Beachcomber wins bevy of awards in statewide contest

The Beachcomber staff won 21 awards at the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA) 2012 Better Newspaper Contest, a statewide competition for small community newspapers.

The newspaper, competing against other papers with similar circulation sizes, won awards for news reporting, feature writing, photography and page design, as well as awards for several ads it designed and special sections it published between 2011 and 2012. Beachcomber publisher Daralyn Anderson accepted the awards at the WNPA’s annual gathering in Yakima on Friday.

“It was such an honor to see my staff’s hard work recognized,” Anderson said. “The WNPA contest is a real measure of excellence for community newspapers.”

The staff won 13 awards for editorial content. Editor Leslie Brown swept the category for Best News Story — Long, with first-, second- and third-place prizes for her stories about a homeless camp that was forced out of the woods, abandoned wells and the search for an elderly man missing on Vashon. She also won the top prize for Best Editorial for her commentary about a homeless encampment in the woods on Vashon.

Brown, together with arts editor Elizabeth Shepherd, won another coveted first prize for their comprehensive coverage of Vashon Allied Arts’ push to build a new multimillion dollar arts center. Judges in that category called their series of articles about the issue a “balanced reporting of arguments from both sides.”

Susan Riemer took first in another competitive category, Best General Feature Story — Long, for her feature on Vashon’s American Hero Quilts program.

And Natalie Johnson won awards for five articles, including first place in the News of the Weird category for a piece on the Vashon Elves’ removal from the main intersection by the sheriff’s department and second place in the Best Environmental Story category for a look at the Island’s growing coyote population. Johnson also won a second-place award for a photo of students at Chautauqua’s new pond.

The Beachcomber’s advertising staff — Daralyn Anderson and Matthew Olds — and its designer Nance Scott also won eight awards for their work on several different ads and special sections. Scott and Anderson received first place in the Best Special Section Cover category for the 2011-2012 Destination Vashon and, with Olds, second place in Most Original Idea for its bulletin board ad page.


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