Tallapoosa Publishers Inc. earned a total of 84 awards in the Alabama Press Association’s 2020 Media Awards, including General Excellence at APA’s virtual awards ceremony held Friday afternoon.

The Tribune was awarded for its advertising and sports coverage in in Division D, which includes all non-daily newspapers with a circulation of 3,000 and below.

Sports editor Lizi Arbogast and sports writer Caleb Turrentine earned second place for Best Sports Coverage; Turrentine earned first in Best Local Sports Column for “Brown fiasco shows why good journalism matters; Audra Spears earned second for Best Signature Page for “Graduation” and The Tribune also earned third place in Advertising Sweepstakes, the top advertising award given in each division. According to APA, this award means ads are consistently outstanding from issue to issue. 

The Tribune’s sister paper,The Wetumpka Herald earned the recognition of Most Improved. According to APA, Most Improved is a special award given to the newspaper that shows the greatest overall improvement in news coverage and writing, appearance and editorial vigor during the period of one year.

The Herald also received third place in General Excellence. Winners of General Excellence can be said to be consistently outstanding issue to issue in general news coverage, editorials, photography, layout and design, advertising, public interest and mechanical excellence, according to APA.

“I am extremely proud of our staff. We are all mutually encouraging, and at times prodding and challenging,” TPI publisher Steve Baker said. “There is a strong sense of family and common purpose with the people in Tallapoosa Publishers Inc. These awards are for the people in the trenches, working hard to put out a great product.

“The strength of the organization is not in the company. It’s in its people. The community newspaper’s link to the people is where we have the opportunity to shine.”

Other first-place editorial honors for The Herald include Best Local News Coverage (first); Best Spot News Photo: “Calm after the storm” by staff writer Cliff Williams (first); Best Layout and Design by managing editor Santana Wood and Arbogast (first); Best In-Depth News Coverage: “There’s no place like Wetumpka: Tornado strikes Wetumpka, community responds” by staff (first); Best Sports Single Event Coverage: “Edgewood repeats as state champs behind MVP performance by Burnham” by Turrentine (first); and Best Sports Feature: “Ladorian Leonard uses poetry as escape from football” by Turrentine (first).

The Herald was also awarded second place in Advertising Sweepstakes.

Another sister paper, The Outlook earned 52 awards in the editorial portion of the contest in Division B, which includes daily newspapers with a circulation of 9,999 and below.

For the second year in a row, The Outlook was awarded first place in General Excellence, which is the top award given in each division.

“I’m very proud of our team at The Outlook for being named the best media company our size in Alabama for the second year in a row by the Alabama Press Association,” TPI chairman Kenneth Boone said. “Today we have a greater than ever need for relevant, accurate, well-edited local news — both in print and online — to help us put the events of our challenging times in perspective. The Outlook has been providing news for East Central Alabama continuously since 1892. It’s gratifying to be recognized among Alabama’s best media companies in 2020.”

Other first-place editorial honors for The Outlook include Best Sports Coverage; Best News Coverage; Best Layout and Design; Best News Feature Story Coverage for “Seasons of Struggle” by staff writer Cliff Williams; Best Humorous Column for “10 thoughts and facts about the Super Bowl” by Arbogast; Best Sports Single Event Story for “BRHS raises money for Hornet player affected by tornado” by Arbogast; Best Local Sports Column for “Leave Reeltown well enough alone” by Arbogast; Best Photo Essay for “Students get hands dirty with interactive lessons” by Williams; Best Niche Publication for Priceless;  Creative Use of Multimedia for Inside the Lines Podcast by Arbogast and Turrentine; and Best Use of Social Media for “Social Snippets & Social Snapshots” by the editorial staff.

In the magazine division, Tallapoosa Publishers Inc. was awarded 10 total honors, including two first-place wins. The top honors were for Best House Ad or Self Promotion for “Living Art Walk” in Lake Martin Living by Audra Spears; and Best Travel Feature for “The ‘Other’ Season at Lake Martin” in Lake by Betsy Iler, Spears and Williams.

TPI also earned 17 awards in the advertising position of the contest for its divisions.

Other honors awarded to TPI include:

The Herald

  • Best Sports Coverage by Arbogast and Turrentine (third)
  • Best Local Education Coverage (third)
  • Best News Feature Story Coverage: “Man finds way to laugh despite 2 homes, 2 RVs damaged” by Williams (second)
  • Best Sports In-Depth Coverage: “Holtville state championship run” by Turrentine (third)
  • Best Sports Single Event Coverage: “Student-athletes give back after disaster” by Turrentine (second)
  • Best Spot News Photo: “Child saved after vehicle drives into Coosa River” by Williams (third)
  • Best Single Ad ½ page and under, color: “Wetumpka Main Street” by Spears (first); “City of Wetumpka” by Spears (second)
  • Best Regularly Scheduled Special Section Newsprint or Glossy: “Horizons” by Amy Passaretti, Spears and Shelley McNeal
  • Best Niche Publication: “Salute Our First Responders” by Spears and Marilyn Hawkins (second); “Elmore Community Hospital” by Spears (third)

 

The Outlook

  • Best Editorial Page or Section (second)
  • Best Economic Coverage (third)
  • Best Local Education Coverage (second)
  • Best Use of Photographs/Editorial Content (second)
  • Best Business Story or Column: “Untapped asset: Fishing is big business, helps tourism” by Williams (second); “New Russell Marine store could make retail waves on 280” by staff (third)
  • Best Humorous Column — a category The Outlook swept: “Southern says summer heat can be a bummer” by managing editor Santana Wood (second); “I JUST HEARD WHAT? Entertainment abound if you just look” by Williams (third)
  • Best Human Interest Column: “A little kindness can pay off” by Wood (third)
  • Best Editorial Column or Commentary: “Broken justice system ignores victims of crime” by Wood (third)
  • Best Spot News Photo: “Firefighters respond to car fire” by Williams (third)
  • Best Special Section: “Gridiron Guide” by Arbogast (third)
  • Creative Use of Multimedia — a category The Outlook swept: “Medallion Hunt: Explained” by Arbogast (second); “Pet Pick of the Week” by Arbogast (third)
  • Best Production and Printing (second)
  • Best Public Service: “Transparency, accountability in 1-cent sales tax” by Williams (second)
  • Best Single Ad ½ page and under, color: “Mark King Furniture” by Spears (third)
  • Best Single Ad over ½ page, color: “Daniel Yates” by Spears (third)
  • Best Regularly Scheduled Special Section Newsprint or Glossy: “May Lake” by Spears, Iler and Boone (second)
  • Best In-Paper Promotion of Newspaper: “Talla-Coosa Win Win” by Spears (second)
  • Best Signature Page: “Salute the Blue” by Spears (second)
  • Best Use of Humor: “Holley’s Home Furnishings” by Spears (third)

 

The Dadeville Record

  • Best Editorial Page or Section (second)
  • Best Use of Photographs/Editorial Content (second)
  • Best Business Story or Column: “Kiwi farm could put Reeltown on international map” by Williams (third)
  • Best Sports In-Depth News Coverage: “White retires after 20 years at helm” by Arbogast (first); “Eric Shaw’s journey to next level” by Arbogast (second)
  • Best Local Sports Column: “Backups always need to be ready for their chance” by Arbogast (third)
  • Best Photo Essay: “Little League opening day” by Williams (second)
  • Best Single Ad over ½ page, color: “Lake Martin Signature Construction” by Spears (second); “Medical Park Family” by Spears (third)
  • Best Signature Page: “Salute the Blue” by Spears (third)