The Pleasanton Express won sweepstakes at the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association Better Newspaper Contest held in Houston May 17-19 at the 80th annual convention.
In all, the Pleasanton Express won 12 awards totaling 700 points.
“Winning sweepstakes is a huge honor for the Pleasanton Express,” said Noel Wilkerson Holmes, Publisher. “We brought home some significant wins that we are especially proud of including Lisa Luna’s first place award in the prestigious Community Service category and Stephen Garcia’s first place in sports coverage. Both of these journalists make tough jobs look easy. Lisa covers the county highlighting the good works of non-profits, religious and service organizations as well as writing fantastic feature and news stories on some of the most interesting people and happenings in the county. Stephen covers every sport for five independent school districts creating one of the largest weekly sports sections in Texas.”
The Pleasanton Express also earned second place in General Excellence. “I am additionally proud of garnering second in General Excellence,” said Wilkerson-Holmes. “I could not be more proud of every person at the Pleasanton Express with virtually every staff member bringing home an award. Those that were not up for awards are just as important to the success of the newspaper. It is a huge team effort every week to publish a paper so full of local news that matters.”
Regarding the General Excellence award, the judges commented, “Covers are good. Your pages are full of local, local, local and well written. Plenty of photos of your readers’ children, grandchildren and neighbors. Good papers. You didn’t get first, but it was close. Keep up the commitment to community journalism.”
Lisa Luna’s extensive coverage of the battle between a sand frac mine company and a group of local landowners which won first place in Community Service is available for free at www.pleasantonexpress.com. Please use the search terms “Preferred Sands” and “Not Just Dust”.
The judges commented on Stephen Garcia’s first place sports coverage, “Nice, clean pages – easy to read and interesting to follow. Good balance between different sports.” Regarding sports photography, the judges stated, “Nice capture of action and emotion – good timing of photos.”
Aaron Davidson brought home a first-place award for Display Advertising category with the judge commenting, “very moving”.
Sue Brown brought home a first place with her headline writing. The judge wrote “Snow news is good news … is so amusing I’m grinning still. I simply had to read the article, which is what a headline should do.” Humorous Columns also brought home a first place with Sue Brown’s columns. “I particularly enjoyed the ‘Sommelier on a Budget’ column. Made me laugh – always a plus with a humor column. Nice job setting the scene and sharing a story in a way readers can relate to. Must admit, I never had considered which wine went best with Ding Dongs and Twinkies. I learned something new – good work,” wrote the judge.
Our website www.pleasantonexpress.com won second place for the best newspaper website. Lisa Luna and Robbie Clifton each earned third place for News Writing. Leon Zabava and Joe David Cordova each won third place for News Photos. The judge offered this comment, “Good, newsy content and solid photos.” Erika Vela won for her Feature Photos. “Good impact and display,” wrote the judge. Serious Columns by Sue Brown also won third. “I enjoyed the columnist’s work here. I felt they were personal (which is not as easy as it sounds) and one had a fun feel to it,” said the judge.
Members of the Louisiana Press Association judged the contest.