Mirror, staffers win newspaper awards

The Mirror received statewide recognition for its community service and four of the newspaper’s staff members won individual honors in the 2003 Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

At the association’s annual conference earlier this month in Spokane, the Mirror was named the second-place winner in the contest’s Community Service category. The award was for the Students of Distinction scholarship program, which annually recognizes 24 top graduating high school seniors in Federal Way.

The students are profiled in a special section published by the Mirror and are honored at a formal banquet, which receives front-page coverage.

With the help of community sponsors, thousands of dollars in scholarships have been awarded in the six years of the program.

Judges in the WNPA contest called the program “the sort of ongoing effort of which the entire community can be proud. Great recognition for exemplary students.”

In journalism categories, the Mirror won awards for reporting and photography.

Staff writer Erica Hall was the first-place finisher in the governmental affairs reporting for her coverage of controversy over the state’s proposal to build a halfway house in King County for convicted sex offenders.

Staff photographer Fumiko Yarita-Bonham won two third-place prizes for her sports and portrait work.

The Mirror won two awards in advertising categories.

Publisher Debbie Kaufman and Morningstar Vreeland, a graphics artist for Sound Publishing, the Mirror’s parent company, combined to capture first place in newspaper self-promotion for their work on ads promoting the Mirror’s fifth anniversary.

Tami Leith, advertising coordinator, was a second-place finisher in the small-space category for her work with Saturn of Puyallup.

The Mirror competed with other newspapers that have circulations of at least 9,501, the largest circulation class in the contest. The Mirror’s circulation is approximately 30,500. Judging was by a University of Colorado journalism professor and two newspaper professionals from that state.

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