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News-Leader recognized by state press association


JONESBORO – The Nashville News-Leader received 15 awards during the Arkansas Press Association convention June 27-29 at the Embassy Suites Red Wolf Convention Center in Jonesboro.

The paper brought home five first-place awards, three second-place, five third place and two honorable mentions.

Members of the Kentucky Press Association judged the Arkansas entries, which came from newspapers produced in 2023.

First place

First place awards and judges’ comments included the following:

News story – Don Hall, Flooding causes extensive damage to library, police station, courtroom. “I liked the quotes and personalizing the story,” the judge said.

Single news photo – John R. Schirmer, Changing license plates. “Creative illustration of the end of a government career,” the judge said of the photo showing former Sen. Larry Teague of Nashville removing his state license plate at the end of his tenure in the Legislature.

Single sports action photo – Schirmer, Jessie Lyle keeps the ball out of the grasp of an opposing player. “The image tells a clear story of athletic competition and the physical demands of basketball. It effectively captures a moment of conflict and determination, drawing the viewer into the narrative of the game,” the judge said.

Single sports feature photo – Dede Robinson, Cheering on their team. The picture shows the student section at the Scrapperettes’ state finals game against Farmington. “Strong moment that captures the story of the game. Love all the hair flying and their faces,” the judge said.

Photo essay – Robinson, Patriotism at the city park. Robinson’s photos of the Stand Up for America celebration “really stand out with the masthead,” according to the judge.

Second place

Second-place awards and comments included the following:

Business story – Schirmer, Louie Graves, Husqvarna closing to have major impact. “Good job of going beyond the surface level of a business closing. Getting so many perspectives makes the story well rounded,” the judge said.

General interest column – 

Graves, It is much easier to litter than to de-litter roadsides. “I almost felt like I was out there de-littering as I read this. I’m sure there are many faithful reasons of this column and for good reason,” according to the judge.

Sports feature photo – Schirmer, State doubles champions showing Reese Worthington and Esmeralda Aguilar after the Nashville duo won state. “Tennis can be a hard sport to photograph. This image of the doubles partners celebrating their championship win captures the story well. The face of the girl on the right is strong, and their bodies seemingly being mirrored is a fun moment.”

Third place

Awards and comments include the following:

Feature story – Hall, Local pilot receives prestigious FAA award. “Lead caught my attention,” according to the judge.

Sports news story – Schirmer, Athletes, teachers from more than a century of Nashville High history. “Interesting story. Good to see the QR code included,” the judge said.

Business story – Schirmer, Economic development director ready to help. “Good balance for what the story is about. Gets to the point of why it’s impactful and provides just enough background without getting lengthy.”

Freelance recognition – Patsy Young, Early Files. No judge’s comments.

Graphic design portfolio – Schirmer. “Great use of local residents and children in the design. Nice job,” the judge said.

Honorable mentions

Single feature photo – John Balch, Special readers at Mineral Springs.

Photo essay – Schirmer, Battle in Hot Spring County.

During the convention, the newspaper publishers, editors and staff members attended sessions led by experts from across the United States.

They also visited the Arkansas State University Red Wolf athletic complex and heard a panel discussion with A-State Chancellor Dr. Todd Shields.