The Wise County Messenger was named the top large semiweekly newspaper in Texas for the ninth consecutive year Saturday at the Texas Press Association’s annual convention in San Antonio.
The Messenger won the sweepstakes award in the Better Newspaper Contest with a total of 750 points. First place awards were received for advertising, sports photo and sports coverage.
An advertisement for Booth Brothers designed by graphics designer Pierre Moua drew judges comments of “clean and very appealing,” and an advertisement for RadioShack designed by graphics designer Andrew May drew comments of “love the layout and colors.”
The two sports photos by Joe Duty of a diving stop by Decatur infielder Brennan Moore and a dive for a loose basketball by Northwest’s Priscia Kibibi drew judges comments of “Nice shot, crisp and clean,” and “I love the tight crop. It brings the reader right into the action.”
Sports coverage included sports sections from March and November by sports editor Richard Greene and former sports editor Robert Morgan. Judges said of the work, “Great mix of coverage – game stories, features and news. Creative on cross country package. Feature story on Sutton really sets it off. Clean design and effective photos, especially cross county cover and news photo.”
The Messenger also received second place awards for feature stories by former reporter Travis Measley, feature photos by Duty, page design by graphic artist Keri Willerton, and website by webmaster Todd Griffith. Third place awards were received for general excellence, headline writing by editor Brian Knox and news photo by Duty.
Greene also won a first place award for feature photo and third place for headlines for his work at his previous newspaper, the Lindsay Letter.
Messenger co-owners Phil and Lesa Major, general manager Mark Jordan and advertising manager Lisa Davis attended the convention and accepted the awards. Phil Major was re-elected as vice chairman to a three-year term on the Texas Newspaper Foundation board of directors, and Davis was appointed to a one-year term on the Texas Press Association board of directors.
Other top newspapers competing in the large semiweekly division included the Williamson County Sun in Georgetown, Hood County News in Granbury and the Bastrop Advertiser.