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Sentinel-News judged best multiweekly in Kentucky

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Staff captures 11 first-place awards, 33 total in contest

By The Staff

The Sentinel-News has been judged the state’s best newspaper of its size for 2011 in the annual Kentucky Press Association’s Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers Contest at the awards banquet Friday in Lexington.

The newspaper won 33 total awards in the Multiweekly Division, including having the best Web site in its class and taking first place in 10 categories for reporting and editing. There were 7 second-place certificates, 10 thirds and 4 honorable mentions in the 26 categories.

It was the second time in three years the newspaper has won the General Excellence award – it finished 3rd in 2010 – and perhaps is the best showing the newspaper ever has had in the state’s pre-imminent contest.

Editor Steve Doyle and staff writer Todd Martin each won three first-places,  staff writer Lisa King won two, and sports writer Josh Cook and graphic designer Todd Stephenson won one apiece.

"I am very proud of our employees and the success we achieved at the KPA awards,” Sentinel-News Publisher Kerry Johnson said. “It is rewarding to be recognized by your peers, and it's always nice to be first.

“We strive to provide the best and most pertinent news for our Shelby County readers. We are dedicated to providing the best product allthe time, and we hope you appreciate what goes into your hometown newspaper."

Doyle won in Best Editorial for an editorial questioning the application of shock probation in the case of Tonya Nicole Brown, in Best General News for his profile of legendary Saddlebred trainer Don Harris’s getting a lifetime award and in Best Business/Agribusiness for his detailing the transition of a longtime veterinary practice to its new owner.

Martin took first place for a portfolio of entries in all the major page-design categories: Best Front Page, Best Feature Page and Best Business/Agribusiness page.

King won in Best On-Going/Extended Coverage for her investigative series on shock probation and the case of Tonya Nicole Brown and for Best Spot News Coverage for an article about the trial of a man suing a doctor for amputating his penis during surgery.

Cook won in Best Sports Feature, for his profile of jockey Jon Court in his first Kentucky Derby, and Stephenson won in Best Graphic for showing how your tax dollar is divided among various entities.

Judges used words such as “good job,” “good story-telling,” “very engaging,” “depth and detail,” “stylish,” and “good variety” to describe the winning entries.

“These awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication of a small staff to produce the best journalism it possibly can, week in and week out,” Doyle said. “Contests are subjective and in the long run not all that valuable in measuring the impact of our work, but they certainly provide a nice reinforcement from our peers that what we are doing represents good work.”

In addition to the first places, The Sentinel-News’winners were:

§       Second place: Cook in Best Sports Story; Martin in Best Enterprise or Analytical Story, King in Best Investigative Story or Series, Martin in Best Feature Picture, King in Best Picture Essay (Spot, General or Feature), Martin in Best Graphic and Doyle in Best Sports Page/Section.

§       Third place: King in Best Feature Story, Cook in Best Sports Column, Spencer Jenkins in Best Sports Feature Story, Jenkins in Best Enterprise or Analytical Story, Doyle/King in Best On-Going/Extended Coverage Story, Jenkins in Best Picture Essay (Spot, General or Feature), the staff in Special Section for its Horse Industry 2011, Doyle in Best Graphic, the staff in Best Lifestyle Page and Doyle in Best Editorial Page.

§       Honorable mention: Doyle in Best Sports Column, Jenkins in Best Sports Feature Story, Doyle/Jenkins in Best On-Going/Extended Coverage Story and Martin in Best Business/Agribusiness Story.

Other newspapers named best in their classes were The Herald-Leaderof Lexington (Daily Class 3), the Kentucky New Eraof Hopkinsville (Daily Class 2), The Winchester Sun(Daily Class 1), The Anderson News(Weekly Class 3), the LaRue County Herald-News(Weekly Class 2), the Todd County Standard(Weekly Class 1), the Fort Campbell Courier(Associate Papers) and the Kentucky Kernel (college papers).

The Sentinel-News, The Anderson Newsand the LaRue County Herald-News are owned by Landmark Community Newspapers, which is based in Shelbyville.