The Union wins two top prizes
The Union’s front page and Web site each have received first-place prizes in the 2003 Better Newspapers Contest, the state’s major competition for the newspaper industry.
Along with winning two top prizes in the paper’s circulation division, The Union was also honored with a second-place award in the “Sports Story” category of the contest, organized by the California Newspapers Publishers Association.
Contest winners were announced Saturday, when The Union Publisher Jeff Ackerman accepted first-place awards in the categories of “Front Page” and “Best Web Site.”
Specifically, the front page award was for the Oct. 8 coverage of the state’s recall election and for the cover of the Oct. 30 edition – a date selected at random by the contest organizers.
The front page award was based on design (by Design Editor Kim Midboe), news selection, headline writing, and the quality of the articles.
The Oct. 8 front page featured writing by The Union staff writers David Mirhadi, Dave Moller, Millete Birhanemaskel, Brett Nelson and Jamie Bate.
The Oct. 30 front page featured articles by staff writers Roman Gokhman, David Mirhadi and Millete Birhanemaskel, with a photo by John Hart.
For the Web site award, judges based their selection on usefulness of the site to the reader, quality and quantity of community content, ease of navigation and design, special features, and advertising.
The Union’s site – http://www.theunion.com – is overseen by Webmaster Dayna Amboy. This year, the site’s staffing was expanded to include Web Editor Mike Witherow.
In the sports-writing category, Sports Editor Brian Hamilton was awarded second place for his story, “Never forgotten,” which ran Nov. 17, 2003.
Hamilton’s story described the longstanding impact of the 1952 death of Nevada Union High School student Jim Brown, a 15-year-old junior varsity football player who scored four of the team’s five touchdowns just hours before dying in an accident on Highway 20.
In its circulation division, The Union competed against other newspapers with circulations of 10,000 to 25,000. The Union’s print circulation is about 18,800.
Some other newspapers included in this division are The Davis Enterprise, Napa Valley Register, The (Vacaville) Reporter, Auburn Journal, and Marysville’s Appeal-Democrat.
Judges for the Better Newspapers Contest also gave The Union three “blue ribbon” finalist awards in the categories of:
• “Writing” – for Brian Hamilton’s “Never forgotten.”
• “Feature Story” – for David Mirhadi’s salesman profile, “It’s a door-to-door world.”
• “Page Layout and Design” – based on the layout of two complete issues from front to back.
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