|Advertising director Jenni Fasselin, webmaster Jason Bailey and publisher Richard Shaw show off several of the statewide awards captured by the Sun Advocate in the 2006 Utah Better Newspaper Contest.|
In February, the Sun Advocate won the award for general excellence within the newspaper's parent company, Brehm Communications.
Last Saturday night, the Carbon County newspaper came close to winning the same award within the state, missing the honor by a only few points.
From large dailies to monthly journals, newspapers across the state submit entries in January to compete in the Utah Press Association's journalism, layout and advertising competition. The Utah Better Newspaper Contest is comprised of 30 categories.
On March 31, the newspapers capturing the awards were announced during the UPA's winter convention in St. George. Overall, the Sun Advocate won 13 awards in various categories, with four first place finishes.
"It was exciting being there and collecting the awards for the Sun Advocate," said publisher Richard Shaw. "Our paper had done well at our company contest in California in February, but I didn't know what to expect on Saturday night. I thought we might have a chance to win the general excellence award in this competition, too."
Utah's 2006 newspaper contest submissions were judged by the Montana Press Association.
Newspapers competing in the annual UPA contest are divided into four categories.
Classification one includes newspapers with circulations of less than 2,500.
Classification two includes newspapers that have circulations between 2,500 and 5,999.
Classification three includes newspapers that have circulations of more than 6,000.
Utah's daily newspapers compete in classification four in the statewide contest.
The Sun Advocate falls into classification two of the statewide competition.
The best newspapers in the groups are determined by the total number of points received by the publications in the 30 different categories. Newspapers receive points for placing first, second and third in the categories.
The Sun Advocate won various places in the following categories:
First place for best feature story.
First place for best editors column.
First place for the best run-of-press advertising campaign.
First place for the best advertising idea.
Second place for the best sports page.
Second place for the best run-of-press advertisement.
Second place for the best news coverage.
Third place for the best classified pages.
Third place for the best use of color in advertising.
Third place for the best lifestyle pages.
Third place for the best general news story.
Third place for the best breaking news story coverage.
"It was almost embarrassing to get up and get so many awards, especially since I also had to pick up the awards for the Emery County Progress as well," commented Shaw. "Between accepting awards for the Progress (which took first place in category one) and the Sun Advocate, I was jumping up and walking to the front of the hall to get an award every time they announced another category."
In addition to the Sun Advocate, Shaw is the publisher for the Emery County Progress.
Shaw attributed the Sun Advocate wins to a strong editorial team at the newspapers as well as a very good advertising and composition department, which designs and builds the ads for customers.
"Our editorial people do an outstanding job of gathering news and photos and then putting the paper together twice each week," said the Sun Advocate publisher. "Good, relevant, timely and community oriented content is what makes a community paper great. It's a great deal of work for them and it takes a lot of hours of dedication to get it done."
The top newspaper in category two was the Wasatch Wave from Heber City. The Wasatch Wave received the same number of first place awards as the Sun Advocate, but had more second place finishes to earn more points.
One of the first place awards the Sun Advocate received was in the area of electronic newspapers.
The Sun Advocate was judged as having the best Web site of any newspaper competing in category two of the statewide contest. However, that first place award does not count in points toward the overall general excellence.
"The Sun Advocate has won its category's general excellence award during three of the last six years. But second is certainly no disappointment to us, especially when competing with such fine papers from around the state," said Shaw. "Now we can work on making both our papers in the Castle Valley area even better."