Republic top newspaper of its size second straight year

INDIANAPOLIS — The Republic was honored Saturday as the best daily newspaper of its size in the 2015 Hoosier State Press Association Foundation Better Newspaper Contest.

The General Excellence honor, based on points accumulated by the newspaper in individual categories, was among 18 awards earned by The Republic news staff. The Republic competed in Division 5, for newspapers with paid circulation between 14,000 and 34,999.

It was the newspaper’s second straight year winning the general excellence award.

The Republic staff won nine first-place awards, three second-place awards, five third-place awards and one finalist designation during the 49th annual awards banquet Saturday at the Indianapolis Marriott North hotel.

The contest period covered entries between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015.

Here are summaries of The Republic’s winning entries.

First place

General Excellence: Staff.

Best Sports Section: Staff, for a selection of three editions published Sept. 28, 2014; March 8, 2015; and June 6, 2015.

Best Business Section: Staff, for a selection of three editions published Sept. 21, 2014; Nov. 30, 2014; and April 19, 2015.

Best Sports Event Coverage: Staff, for coverage of the second annual Mill Race Marathon, published Sept. 28, 2014.

Best Business/Economic News Coverage: Assistant managing editor Kirk Johannesen, for a story showing how Columbus and peer central Indiana communities invest in their communities to raise quality of life while increasing the workforce, published Nov. 30, 2014.

Best Spot News Photo: Chief photographer Andrew Laker, for coverage of a plant fire at Faurecia, published July 8, 2014.

Best Sports Feature Photo: Photographer Chet Strange, for reaction from a Columbus East football player after his team’s loss in the semistate championship game, published Nov. 22, 2014.

Best Feature Photo: Laker, for his photo of a preschool girl catching sugar maple sap on her tongue, published April 5, 2015.

Best Multiple Picture Group: Laker, for coverage of a train interrupting the Mill Race Marathon course, published Sept. 28, 2014.

Second place

Best Editorial Page: Staff, for a selection of three editions, published Nov. 2, 2014; April 30, 2015; and June 25, 2015.

Best Short Feature Story: Assistant managing editor Julie McClure, for her story about students granting the wish of a woman fighting cancer — a vacation for her family, published May 10, 2015.

Best Feature Photo: Laker, for his photo of a squirrel eating a doughnut, published April 25, 2015.

Third place

Best Ongoing News Coverage: Sports editor Jay Heater, McClure and reporter Olivia Covington for 10 stories about Columbus North High School basketball player Josh Speidel, from his serious auto accident and rehabilitation through participation in his high school graduation, published from February through June 2015.

Best Editorial Writer: Johannesen for a selection of editorials — supporting the Columbus Area Arts Council, Aug. 31, 2014; Bartholomew County’s confined animal feeding operation rules, published Jan. 21, 2015; and city of Columbus’ house-demolition process, published Feb. 25, 2015;

Best In-Depth Feature or Feature Package: Reporters Michelle Sokol and Chris Jones for a series of nine stories previewing a local prekindergarten referendum, published between Oct. 12 and Nov. 2, 2014.

Best General News Photo: Strange, 4-H fair frog-jumping contest reaction, published July 12, 2014.

Best Newspaper Design: Staff, for a selection of editions, published Sept. 28, 2014; Nov. 16, 2014; and March 8, 2015.


Photo of the Year: Laker, for his photo of a preschool girl catching sugar maple sap on her tongue, published April 5, 2015.