Herald wins 19 state journalism awards, including 8 first-place

From staff reportsMarch 22, 2014 

Herald reporters Anna Douglas and Jonathan McFadden were among the 1st place winners during Saturday's South Carolina Press Association awards banquet.

— The Herald and heraldonline.com earned 19 awards – including eight first-place honors – Saturday in the South Carolina Press Association’s annual contest.

Heraldonline.com was named the best website for medium-sized newspapers for the fourth consecutive year. This year, heraldonline.com tied with two other McClatchy-owned newspaper websites: myrtlebeachonline.com and islandpacket.com in Hilton Head. The Herald’s Facebook page placed second for medium-sized newspapers.

The Herald’s sister weekly newspapers – the Fort Mill Times, the Lake Wylie Pilot and the Enquirer-Herald – won 12 awards. The Fort Mill Times placed second in the prestigious Bender Award for Assertive Journalism category for weekly newspapers for a story that questioned a meeting held by Fort Mill town officials.

Herald columnist Andrew Dys won two first-place awards, one for a feature on a Chester County woman who was reunited with her son after 64 years, and another for a profile of Wayne Vinson and his recovery after an accident at the Catawba mill of Resolute Forest Products. Dys also took a third-place award for a short story on Abby Ross, a 9-year-old Salvation Army bell ringer.

Reporter Anna Douglas shared in two first place awards. She and reporter Jonathan McFadden won for spot news reporting for their story about charges’ being dropped after police determined they had the wrong suspect in the robbery of a CVS store. Douglas and sportswriter Bret McCormick won for spot sports reporting for their account of Winthrop University basketball coach Pat Kelsey’s reaction to shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Editorial page editor James Werrell won first place for humor column writing and third place in the statewide E.A. Ramsaur Award for Editorial Writing.

Adam O’Daniel won best sports video for his coverage of the Northwestern-York high school football game.

The Herald’s “Class” special back-to-school section won for best news special section among all daily newspapers.

The Herald’s second-place winners were Don Worthington for business reporting, and the late Barry Byers for spot sports reporting for his coverage of Lewisville High School’s state basketball championship.

Third-place winners were McFadden for use of Twitter, for beat reporting for his coverage of public safety, and reporting in-depth for a series of stories about the state Department of Social Services’ failure to perform complete background checks; Douglas for enterprise reporting about the city of Rock Hill’s practice of using no-bid contracts, and news feature writing for a story about the annual year-end adoption hearings in York County Family Court; and Jeff Sochko for a photo gallery on Lewisville’s state championship.

The Herald’s sister weekly publications won four first-place awards.

Fort Mill Times reporter Mac Banks’ series on the Charlotte Knights was selected as the best sports series for the state for all newspapers, daily and weekly.

Former Fort Mill Times reporter Jenny Overman won first place among weekly newspapers for her series of news articles about the homeless; Lake Wylie Pilot reporter John Marks won first place among weeklies for health reporting; and Enquirer-Herald Editor Jennifer Becknell won first place for a profile of World War II veteran Joe Williams of Clover.

The Fort Mill Times also took second-place awards for its Facebook page, sports feature story and third-place awards for editorial writing, sports enterprise reporting, series of news articles and its website.

The Enquirer-Herald won a third-place award for feature writing.

“Lake Wylie Today,” produced for the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce by SC Biz, also won, taking first place for magazines in the associate member division.

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