Advance wins 19 awards from press association

The Advance-Monticellonian won a total of 19 awards - including five first places and third in general excellence - in the Arkansas Press Association’s 2012 Editorial Competition, with the winners being announced Saturday during the APA’s annual convention in Little Rock.

The five first-place awards were as follows:

• In-depth series reporting, Tay Smith and Beverly Burks, “Complaint pits MEDC director against district judge”

• Feature story, Mike Mueller, Beverly Burks and Melissa Cason, “Zany pets”

• Sports feature story, Mike Mueller, “Arms Race”

• Humorous column, Beverly Burks, “I screamed like a little girl”

• Single sports feature photograph, Tay Smith, “Monticello’s Marvelous Marlins”

The Advance also won third place in the General Excellence competition, in the Larger Weeklies division.

“A little over one year ago, I decided to make a concerted effort to improve the editorial product at the Advance-Monticellonian,” said publisher Tom White. “Part of that effort included hiring Tay Smith as an editorial consultant. Tay, who is now publishing the newspaper in Perryville, Mo., helped to restructure the editorial department and redesign the Advance.

“Under the leadership of editor Beverly Burks, the newspaper is seeing the fruits of our efforts with these awards,” White continued. “They reflect the commitment of our editorial staff to give our readers the best newspaper possible. We received these accolades due to the hard work of Melissa Cason, Mike Mueller and especially the leadership of our editor, Beverly Burks. The Advance-Monticellonian has been fortunate to be recognized with many awards but I am prouder of these than any received to date.”

He noted that the paper had opted to compete “up,” entering stories and photos in the same category with papers from larger cities such as Walnut Ridge, Bella Vista, Jacksonville and Siloam Springs.

Other awards included:

Second place, news story, Melissa Cason, “DCHS principal arrested”

Second place, sports column, Mike Mueller, “Monticello’s swimming pioneer”

Second place, single news photograph, Beverly Burks, “An early morning”

Second place, coverage of business/agriculture, Beverly Burks and Melissa Cason

Third place, single feature photo, Beverly Burks, “Wheel barrow race”

Third place, single action sports photograph, Mike Mueller, “UAM vs. Valdosta”

Third place, best special issue, staff, “Hometown Reflections”

Third place, coverage of education, Melissa Cason

Third place, freelance writing, Doug Crise, “Late surge propels Billies past Bulldogs”

Third place, web design (competing against all weeklies)

Honorable mention, sports news story, Mike Mueller, “UAM stuns Wonderboys”

Honorable mention, picture page/photo essay, Beverly Burks, “UAM hosts Parent/Family Day”

Honorable mention, community coverage, staff

<p>The Advance-Monticellonian editorial staff won 19 awards in the 2012 Arkansas Press Association Better Newspaper Editorial Contest.</p>


The Advance-Monticellonian

Mailing Address:
PO Box 486
Monticello, AR 71657

Street Address:
314 Main Street
Monticello, AR 71655

Phone: 870-367-5325
Fax: 870-367-6612

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