Post gets 21 honors in state contest

Published 12:30 am Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Vicksburg Post news staff took 21 awards Saturday in the annual Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.

“Ours is a small newspaper, but our readers get a depth and quality of news coverage that many much larger papers can’t provide,” publisher Pat Cashman said after the awards were announced at a meeting in Tunica.

“We have some of the best reporters, photographers and editors anywhere and, once again, the contest results back this up.

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“The design, layout and graphics package put together by our production and pagination staff has again been recognized by our peers as top-quality,” Cashman said. “All in all, I’m impressed by the hard work of the staff.”

Six of the awards were for first place, and two of those were taken by photography chief Meredith Spencer.

His awards were in the Spot News category for a photo taken at a two-car wreck on Halls Ferry Road and in General News for an image showing the detonation of the old Yazoo River bridge, destroyed after a new bridge was built. Spencer also received a second-place award in the Sports Feature category for “Diversity Creates Controversy at VCC” and a third place in Sports Action for a photo titled “Renegade Rolls Over Vicksburg.”

News reporters Pamela Hitchins and Steve Sanoski also received first-place awards. Hitchins received hers for In-Depth/Investigative coverage for a series of reports on health insurance in Vicksburg and Warren County before the U.S. Congress voted to approve President Barack Obama’s health overhaul legislation. Hitchins also received an honorable mention for her story on “Rocket Man,” a Warren County runner about to participate in the Run Thru History.

Sanoski took a first in the General News category for his series on the effects of flooding on farming.

The complete news staff also won two first-place awards, for the newspaper’s design and for a news graphic explaining the realigned City of Vicksburg top staff positions and the pay for those people.

In other photography, staff photojournalist Katie Carter took third-place awards in Sports Feature, Spot News and General News categories.

In other writing and reporting areas, web editor Sean P. Murphy took a third in General Interest Columns, and executive editor Charlie Mitchell took a third in Editorials.

Mitchell also received a third-place award in the Commentary Column. Columnist Gordon Cotton received an honorable mention for his Series of Stories telling about his days as a daily newspaperman.

Sports editor Steve Wilson received a second-place award for his Sports Column, and sports writer Ernest Bowker won a third place in the Sports News category.

The newspaper also received a second-place award in the Lifestyles Page or Section category, a second in Editorial Page or Section and a second in the Sports Page or Section category.