Times-Journal named among the state’s top newspapers

Published 9:35pm Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Selma Times-Journal has again been named one of the top daily newspapers in Alabama.

The Times-Journal earned second place in the General Excellence Category in the small daily division of the Alabama Press Association’s 2014 Better Newspaper Contest. The results were unveiled Saturday during the Alabama Press Association’s Summer Convention held in Sandestin, Fla.

This marks the second consecutive year the Times-Journal has received the second place honor, again finishing behind the Opelika-Auburn News.

“I am incredibly proud of the staff of The Selma Times-Journal for their commitment to serving our readers, advertisers and our community,” Times-Journal Publisher Dennis Palmer said. “Our ultimate goal is to report news fairly and accurately and produce interesting and informative products that are beneficial to our community, and being recognized by our peers is affirmation that we’re being successful in our mission. Regardless of whose name is on the award, each employee should feel proud of this accomplishment as they all play a significant role in producing quality products for the community we serve.”

As part of the overall recognition, the Times-Journal also received the first place award in Best Public Service in the small daily newspaper category. The award was won for a series of articles written by Times-Journal reporter Josh Bergeron how proposed Medicaid prescription changes by the State of Alabama would impact residents and local pharmacies.

This year’s competition marked a change in many of the categories and for the first time included categories involving a newspaper’s use of social media.

“We are ecstatic with the results of this year’s Better Newspaper Contest,” Times-Journal editor Tim Reeves said. “We have said it before that we do not do our job every day for awards, but it is nice to have our work respected and recognized by our peers.”

The 2014 Better Newspaper Contest was judged by the West Virginia Press Association.

In addition to the second place award in the General Excellence category, the Times-Journal staff earned the following awards:

• First place in the Best Editorial Page category

• First place in the Best Economic Coverage category

• Second place in the Best Education Coverage category

• First place in the Best Layout and Design category

•  First place in the Best Public Service category for a series of articles written by Josh Bergeron

• Second place in the Best Website category for www.selmatimesjournal.com

• Third place in the Best Business Story or Column category for a story by former Times-Journal reporter Sarah Cook on new Dallas County industry Algix entitled “Growing Plastic”

• Second place in the Best Editorial category for an editorial criticizing the Selma City School Board’s decision not to approve a system-wide investigation following the arrest of a teacher for sexual relations with a student

• Second place in the Best Editorial Column or Commentary category for a column entitled “Why not Selma? Why not now?” by Times-Journal reporter Jay Sowers

• First place in the Best Spot News Photo category for a photograph taken by former Times-Journal reporter Sarah Cook entitled “Jumper Saved”

• Second place in the Best Photo Essay category for a series of photos documenting the annual Easter Parade at Leika’s School by Times-Journal editor Tim Reeves entitled “Egg’stravagant”

• Third place in the Best Photo Essay category for a series of photo documenting the annual Veterans Day ceremony at Memorial Stadium by Times-Journal editor Tim Reeves entitled “In Their Honor”

• First place in the Best Special Section category for the annual Salute to Industry edition produced by the Times-Journal staff

• First place in the Best Niche Publication for “Selma The Magazine” produced by the Times-Journal staff

• First place in the Best Use of Social Media category for the Times-Journal’s Facebook contest to select the cover of the 2013 edition of Gridiron

• First place in the Best Original/Creative Idea for the cartoon map created by the Times-Journal staff

• Second place in the Best Presentation of Online Advertising category for advertising displayed on www.selmatimesjournal.com

• Second place in the Best Online Revenue Builder category for an advertising campaign developed by Times-Journal advertising representative Bill Tomey for Frames ‘N Things

• Third place in the Best Presswork category for the overall printing of the newspaper

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