The Payson Roundup won 17 awards, including general excellence in news reporting, in the non-daily division, at the Arizona Newspapers Association annual convention held Saturday in Scottsdale.
This year’s news achievement awards were judged by the New York Press Association.
Nearly every member of the editorial staff was recognized with an individual award. Also at the event, Roundup publisher John Naughton was named ANA’s new board president. Naughton has been a member of the board since 2007 and last year served as vice president.
Roundup news editor Pete Aleshire won first place in the investigate-reporting category for his coverage of Payson’s bid process to build a third fire station. Aleshire also took first place in the column or criticism category for his piece on fishing headlined “No Fooling.”
Alexis Bechman nearly swept the sustained coverage category, taking home first place for coverage of flooding and creek work in Tonto Basin and second place for following the prison escape of three convicts.
Editor Tom Brossart received a first place plaque for his feature photo layout on fishing at the Fool Hollow Recreation Area.
And the Roundup’s editorial pages were recognized along with the paper’s overall page design — both receiving first place awards.
“I am extremely proud of the Roundup newsroom. Veteran editor Tom Brossart leads a solid group of journalists, some seasoned veterans and some just starting their careers, but all devoted to covering their community,” Naughton said.
In all, some 46 newspapers submitted 1,186 entries this year, the bulk of in the non-daily category.
The NYPA, handed out awards in nine categories that measure the overall quality of newspapers and 18 categories that honor individuals who contribute to journalism excellence.
The contest period ran from May 1, 2010 through April 30, 2011
The Sierra Vista Herald (daily division) and Tucson Weekly (non-daily division) were named newspapers of the year.
It is the first time in 12 years that the Roundup was not named paper of the year in the non-daily category.
Newspaper of the Year is calculated by tallying points earned by a paper’s news and advertising departments. Earlier this year, the Roundup placed third in the advertising category.
Winners of the general excellence in news in other circulation categories included Arizona Capitol Times (non-daily, under 3,500), Navajo Times (non-daily over 10,000), Arizona Daily Sun (daily, under 25,000) and The Arizona Republic (daily, more than 25,000).
Shanna Hogan at the Scottsdale Times won Journalist of the Year in the non-daily newspaper category and Brady McCombs of the Arizona Daily Star won the Journalist of the Year award in the daily newspaper category.
The Story of the Year awards went to Dan Sheared at the Green Valley News & Sun and to Stephanie Innes, Rhonda Bodfield and Josh Brodesky at the Arizona Daily Star. Photographer of the Year went to Dave Brown of the Arizona Range News and Randy Hoeft of the Yuma Sun.
Other ANA Awards for the Roundup:
Second place for Departmental News and Copywriting Excellence.
Second place for Community Service/ Journalistic Achievement.
Second place for Newspaper Supplement or Magazine: Arizona Highlands.
Second place for News Story: Alexis Bechman, “Neighborhood feud nearly leads to murder.”
Second place for Sports Column: Max Foster, “Pay-to-play fees cause concern.”
Second place for News Feature Story: Pete Aleshire, “Crowd choked up by salute.”
Second place for Enterprise Reporting: Pete Aleshire, “Dude Fire revealed monster that still stalks Rim Country.”
Second place for Feature Photograph: Andy Towle, “Clear tones.”
Third place for Sports Coverage: Max Foster, “Wilcox wraps up stellar year with girls soccer.”