TULSA — The Ardmoreite received 10 news excellence awards on May 10 at the annual Associated Press/Oklahoma Newspaper Executives awards banquet held at the Mayo Hotel.
The prestigious statewide awards were presented for work in 26 categories during the 2013 calendar year. More than 35 newspapers were eligible to compete, and were divided into three divisions based on circulation figures.
The Ardmoreite competed in the second-highest circulation division against daily newspapers in Bartlesville, Enid, McAlester, Muskogee, Norman, Ponca City, Shawnee and Stillwater.
Judging of entries was done by Associated Press-member newspapers in Idaho, Utah and Washington.
The Ardmoreite received first-place recognition for graphics/illlustrations, non-Page 1 layout and spot sports reporting. For the graphics/illustrations categories, entries from the nine Division B newspapers were combined with the 23 Division C newspapers for the single award.
Entries for graphics/illustrations were for usage of photos associated with the introduction of a smart meter system designed to make water billing more efficient in Wilson, the annual Red River Drum and Auxiliary Camp at Lake Murray, and back to school.
Winning in the non-Page 1 layout categories were full-page designs for the Sunday lifestyles section related to stories about the Bedre Fine Chocolates facility in Davis, the Rawhide Cowboy Church in rural Ardmore, and the opening of the Artesian Hotel in Sulphur.
The judges awarded first place for spot sports reporting to coverage of an investigation into first-year Turner boys basketball coach Darin Gammill for alleged “inappropriate conduct” regarding student athletes.
Second-place awards were received by The Ardmoreite for general excellence, Page 1 deadline layout, reviews, sports columns and sports features.
Entries for general excellence, which is the top individual category in any competition, were from Aug. 27-28-29, dates which were determined by the Associated Press.
Page 1 deadline layout entries had as a centerpiece stories about a cross-country bicycle trek from Pennsylvania to Colorado by a graduate student, the re-emerging threat of bed bugs, and an annual flu vaccination reminder.
Awards for reviews were determined for those associated with Ardmore Little Theater productions of “August: Osage County” and “Les Miserables,” as well as a comparison of hip-hop music artists.
Recognition for sports columns came from entries related to Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, Texas A&M prima donna Johnny Manziel, and cynicism regarding Major League home run hitters.
A feature about Lone Grove freshman hurdler Travis Werner earned the judges’ runner-up spot.
The Ardmoreite garnered two third-place awards in the categories of public service reporting and spot sports reporting.
In the public service reporting category, a three-day series on the facts and myths associated with diabetes.
The Ardmoreite earned a second award in spot sports reporting, the third-place citation for coverage of Ardmore’s last-second, come-from-behind football win over Deion Sanders’ Prime Prep Academy.
“The number one priority for The Ardmoreite newsroom is to be the premiere information source for our readership and for southern Oklahoma on multiple platforms — print, mobile and digital. It’s an honor for members of our newsroom staff and leadership to be recognized in the APONE contest for their community coverage, writing talent and news integrity, in addition to creativity in layout and design. It’s exciting to be recognized in so many categories, but particularly in general excellence. I appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating quality news products everyday and congratulate all of our winners,” said Kim Benedict, editor and publisher for The Ardmoreite.
The Ardmoreite has also been notified it will receive multiple awards on June 13 from the Oklahoma Press Associations Better Newspaper Contest.