|Newspaper sales representative Nancy Cammans reads the message inscribed on the Kirby Kirkman Award for general excellence presented to the Sun Advocate by the Utah Press Association. The Sun Advocate has captured the UPA's general excellence award for two consecutive years.|
When the Sun Advocate won the 2003 Kirby Kirkman Award for general excellence from the Utah Press Association, the newspaper's staff members were pleased. But when the Sun Advocate captured the UPA's top award for the newspaper's 2004 publications, the staff members were ecstatic.
"We are very honored to win this again," said publisher Ken Larson. "For a long time, until three years ago, they didn't let papers win that award two years in a row. However, they have changed the rule and now we are the beneficiaries of that decision."
The award is presented to the newspaper amassing the most points on entries submitted for judging in the annual UPA competition.
Participating newspapers can place first, second or third in 22 categories.
The Sun Advocate captured six first place honors, one second place and three third place rankings in the point counting part of the contest.
In addition, the Sun Advocate garnered top honors for the newspaper's web design, but winning the recognition did not count in the overall excellence standings.
At last weekend's UPA spring convention, the award winners were announced in four groups of newspapers that are involved in the contest.
The Sun Advocate captured the overall excellence award in group two.
The Sanpete Messenger captured the honor in group one, while the Davis County Clipper achieved the recognition in group three and The Herald Journal won in group four.
The groupings are determined by the circulation totals of participating UPA member newspapers.
Group one newspapers have circulations of 2,500 subscribers or less.
Group two newspapers have between 2,500 and 5,999 subscribers.
Group three newspapers have circulations of 6,000 or more.
Groups one, two and three are comprised of weekly or bi-weekly newspapers.
The state's daily newspapers along with several Wasatch Front weeklies fall into group four.
The Utah Press Association was established in 1893 when a group of publishers met to form an organization to represent the state's newspapers.
According to the organization's website, "the purpose of Utah Press Association is to function as a collective voice and a legislative watch" for all 56 member newspapers.
The Sun Advocate captured first place trophies in editorial and advertising in the following categories.
Best editorial for a piece on downwinders titled "It's time for leaders to learn from past mistakes," published on Aug. 31, 2004.
Best news photograph for a front page picture accompanying reports about the Utah National Guard's extended tour of duty in Iraq, published on April 20, 2004.
Best lifestyle pages.
The Sun Advocate submitted three focus pages from throughout the year to win the award.
The best run of press ad promoting Murdock Chevrolet on Nov. 23, 2004.
Best run of press ad campaign promoting Eastern Utah Credit Union.
Best classified pages.
The second place award came as a result of a three-part series on Range Creek printed in the Sun Advocate last summer.
The third place entries included:
Best breaking news story for an article on April 20, 2004 reporting the details of the Utah National Guard's extended deployment.
Best sports page, published on Nov. 2, 2004).
Best in-house promotion.
"There are a lot of individual names associated with each of these articles and advertising pieces. But the winning of these awards and, ultimately the Kirkman Award, is a team effort by all the employees of the newspaper," concluded Larson.