The judges of the annual Georgia Press Association newspaper contest put a number on what you already know: The news staff of The Augusta Chronicle delivers quality every day.
The Chronicle won 13 first-place awards from the Georgia Press Association last night. Our staff also captured 18 other awards, including second place in general excellence in its circulation category.
Lisa Kaylor, who has been the Faith reporter for The Chronicle since October, placed first in the state for religion coverage. Lisa has had many jobs and titles since joining The Chronicle as a sports clerk in 2003, but none so rewarding or awarding as her current role.
One of the stories that Lisa was awarded for was about Karen Amerson, a Martinez resident who founded iCare4, a faith-based organization to shelter and help victims of trafficking of women. The organization also cares for their children while they heal.
Lisa said her favorite part of writing religion stories is the people she gets to meet.
“People are passionate about their faith and I just enjoy hearing; and then telling their stories,” she said.
You can read one of those stories on Page 6B of today’s paper as Lisa tells us about the recipient of a surprise retirement party at First Presbyterian Church.
Augusta government reporter Susan McCord won first place in the hard news writing category.
Susan keeps an eye on your city government as it spends your tax dollars each day. She was awarded for her stories about some commissioners working in violation of the city’s conflict of interest policy, and because she broke the news that commissioners wanted to designate downtown Augusta a “slum” to acquire state funding to renovate the Municipal Building.
Sports columnist Scott Michaux was tabbed as the top sports columnist in the state for his writing.
Wayne Staats won the sports writing category for an article on Lincoln County’s love of high school football.
Our photographers also collected 10 awards – including a first place for each staff shooter. Sara Caldwell, who won the GPA clip contest for her work in 2013, won in Feature Photograph and Best Photo Gallery.
Michael Holahan won in News Photograph, Todd Bennett for Sports Photograph and Jon-Michael Sullivan for Sports Features.
Sara’s silhouette of a cowboy walking his horse was named the association’s Photo of the Year in Georgia.
And editorial cartoonist Rick McKee won first and second place awards in the editorial cartooning category.
The Columbia County News-Times also won 14 awards, including first place in general excellence in the weekly newspaper category.
Please join me in congratulating all of our winners.