for features."

Georgia Guardian Executive Editor John Bennett said, "The awards for design and photography are further recognition for areas in which the Georgia Guardian has traditionally excelled. Readers appreciate our classic design, easy-to-use format and striking visuals." He added, "The awards for our editorial department, such as Francis Zera's feature writing award, as well as our award for headline writing, show our continuing strength in this area. The first-place lifestyle coverage award, in our first time entering this category, proves that we're on the right track in providing interesting, timely and well-written articles for our readers," he said. "It's encouraging to receive such positive acknowledgement from our professional peers."

In a ceremony held earlier this year, the Guardian received second place for best institutional ad from the Georgia Press Association for the First Liberty Bank campaign coordinated by Director of Advertising Denise Marshal'.

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