In the selfless act of recognizing outstanding work amongst their peers, the California Association of Newspaper Publishers presented their annual statewide awards ceremony Saturday, July 14, the Better Newspapers Contest.
An out-of-state panel of publishers and editors from papers scattered throughout the country scrutinized entries from the roster of over 500 California papers largest to smallest, daily and weekly, recognizing great writing, photography, layout, illustration, websites, and general excellence. The awards for 2006 coverage are divided into daily and weekly categories, with further divisions based on the newspaper’s circulation.
Locally, the daily Ventura County Star was the big winner, taking home first place awards in the Business/Financial story category, Environmental reporting, and the General Excellence award (their second year in a row). They also received second place recognition for Lifestyle coverage, Photo Essay, and Freedom of Information coverage..
The 5 Cities/Arroyo Grande Times-Press-Recorder was the Tri-Counties biggest winner in the weekly category (they are a twice-weekly newspaper), taking home firsts in Investigative Reporting, and Front Page layout, with second place honors in Business/Financial story, Page Layout and Design, and runner up in the General Excellence category.
The daily San Luis Obispo Tribune carried the day with two firsts for Arts & Entertainment coverage, and Best Front Page, and strong second place finishes for General Excellence and Sports reporting.
The Santa Barbara Independent‘s Ethan Stewart received a first place award for Sports story, called “Riders On the Storm,” a tale about chasing Winter Solstice swells. Two second place spots for Writing and Arts & Entertainment writing went to the staff in those departments.
A first place for Breaking News Photo went to the daily Santa Maria Times, and two second place awards for Editorial Comment and Page Layout & Design.
The Ojai Valley News had a strong showing with three second place awards for Best Website, Columns, and Breaking news
The Santa Barbara News-Press received no awards for 2006. They won seven awards in the contest for 2005.