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Our newspapers are generally excellent

Pardon me for a moment while I boast, but I couldn’t be more proud of the people who pour their energy and dedication into the pages of The Outlook, Sandy Post and Estacada News.

The Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association 2014 Better Newspaper Contest results were released Friday, July 18. All three newspapers are well represented in these awards.

Industry awards alone are not enough to define the value of these newspapers to their communities, but they do offer a good idea as to how well these newspapers stack up against like-sized publications throughout Oregon.

Of course, the pinnacle of awards, the Elmo Smith Award of General Excellence, is the golden ring that each newspaper strives to achieve. This award takes into consideration the quality and quantity of news and feature articles, photos, graphics, advertisements, special sections and the quality of printing. In short, it takes dedication from each department within the building to claim this award.

For 2014, The Outlook and Estacada News claimed first-place victories in the general excellence competition within their categories. The Sandy Post took second in its division.

This is the third year in a row The Outlook finished in the top two of general excellence; it was first place in 2012 and second in 2013.

Of course, staff members also claimed individual awards for their work at writing, photography and design.

These awards are testament to the commitment we share at bringing our readers the best local coverage of their communities in a geographic region from Rockwood in the west to the Mount Hood communities and Estacada and Eagle Creek.

Here’s a look at the awards received by our staff in the 2014 ONPA Better Newspaper Contest.

Group D: (Gresham Outlook)

— First place, Elmo Smith Award of General Excellence: The Outlook.

— First place, best coverage of business and economic issues: Anne Endicott, “Under the Alder Tree.”

— First place, best general feature story: Cari Hachmann, “That’s why they call it fishing."

— First place, best personality feature story: Anne Endicott, “Second chance.”

— First place, best lifestyle coverage: Lisa K. Anderson, “Overturn of DOMA.”

— First place, best sports story: Dave Ball, “Building Raider Nation.”

— First place, best photo essay: Jim Clark, “Barberry Village (a three-part series).

— Second place, best enterprise reporting: Riley Stevenson, “Barberry Village” (a three-part series).

— Second place, best spot news coverage: Lisa K. Anderson/Kris Anderson, “Bakery protests anything but sweet.”

— Third place, best writing: Anne Endicott, “World War II heroes; Checking in to check out; Teen uses personal life.”

— Third place, best news photo: Jim Clark, “Thousand Acres.”

— Third place, best special section: Staff, “That Was then, This is Now.”

GROUP F (Sandy Post)

— Second place, Elmo Smith Award of General Excellence: The Sandy Post.

— First place, best general feature story: Cari Hachmann, “That’s why they call it fishing.”

— Second place, best personality feature story: Mara Stine, “Every signature has a story.”

— Third place, best page one design: Tiffaney O’Dell.

GROUP G (Estacada News)

— First place, Elmo Smith Award of General Excellence: Estacada News.

— First place, best educational coverage: Isabel Gautschi, “Guns in schools?”

— First place, best enterprise reporting: Isabel Gautschi, “Where is Estacada’s history?”

— First place, best writing: Isabel Gautschi, “Renata reads a lot like Estacada.”

— Second place, best general feature story: Isabel Gautschi, “Out to Pasture Sanctuary.”

— Second place, best personality feature story: Isabel Gautschi, “Local man launches cartoon zine.”

— Third place, best enterprise reporting: Isabel Gautschi, “Sanctuary or Slum?”

— Third place, best personality feature: Isabel Gautschi, “Moore goes out of his mind.”

— Third place, best news photo: Isabel Gautschi, “Citizens honor military veterans.”

Steve Brown is executive editor of The Outlook, Sandy Post and Estacada News.



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