The Payson Roundup was named nondaily Arizona Newspaper of the Year by the Arizona Newspapers Association for the seventh consecutive year. The paper was selected from among 85 nondaily state newspapers.
In addition to being named newspaper of the year, the Roundup received 15 awards for general excellence at the annual awards ceremony Saturday in Scottsdale.
"I am extremely proud of this newspaper team, both the advertising and news departments, as well as everyone in production, delivery and customer service," Richard Haddad, publisher, said. "They continue to put out a quality community newspaper, but we still have much we want to improve."
In addition to the state's top newspaper honor, the Roundup received:
- First place for general excellence among papers with circulation between 3,500 and 10,000.
- First place for departmental news and copyediting excellence.
- First place for best use of photography.
- First place for newspaper web pages.
- Second places for page design and the "Progress" special section.
- Third place for community service/ journalistic achievement for the Roundup's print and online coverage of the 2004 Willow Fire.
The staff of the Roundup was also acknowledged for their individual work.
Max Foster won first place in the newswriting category. His award-winning story was on the Payson Unified School District's failure to report a positive drug test for one of its bus drivers. Foster also won three second place honors for best sports story, with his article on the Payson mother winning a bronze medal in bodybuilding; best column for "It's only a game" and best sports photograph for a pole vault picture.
Publisher Richard Haddad won first place in the news photography category for "Someone to watch over me" and a second place in the same category for "Helitack team gets first jump on fires."
Former editor Jerry Thebado won a second place award in the best commentary category for the editorial "One firecracker could be as lethal as a bomb."
Felicia Megdal won a second place in the best lifestyle feature story category for "New heart for transplant patient offers hope" and an honorable mention for best news feature story for "Grandparents raising grandchildren."
Jim Keyworth won third place in the best-sustained news coverage or series category for his stories on the Diamond Star water and Star Valley annexation issues.
The East Valley Tribune won the Association's Newspaper of the Year award for all daily papers in the state.