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Federal Way Mirror wins 12 awards at 2013 WNPA conference

Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA) is an advocate for community newspapers, freedom of the press and open government. The association is dedicated to helping members advance editorial excellence, financial viability, professional development, and a high standard of publication quality and community leadership. WNPA represents about 130 community newspapers in Washington state. - Courtesy image
Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA) is an advocate for community newspapers, freedom of the press and open government. The association is dedicated to helping members advance editorial excellence, financial viability, professional development, and a high standard of publication quality and community leadership. WNPA represents about 130 community newspapers in Washington state.
— image credit: Courtesy image

The Washington Newspaper Publishers Association (WNPA) held its 126th annual conference Oct. 3-5 in Olympia.

Sound Publishing newspapers won a total of 218 awards in the 2013 Better Newspaper Contest. The contest, which was judged by members of the Tennessee Press Association, recognized excellence in advertising and editorial efforts between April 2012 and March 2013 in four circulation categories.

The Federal Way Mirror earned 12 awards, including the following honors:

General Excellence, second place (Group IV, largest circulation category). Judge's comments: Respect the mix of news and features, especially heading into the Christmas news dead zone; police blotter well done; photos were a surprise — loved the washing machine cases wreck pic; opinion pages are timely, well written. (click here to see one of the issues judged in the contest)

Best Education Story, first place, "Students study nuclear reactor in man's garage," by Greg Allmain. Judge's comment: A fun read. The story taps into the unique opportunity for these students.

Best Online Photo Gallery or Slideshow, first place (all circulation groups), "May Day protest turns violent," by Greg Allmain. Judge's comment: Loved the up-close action shots in the heat of a dangerous situation. Well done.

Best sports feature, third place, "Mat Classic: Federal Way's wrestling couple," by Casey Olson. Judge's comment: Good story that combines triumph with tragedy, covering a lot of ground in a short amount of space. It also leaves reader with some nice drama at the end regarding if both will end up going to the same college.

Best topical column, third place (all circulation groups), "Sidelines," by Casey Olson. Judge's comment: Good use of relevant topics on which most sports fans can relate. Too bad you had to get that awful cold. Probably the rest, and the basketball games, did you some good. Hope you kept your job.

Best editorial pages, third place (all circulation groups).

Best editorial, third place, "Public deserves open discussion on council seats." Judge's comment: The Federal Way Mirror did an excellent job of getting ahead of a potential "government sunshine" issue by astutely pointing out the foolishness of having a secret meeting to discuss candidates for two vacant city council seats. The paper could have waited and "viewed with alarm" the use of executive session to transact public business, but the Mirror did not.

News writer of the year, finalist (all circulation groups), Andy Hobbs. Judge's comment: Andy Hobbs shows his versatility on a variety of topics and handles them well. Good writing paired with quotes and background for context are very good. (click here to see one example)

Best Special Section Cover, first place, "Explore Federal Way," by Marcie Shannon, Marcie Shannon, Rudi Alcott, Cindy Ducich, Mary Lou Goss. Judge's comment: Great photo — uncluttered invitation to visit this community.

Best Promotion of Newspaper — Single House Ad, second place, "Waiting on Christmas," by Rudi Alcott, Marcie Shannon, Cindy Ducich, Karen Henry. Judge's comment: Although I typically hate feathered edge effect, in this piece it works with the theme of nostalgia. And I find the idea very personal and engaging with the readers.

Best Multiple Advertiser Ad (one to two full pages), third place, "Father's Day," by Rudi Alcott, Mary Lou Goss, Cindy Ducich, Marcie Shannon. Judge's comment: Great ad covering Father's Day gift ideas from head to toe.

Best Use of Clip Art in Ad, third place, "Federal Way Farmers Market Chili Cook-Off," by Marcie Shannon, Cindy Ducich. Judge's comment: Nice use of clip art to reinforce the message within the ad.

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