The Johnson City News & Neighbor has won six top awards, including two first-place honors, three second place awards and one third place honor in national newspaper annual competition. The newspaper competed against 600 entries from across America and Canada.
Publisher Bill Derby grabbed top national honors for best original writing, personal column, for his ‘Authentic slang terms throughout history.’The paper also won first-place in Single Ad, black & white category, for a Health Care Heroes ad promoting hero nominations for the paper’s sister publication, The Business Journal of Tri-Cities TN/VA, designed by Graphics Director, Judd Shaw. News & Neighbor editor, Dave Ongie’s story titled ‘Shepard’s Men on a mission to help veterans’, a program sponsored by TruPoint Bank, was a second place winner for Best Local Business Coverage. The paper placed second in Self Promotion for Shaw’s design of the newspaper’s Media Kit. The paper earned a third place award in Front Page Design for its March 30th edition, ‘BUCS stopped one step short of the big dance.’
Scott Robertson won second place for best original writing, Editorial, for his, ‘Haliburton should have company,’ editorial written in response to the Washington County School Superintendent’s abrupt resignation and lack of progress by the Washington County school board.
The results were announced Sept. 29 during the annual meeting of the Independent Free Papers of America, held in Philadelphia. The showing marked the fourth straight year News & Neighbor has collected multiple top awards in the contest, judged by non-member professional graphic artists and professional journalists. The contest period was for content published between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.
Only four other publications from around the country and Canada won more awards than the News & Neighbor.
“The repeat performance in editorial writing, business news, personal column and graphic design honors all stem from a concerted effort to provide more relevant news and editorial coverage while maintaining the News & Neighbor’s important role as a community newspaper,” Publisher Bill Derby said. “Scott Robertson’s third-in-a row editorial award is significant when you consider the number of entries across America and Canada. Dave Ongie’s top business news story proves the caliber of our talented journalists as well as our graphic department’s top ad design award and second place media kit design by Judd Shaw.”
Derby said, “We are a rare breed in the Tri-Cities region as the only locally owned major media. The majority of our employees play a very active role in our community along with serving on numerous boards. The awards confirm our goals of serving our advertising customers and local readers with traditional positive community features with fair, thoughtful and tasteful news.”
The publisher added, “People are looking for news stories that exhibit professionalism and a concern for the community, and that can ask hard questions and report difficult issues without resorting to a ‘Gotcha Approach.’ Such was the case for our prize-winning editorial column.”