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‘News’ wins top newspaper prize

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The Yellow Springs News was named the top newspaper in its class recently at the annual Osmond C. Hooper Newspaper Show, the annual competition among Ohio weekly newspapers. The contest took place Feb. 14 in Columbus as part of the annual Ohio Newspaper Association annual convention.

The News won the general excellence award for its division. The News last won the general excellence award in 2006, and before that, its most recent general excellence win was in 1985.

Seventy-four weeklies took part in the competition, which is divided into five divisions based on circulation size. The News’ division, which included 15 papers, was for the smallest weeklies, with circulation from 858 to 2,088. The News circulation is about 1,800. The contest covered papers between Aug. 1, 2006 to Aug. 1, 2007.

The general excellence award is given to the paper in each class that garners the most points in the contest’s 14 categories. The News won two first-place awards, in special edition and in advertising; three second-place awards, in news coverage, in-depth reporting and sports coverage; and one third-place award, in original columns.

The News won first place in the special editions category for the 2006 “Guide to Yellow Springs,” titled “Coming Home,” which featured stories of young adults who grew up in Yellow Springs, moved away and then returned. The judges wrote that “the writing, editing and photography are all of high quality. Great cover and nice-looking tabloid devoted to a novel theme.”

The “Coming Home” stories were written by Associate Editor Lauren Heaton, Editor Diane Chiddister and free-lance writer Tara Miller. Graphic designer Matt Minde designed the cover, and designers Minde and Pam Geisel created the ads.

In advertising, the judges awarded the News first place, and commented that the paper has “clever ads with nice attention to detail.” Graphic designers Minde, Geisel and Lisa Wolters created the ads. Robert Hasek is the director of advertising.

The News won second in news coverage, with judges commenting that the paper has an “interesting mix of news and feature stories on the front page.” The second place in-depth reporting prize was awarded for coverage of the closing of Antioch College (June through July 2007 only), and the stories were “well-researched” on a “topic that was incredibly important to the community,” according to judges. The stories were written by Heaton, Chiddister and reporter Virgil Hervey.

The News also won second for sports coverage that focused on YSHS senior Sam Borchers, who won the mile in state that year. Judges commented that the photos were effective and the stories were “well-written, with creative approaches being applied.” The articles were written by Heaton.

The News won third place in original columns for Jimmy Chesire’s essays on local t-ball. The judges stated that “Cheshire’s exuberant columns about a local t-ball league capture what small-town kids’ sports are all about.”

Other News staff members who contributed to the paper’s success are Dee Sorrell, office manager; Donna Riley, classified advertising; Peg Champney, bookkeeping; Kathryn Hitchcock, advertising and proofreading; Ann Gayek and Suzanne Patterson, proofreading; Mike Triplett, circulation; and Doug Hinkley, business manager.

The News is co-owned by Chiddister and Hasek, who are equal majority shareholders of News stock. Former publisher Karen Gardner is a minority third partner.


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