JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. — Appen Media Group took home multiple awards June 2 at the 2017 Georgia Press Association Better Newspaper Contest on Jekyll Island.
More than 550 awards were presented at the 131st convention in 37 categories to 73 newspapers. Judging was performed by members of the Alabama Press Association.
In total, Appen Media brought home four awards.
Two young journalists were honored as winners of GPA’s Emerging Journalist Awards. Journalists younger than 30 with less than five years of experience writing professionally for a newspaper — one representing daily newspapers and representing weeklies — were honored for demonstrating excellence and maintaining high standards of quality and ethics.
The daily newspaper winner was Brittini Ray of the Savannah Morning News.
The weekly newspaper winner was Kathleen Sturgeon of the Forsyth Herald of Appen Media Group.
One judge commented that Sturgeon submitted a mix of hard-news stories and commentaries that show versatility and talent, while being able to handle many different topics.
“It’s easy to see she is comfortable writing both,” the judge wrote. “Her news stories demonstrate that she has developed a wide range of sources in her community and that she is trusted. She looks to have a bright future and is a great representative of our next generation of journalists.”
Sturgeon also took home a third place award for Hard News Writing, which judges said shows her ability to inform readers.
Executive Editor Hatcher Hurd won two first place awards for his Serious Column and Humorous Column writing.
Judges wrote Hurd’s 10 New Year’s Resolutions column provided a lot of laughs, while his serious column entry had, “impactful, strong writing on difficult topics.”
“These columns were written in a way that made it impossible not to relate, regardless of whether the reader is a local,” the judge wrote.
Senior Designer, Client Ad Services David Brown also took home awards earlier this year at the Georgia Press Association 2017 Advertising Contest.
He won first and second place in the Service/Institutional Ad contest for his work designing ads for Milton Boys Lacrosse and Providence Bank.
Additionally, earlier this year Newsroom Manager AJ McNaughton was named a Rising Star at the annual Association of Free Community Papers conference in Kentucky.