Democrat staff wins 31 awards at MPA conference

Published 12:11am Sunday, June 23, 2013

BILOXI — The Natchez Democrat staff won 31 total awards, including 10 first-place awards and first in the overall General Excellence category, at the Mississippi Press Association conference Saturday.

In most categories, The Democrat competes against other Mississippi newspapers with a similar circulation size — between 9,000 and 15,000 daily — including The Hattiesburg American, The Vicksburg Post, The Commercial Dispatch (Columbus), The Meridian Star, The (McComb) Enterprise-Journal and others.

In a few categories, The Democrat competed against all daily newspapers in the state.

First-place awards were:

• General news photo — Lauren Wood.

• Picture-story combination — Ben Hillyer and Emily Lane, “Rescuing Camila.”

• Personality portrait — Wood, “Heavenly messenger.”

• Graphic — Hillyer, “Raising hands and scores.”

• Editorial page — Julie Cooper.

• Editorials — Kevin Cooper.

• Sports section.

• Lifestyles section — Hillyer.

• Special section — Profile 2012.

• Headlines — Hillyer.

Second-place awards were:

• Commentary column — Julie Cooper.

• Sports feature photo — Wood.

• Sports action photo — Hillyer.

• Pictorial series — Hillyer, “Glory and honor.”

• Personality portrait — Hillyer, “Mayor Brown.”

• Front page — Hillyer and Julie Cooper.

• Editorials — Julie Cooper.

• Magazine — Natchez the Magazine.

• Best lead — Lane.

•Headlines — Julie Cooper.

• Website.

Third-place awards were:

• Commentary column — Hillyer.

• Sports feature photo — Hillyer.

• Sports action photo — Hillyer.

• General news photo —  Hillyer.

• Spot news photo — Wood.

• Feature photo — Hillyer.

• Pictorial series — Wood, “Pool pals.”

• Picture-story combination — Wood and Emily Lane, “Count their blessings.”

• Design.

Awards were announced at the annual Mississippi Press Association Convention in Biloxi. Mississippi newspapers submitted 2,624 entries in the Better Newspaper Contest.