South Jetty is second overall in state wide competition
The South Jetty placed second overall in the large weekly division of the Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
Each newspaper selected two samples for each contest category from work published in 2010. Rules required that at least one entry in each category be selected from two months specified by TPA, and the second entry from a month of the newspaper’s choice. Judging was by members of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. Competition is held for daily, semi-weekly and weekly newspapers that compete against newspapers of similar circulation in 14 categories. Not all newspapers submit entries in each category.
Awards were presented during the association’s 132nd annual summer convention, held at the Hilton Bella Harbor Hotel in Rockwall, east of Dallas.
The South Jetty won one first place, three second places, and four third places to earn second place overall behind Park Cities People of Dallas. The Fredericksburg Standard- Radio-Post was third and the Hays Free Press from Kyle and Buda was fourth.
First place was earned in news writing for stories by Dan Parker and Phil Reynolds. The stories were about bullying in Port Aransas schools by Parker, and a story he and Reynolds worked on together about a fatal shooting of a Port Aransas woman, Lanae Wesner, allegedly by her live-in boyfriend, Jose Francisco “Frank” Guillen in March 2010. In March 2011, Guillen was found incompetent to stand trial and sent to a mental hospital for 120 days for evaluation.
Second places were earned for sports photos, blue moon special sections and news photos.
The sports photos were by Parker and Karen Collins. Parker’s photo was of a Port Aransas High School basketball practice with player Dillon Martin illuminated by a ray of sunshine through a gym window. The photo by Collins was an action shot of Marlin basketball player Tyler Pate going up for a basket.
The blue moon special was the keepsake centennial edition published in October. It was a team effort led by publisher and advertising director Murray Judson with sales assistance from former staffer Misty Cox and graphic design by Elizabeth K. Weaver and Judy Kay Krantz. Stories were provided largely by historian John Guthrie Ford.
News photos were of a group of Port Aransas High School students running in the rain through a flooded street, and another of two women celebrating Mardi Gras and sporting colorful feathered masks. Both were taken by Parker.
Third places were won for editorial writing, feature writing, feature photos and headline writing.
Editorials were by Reynolds and editor Mary Henkel Judson. Reynolds wrote about the Port Aransas ISD board of trustees lack of transparency by going behind closed doors to discuss a new slate of officers. Judson who wrote about politicians who run for office to pad their resumes rather than serve their community and their failure to prepare adequately for meetings.
Parker and Reynolds shared honors in feature writing. Reynolds’ winning story was about ghosts at the Tarpon Inn, and Parker’s was about Grenada veteran Harry Shaw’s journey to get prosthetics 27 years after losing his legs in battle.
A photo of dolphins leading a ship through the Corpus Christi Ship Channel and another of a surfer riding a wave took honors in feature photos. Both were by Parker.
Headlines written by Mary Judson and Parker were winners. “What’s up? Dock” and “ Yippee- yi- yo coyote” by Judson and “Ooh-la-la! No, no, no” by Parker took the honors.
The TPA contest is the last in a series of contests entered by the South Jetty, and the newspaper has been a winner in all three, including the South Texas Press Association and the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association.
“We are extremely proud of our staff, including those whose names do not appear on a plaque or a certificate, because it takes all of us to produce an award-winning newspaper,” said co-publisher Murray Judson.
Those staff members include bookkeeper Dianne Null, office and circulation manager Ginger Massey, advertising sales representative Lisa Shelton, staff writer Susan Armanovs, distribution manager Leslie Willey Jr. and distribution assistants Brent and Shirley Uhl and Laura Amstead.
In addition to the awards presentation, programs on digital media and photography were presented. Murray Judson, as co-first vice president of the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association, serves on the TPA board of directors.
Mary Judson, as a past president of TPA, was chairman of the nominating committee.