The Homer News took home 13 Alaska Press Club awards last Saturday at the statewide media organization’s annual conference and banquet. Now celebrating its 50th year, the Homer News also took third place for best weekly newspaper.
Topping the list are five first-place awards:
• Best sports photo, small newspapers, “Riding the storm in Homer,” by McKibben Jackinsky;
• Best page layout and design, small newspapers, “The Bagel Shop brings big city bagels to town,” by Deborah Purington;
• Best reporting on health or science, small newspapers, “Homer holds nose at spring scent,” by Michael Armstrong;
• Best reporting on crime or courts, small newspapers, “Homer man charged in rare DUI marijuana case,” by Michael Armstrong, and
• Best editorial cartoon, all media, by Michael O’Meara.
Jackinsky also won second-place awards for best business reporting, best portrait and best education reporting, and two third-place awards for best sports feature and best series.
Armstrong and Nick Varney both won the Suzan Nightingale Award for Best Columnist. Armstrong took second place for his Best Bets columns and Varney took third place for his Unhinged columns.
Also winning an award were Rashah McChesney, Molly Dischner and Abby Lowell for the Morris Communications Company series, “The case for conserving the Kenai king salmon,” which ran in the Homer News and other Morris News papers throughout the state.
Of Jackinsky’s sports photo of a surfer on the Homer Spit, judge David Niles commented, “Great job capturing the richness of the scene and controlling lighting in what must have been a difficult lighting situation.” Judge Debra Fraser said of Purington’s layout of a story by Armstrong, “The step-by-step design takes the reader on a bagel journey few have taken. Well done!” Of Armstrong’s story on why Homer had a peculiar spring scent last year, judge Tom Banse said, “Reporter nicely combined humor and mystery to tell a story. Well organized progression of quotes brought different theories to life.”
Of Armstrong’s crime story on a man charged with driving while stoned, judge Abraham Hyatt wrote, “Armstrong took what could have been a simple blotter item about a quirky arrest and turned it into an intelligent, accessible explainer about a confusing but increasingly relevant topic.”
The Alaska Press Club honors work published in 2013 for all media in Alaska, including newspapers, television and radio. The weekend features panel discussions, workshops and talks.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at email@example.com.