'Chronicle' work is celebrated

For its work in 2012, The Augusta Chronicle on Friday night was named the top daily newspaper in Georgia.

Your newspaper has the best editorial page. The best headlines. The best investigative reporter. The best sports section and writing. The best editorial cartoonist. The best photo on the Web.

As we bask in the accolades of the voters, we congratulate the winners of the individual awards and celebrate our collective achievements.

It’s also a time to reflect on the journalism that resulted in the eight first-place, 13 second-place and four third-place honors.

The Georgia Press Association also honored the Columbia County News-Times’ coverage of community issues, bestowing 15 awards – including the top award for general excellence.

That’s old news, you say. Why talk about the stories of the past? News does have a short shelf life, but the investigations, the stories and the photos have lasting impact on a community – this community.

But no one reads The Augusta Chronicle because it wins awards; people read it for the journalism that leads to those awards.

The watchdog reporting that Steve Crawford delivered all year long – including his efforts on the Georgia Regents University naming controversy and the voters he found casting ballots illegally.

The photographs that Michael Holahan takes that create an emotional experience. His pictures and video from his trip to Washington for the anniversary of the Vietnam Wall were moving.

The beat coverage that our reporters turn out day after day. Health and science reporter Tom Corwin’s efforts on the university merger. Education reporter Tracey McManus looking into the financial opportunities at Paine College.

The humor columns that Bill Kirby or Glynn Moore write make you laugh.

Even the things that you don’t even know you notice – such as the kinds of headlines that garnered both first- and second-place awards. The way a page is designed. The way the Web site works.

Our team’s Masters Tournament Preview Edition was named the top special section. And Scott Michaux’s cover story from South Africa captured the top honors for sports writing.

Editorial Page Editor Mike Ryan’s team was named the state’s best. It has the top cartoonist, Rick McKee, and a fine serious columnist in Joe Hotchkiss.

Our reporters’ e-mail addresses are listed at the end of each article. Next time you read a stories with a shelf life for today but impact for tomorrow, send an e-mail and congratulate the reporter.

It is nice to be recognized by your peers. And even nicer to be recognized by your readers.

'The Augusta Chronicle' wins Georgia Press Association award for state's best newspaper

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