Homer Alaska - Business

Story last updated at 7:51 PM on Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Homer News wins 14 Alaska Press Club awards

Staff Writer


The Homer News won 14 awards at last weekend's Alaska Press Club conference in Anchorage, including second place for Best Weekly Newspaper. Reporters, artists and contributors won awards for work published in 2010 and judged by professional journalists from outside Alaska.

In the Best Weekly award, judge Mark Rhoades said, "The Homer News had the best variety of news and information about their communities. Still offers solid layout and design and good photography. Good use of color on news and advertising. It's what a community newspaper should be." Rhoades is the president of Enterprise Publishing, a chain of weekly newspapers in the Midwest.

The Tundra Drums won first place and the Anchorage Press took third place for best weekly.

Reporters won eight awards in the small print categories. McKibben Jackinsky won third place for Best Business Reporting, second place for Best Education Reporting and second place for Best Profile. "A well crafted obituary brings to life a beloved artist, teacher and community leader, " said Paula Span, the judge for the profile category, of Jackinsky's profile of Diana Tillion. Hal Bernton, a Washington Post reporter, described Jackinsky's story on Sourdough Express as an "excellent read about small business owners that have created a vibrant enterprise in their community."

Michael Armstrong won a first place award for Best Breaking News Story, "First two Hoka Hey challengers finish in Homer," a story he covered by waiting early into the morning for the Hoka Hey motorcycle riders to arrive. Judge Stephen Busemeyer wrote, "Might not be the biggest story in the state, but the effort to get it first, get it all and get it right is what covering breaking news is all about." Armstrong also won a second place award for Best Reporting on Cops and Courts and third place for Best Government or Political Reporting.

Sports and outdoors reporter Lindsay Johnson won third place for Best Game/Event Story, "Run to the Altar celebrates athleticism, marriage," about a community foot race.

Former Homer News reporter Ryan Long shared a third place award for Best General News with Armstrong and Jackinsky, for their story, "On the ground, online and all over, Homer helps Haiti." Judge Elizabeth Mehren said, "This story manages to bring the disaster in Haiti back to Homer, showing how local residents have played a role in the aftermath of the island nation's devastating earthquake. It's not always easy to make a triple-byline story read smoothly, but this story is seamless, with one solid voice, not three."

Graphic artists Jody Mastey and Deb Purington also won awards. Mastey won third place for Best Graphic – Print for "Planning for the future," a story on the Homer Spit comprehensive plan. Mastey and Purington took second and third place for Best Page Design for Mastey's layout of a story on Cook InletKeeper's salmon stream monitoring and Purington's layout for a story on the Memorial Day weekend.

Editorial cartoonist Michael O'Meara won third place for Best Cartoon.

Contributor Andrea Van Dinther won third place for the Suzan Nightingale Award for Best Columnist. Judge Samantha Bennett wrote, "Warm, down to earth, genuine, with startling flights of lyricism, Andrea's quicksilver reactions to her world reach a resonance in each reader's heart."

In other Homer media, KBBI news director Aaron Selbig won a second place award for Best Sports Reporting, Radio, for a story on ice racing.

The online newspaper Alaska Dispatch won the First Amendment Award for taking the lead on successfully filing for the release of documents relating to the employment history of Joe Miller, the Republican Party candidate for the U.S. Senate.

A full list of awards is available at the Alaska Press Club's website at www.alaskapresslclub.org.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.