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The Vicksburg Post, Vicksburg Living judged among the best in Mississippi

Each year, Mississippi newspapers and magazines are critiqued and judged, with winners announced during the Mississippi Press Association’s annual summer convention.

This year, The Vicksburg Post and Vicksburg Living were named among the best products in Mississippi during the awards ceremony in Biloxi Saturday. The newspaper and magazine won a total of 21 awards in categories ranging from writing and photography to design. Eight of those awards were first place honors.

The Vicksburg Post finished second in the general excellence category, while Vicksburg Living was named the top magazine periodical.

“We have a great team,” said Catherine Boone, president and publisher of Vicksburg Newsmedia, LLC. “Our staff takes pride in telling the stories of people in Vicksburg and Warren County, and it is humbling to see their good work recognized by others in the industry. Vicksburg Living being named the best magazine among all daily newspapers and The Vicksburg Post being named one of the two best dailies in Mississippi is especially gratifying.”

Ernest Bowker, The Post’s sports editor, won six awards overall, including first place honors in Best Sports News Story and Best Game Story. The Post’s sports section earned second place in the Best Sports Page or Section category.

Bowker also earned a third place award in Best Magazine Story for an article he wrote in Vicksburg Living.

Also in sports, former sports writer Cody Thomason earned a first place award in Best Sports Feature for his article on the lifelong friendship between football legends Billy Shaw and Richard Price.

“This was a thoroughly enjoyable read,” the judges wrote in their comments. “By the end, I felt like I knew the subjects. This was less a sports story and more a relationship story with sports as the anchor. Very nice job in a field full of well-written features.”

Post reporter John Surratt and former reporter Brandon O’Connor won a first place award in Best In-Depth Investigative Coverage for their series on the discussion and planning for the new sports complex now located on Halls Ferry Road.

“John Surratt and Brandon O’Connor did a superb job of explaining the history of, the need for and the advantages of a new sports complex in Vicksburg,” the judges said.

O’Connor also earned a first place award for his series of articles breaking down the details of the school bond that voters approved last year.

Courtland Wells, The Post’s photographer, earned a number of awards for his work, including first place awards in Best Sports Feature Photograph for his photograph that appeared on the Playmakers magazine cover in August and Best Sports Action Photograph for his photograph of Alcorn State football players dousing head coach Fred McNair and celebrating the Braves’ win over Southern University in the SWAC Championship.

“What great timing,” the judges said. “These shots are not always easy to get even when you know they are coming.”

Wells also earned a second place award in Best Sports Feature Photograph and second place in Best Sports Action Photograph.

The Vicksburg Post’s Terri Cowart Frazier, who takes the lead each time in planning content for Vicksburg Living, along with Wells, received a second place award for Best Magazine Story. Frazier, along with former Post editor Rob Sigler, earned a third place award in the Best Lifestyles Page or Section category.

Sigler also earned a second place award in Best General Interest Column, and teamed up with Jan Griffey, the Post’s former general manager, for a third place award in the Best Editorial Page or Section category.

The newspaper also earned a third place award in Best Design.

The annual Better Newspaper Contest Awards are presented during the Mississippi Press Association’s summer convention.

The judges reviewed newspaper and magazine submissions produced between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2018.