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Outlook, Post, Estacada News claim top awards for newspaper excellence

Reporting, graphics staff members recognized in annual ONPA contest -

PMG PHOTO - Outlook staffers were honored with 12 individual awards.For the first time in recent history, the Gresham Outlook, Sandy Post and Estacada News have swept the field in their respective general-excellence category divisions in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

Each newspaper was awarded the ONPA’s Elmo Smith first place award for General Excellence, the top award given annually to member newspapers.

“I’m incredibly proud of our hardworking staff, including the newsroom, advertising and graphics departments,” Executive Editor Steve Brown said. “It was a team effort all around.”

The general excellence awards reflect the high quality of the overall product, not just the news and feature stories. In addition to writing and reporting, the awards also consider page design, photo quality, printing quality, opinion-page content, special sections and the presentation of display advertisements.

Because of differences in circulation numbers, the newspapers were not in direct competition during the contest. But all three newspapers are published by a unified staff out of the same office in downtown Gresham.

The ONPA examined three issues from each newspaper when awarding the general excellence prize. For The Outlook, those issues were “NBA Great,” “H2NOOOOOOO!” and “The Business of Freedom.”

The Outlook staff also claimed 12 individual awards:

• Shannon O. Wells and Kylie Wray: First place, Best Coverage of Business and Economic Issues, “A bare Mount Hood = strain on businesses.”

• Teresa Carson: First place, Best Educational Coverage, “Learning by Doing.”

• Jodi Weinberger: Third place, Best Enterprise Reporting, “GRESHAM POLICE: A study in black and white.”

• Katy Sword: First place, Best Feature Story-General, “Corbett’s Cliffside Conundrum.”

• Anne Endicott: Second place, Best Feature Story-General, “Spirits, shadows and things that go BUMP in the night.”

• Josh Bradley: Second place and third place, Best Graphics, “Police diversity” and “Hotel crime.”

• Katy Sword: Second place, Best Lifestyle Coverage, “500 miles, 34 days: A new perspective.”

• Tiffaney O’Dell: Second place, Best Page One Design.

• Dave Ball: First place, Best Sports Story, “Dailey Double.”

• Outlook staff: First place, Best Spot News Coverage, “Rain and Disruption” (featuring the storm-related washout of the culvert on 257th Avenue near Mt. Hood Community College.)

• Jodi Weinberger: Second place, Best Writing, “Road to coverage,” “Room for Improvement” and “A study in black and white.”