Vol. 15 No. 39 - July 29, 2015
Sun takes home a dozen awards
First place for state and local tax reporting went to
Sun reporter Cindy Lane.
STAFF REPORT - The Sun Newspaper and its staff were recognized for excellence in journalism Friday in the 2014 Florida Press Association Better Weekly Newspaper Contest, receiving awards for efforts in news reporting; feature writing; news, feature and portfolio photography; column writing; headline writing and political cartooning.
Judges in the competition, which drew entries from weekly and daily newspapers throughout the state, commended The Sun’s entire staff for the publication’s overall general excellence, citing “well-written and researched stories,” “great photography” and well-done cartoons that “capture the mood and concept” of important local issues.
The newspaper competed in Division B, which includes publications with circulations of 7,000 to 15,000. More than 2,000 contest entries were submitted this year, with a record number of newspapers participating and another record number of journalists attending the conference and awards ceremony in Lake Mary.
The Sun was the only publication from Anna Maria Island to be honored in the event.
The 2014 awards are:
• Cindy Lane: State & Local Tax Reporting (The Florida TaxWatch Award), for a series of stories on Manatee County’s efforts to collect resort taxes. The judges said: “Well written and researched, the series of stories raised awareness of the tax issue.”
• Steve Borggren: Original, Local Editorial Cartoon titled “Remaining assets,” which depicted the Anna Maria Island Community Center’s struggle to stay afloat financially. The judges commented: “Getting an image to hit its viewer immediately is hard. This cartoon captured the mood and the concept of the issue with simplicity. Well done.”
• Joe Hendricks: Local Government Reporting, for continuing coverage of efforts to remove the Bradenton Beach mayor from office through “forfeiture of office” procedures. The judges commented: “Well-written reports and extensive coverage on forfeiture of office proceedings. Throughout the writings, the reporter kept opinion out of his stories and thoroughly explained possible outcomes ... ”
• Mike Field: Best Headline, for “Granny Get Your Gun,” a story about an Anna Maria Island grandmother who brandished her handgun and confronted a burglar in her house. “Great headline for this story,” the judges said.
• Cindy Lane: Outdoor and Recreation Reporting, for a series of stories on local efforts to save pelicans and turtles from becoming entangled in abandoned fishing line. “Reporter Cindy Lane is a true friend of nature. Her fine reporting spotlights important protection awareness issues for readers,” the judges wrote.
• Cindy Lane: Serious column, (The Sally Latham Memorial Award), for her Coast Lines column titled “Respect the manatee’s river,” which expressed concerns over the course chosen for a power boat race in the Manatee River. The route was scheduled to cut directly through an area where manatees mate. After the column was published, the course was altered to avoid the area. Judges commented: “This column dealt with a hot local subject and offered alternatives and solutions.”
• Cindy Lane: Community History, for a story about the U.S. Army searching for old explosives on the beaches in and around Egmont Key. Judges comment: “Great lead image, and an interesting tale.”
• Sun staff: Overall General Excellence. “The Sun presents its local reports colorfully and with great detail. A good variety.”
• Cindy Lane: Portfolio Photography, (The Robert J. Ellison Award), for a series of photos on a variety of subjects. “The photographer has a good eye for her subjects.”
• Cindy Lane: Spot News Photo, for her photo titled “Blessing all creatures great and small” on a blessing of the animals ceremony at a local church. The judges called this “A great feel good photo.”
• Cindy Lane: Breaking news story, about a local fisherman who took his court case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and won. “Good local story with a tie to the Supreme Court.”
• Mike Field: Feature photo of a mother and daughter taking selfies of themselves at sunset on Anna Maria Island. “Candid view of a fun moment,” the judges said.