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Posted on: October 13, 2016

Wise County Messenger Wins National Awards – Decatur, TX

By Messenger Staff | Wise County Messenger


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AWARD-WINNING PHOTO – Joel Bartlett with Wise County EMS carries Mia Reisch from her flooded home on West Kentucky Street in Chico. This photo was taken in June 2015 when Tropical Depression Bill dumped up to 7 inches of rain on parts of Wise County. It won first-place breaking news photo in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


The Wise County Messenger earned four first-place awards and 11 awards overall in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.


Winning newspapers were recognized at NNA’s 130th annual convention last weekend in Franklin, Tenn.


Photographer Joe Duty won first place breaking news photo for an image captured during flooding in June 2015. The judge said Duty’s work was the “clear winner.”


“It required the photographer to be in the middle of that flooding and think fast in a chaotic scene (and in the rain), I’m sure,” the commentary said. “The shot is crisp, colorful and captures some emotion. It transports viewers there. All-around great shot. Well, done!”


Special Projects Manager Brian Knox earned first-place honors for best serious column with “Escaping the echo chamber could lead to real blessings,” published in June 2015.


The judge said: “Knox makes an important point about religion and our rush to judge those whose faith differs from ours … a point which cannot be made too often. This was the best of a very strong group of entries.”


Former Messenger reporter Jake Harris won first place with his feature story, “Different perspective: what it’s like going blind at 17.”


The judge’s comments described the article as “a touching, warmly written story about an upbeat teen who has a lot going for him even though he is losing his eyesight.”


“He has a vision for his life is an understatement, but it’s presented with a close-up look, in detail, of the situation,” the judge said. “The photos are very good, and the layout on a black background really works. Well done!”


Harris is now a social content producer at the Austin American-Statesman.


The Messenger also won first place for best public notice section with “Where sex offenders reside in Wise County,” which was published in October 2015. The judge noted that it’s “very useful information.”


Other awards won by the Messenger include:

  • second place best single ad idea, color
  • second place best single ad idea, black and white
  • second place best advertising idea
  • second place best photo essay
  • second place best breaking news story
  • third place best multiple advertiser section
  • third place best series ad idea, color


See original Wise County Messenger Article.

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