Sentinel staff honored by state group
For the second consecutive year, out-of-state judges gave the Basehor Sentinel a first-place award for news and writing excellence.
Newspaper representatives accepted the award Saturday night in Lawrence during the Kansas Press Association's annual awards banquet.
"Good front page story selection and variety," a judge said of The Sentinel. "Solid writing."
Members of the Wisconsin Press Association judged the contest entries. All told, judges awarded The Sentinel with seven first-place awards.
"It's always gratifying to be recognized for the staff's hard work, and I think it's especially gratifying when we go head-to-head against other Kansas newspapers and excel," said Caroline Trowbridge, Sentinel editor. "This staff works hard each week to deliver the best possible newspaper to our readers, and receiving these awards is a nice pat on the back for the staff."
Individual staff members also received praise from the judges.
Sports Editor Matt Tait and staff writer Joshua Roberts each received two first-place awards Saturday evening. Staff photographer Kevin Anderson received a first-place award for sports photography.
The awards are:
- Sports writing, for a story, "The Face of Baseball," written by Tait, about a visit to Kansas City by Pete Rose, baseball's controversial all-time hits leader. Rose visited the area to promote his book, discuss baseball and share stories from his checkered past.
- Sports feature, for a story, "Senioritis," written by Tait, about the fictional disease suffered by high school senior athletes every Spring as graduation looms closer.
"Wow," the judge said. "You always hear about senioritis, but you never read about it. Superb writing and should be required reading of all senior athletes. I can't say enough good things about this feature. Excellent job and that's an understatement."
Tait also received a second-place award for sports column writing.
- News writing, for a story, "Fighting for Alene," by Roberts, about the push by a Basehor woman to reform emergency medical service practices following the death of her mother.
"Well written and it takes a concept that might be difficult to understand and puts a human face on it," a judge said of Roberts' story.
- Series writing, for stories by Roberts about the woman's continuing efforts to change EMS procedures.
Roberts also received second- and third-place awards for government/political coverage; a third-place award for education story; a second-place award for sports story; and a third for sports column writing.
- Best sports photo, by Anderson, for his creative framing of a basketball player with ball in hand.
Anderson also received two honorable mentions in the feature photo category. Anderson and Tait also received a second place award for photo package, "Music Suite Music."
In addition, the newspaper received a first for best use of photos.
"This category was full of great entries," a judge said. "Basehor gets the nod because of use of photos throughout the newspaper. High-quality photography."
"Matt, Josh and Kevin should be proud of their achievements," Trowbridge said. "I know I certainly am."
Trowbridge said these awards coincidentally coincide with an increased emphasis in the Sentinel on news coverage of Basehor. Trowbridge, who also is editor and publisher of The Mirror newspaper in Tonganoxie, now is directing the Sentinel's news operations.
"We believe the residents of Basehor are our focus," she said. "And while we know they're interested in news from other area communities -- because, obviously, that affects all of us -- Basehor is our primary focus. And we look forward to providing even better coverage for our readers."