Editorial by Crystal Leo
When I started working at the Meade County Messenger in August of 2019, never in my wildest dreams did I think a job could give me so much in such a short amount of time. A paycheck is wonderful, but do you know what is unbelievably better? Working at a place where your coworkers feel like family and doing something you believe in. The fact that I have come to love the news industry in its entirety does not hurt either.
I started working for the Messenger as a part time Ad Sales Executive. I had no clue that by October of 2020 I would be the newly appointed General Manager, and therefore in charge of submitting our Kentucky Press Association Award entries for the year. The idea of it all was overwhelming, especially since I was still learning the news industry itself. However, I took on the task with a whole heart because I was utterly impressed with a good deal of the work my coworkers had produced for the given time period, and I felt they deserved the chance to possibly be recognized by the KPA.
For those who do not know who the KPA is, it was founded January 13, 1869, in Frankfort. KPA is the nation’s 10th oldest state press association. The purpose of the Kentucky Press Association is defined in its By-Laws: “The purpose of this corporation is to promote the interests of its members, the newspapers of Kentucky; to expand their field of endeavor; to maintain a high code of ethics among all journalists; to enhance the usefulness of the newspaper industry and to promote and maintain a spirit of fraternal regard among its members; and to do any and all things necessary to carry out the purposes of this corporation.”
Every year the KPA hands out awards for the content that newspapers produce between October 1 of the previous year through the end of September of the current year. There are two contests to enter: News and Advertising. Both contests are relatively self-explanatory. The News Awards cover facets of the actual news from stories to photography, while the Advertising Awards covers advertising a paper has produced. What some might not know is that there are several in depth sub-categories that a newspaper can enter such as “Best Investigative Story”, “Best Sports Picture” or “Best General News Picture” for the News contest. Or, for the Advertising Contest, “Best Group Promotion”, “Best Use of Color” to subcategories for certain industries such as banks and automotive.
Since I was short on time, 21 of our 25 entries were submitted for the News Awards, with the remaining 4 entries going to the Advertising Awards. Next year I hope to submit more entries for the Advertising Awards now that I understand how some of this works better, but 25 entries overall between the two contests is not bad. Imagine our surprise, and absolute pride, when we were notified later on that we had won 12 KPA Awards this year!
This truly is a testament to how hard your Messenger staff has worked over the past year or so. Proof that their love and dedication to Meade County was done to the best of their ability for their readers. Even in the face of adversity and backlash over some of our stories, the staff here has soldiered on in the hopes of being a voice for Meade County residents as a whole. I hope that we continue to grow and learn as a staff and as a family. That every day we come to work and remember that we are here to help Meade County, whether it be through reporting stories or advertising a local business, so that our readers stay informed to make their everyday life better.
For our readers, I have hopes for you as well. I hope that you will reach out to us, whether it be by phone, letter, or email, and continue to keep us informed. It does not matter if you are giving us feedback on a recently run story or an idea of a story you would like to see in the newspaper, we want to hear from you. Afterall, it is you, the reader, that we are here to serve.
I would like to thank the staff here at the Meade County Messenger for being undoubtedly amazing. Every one of you has an unbelievable talent, and I hope, in time, that all of Meade County gets to see just how special each and every one of you are. Congratulations again! These awards are richly deserved.
3rd place for “Group Promotion” – Ashley McCrumb, Tracy Whitaker and Seth Dukes for the ‘Downtown Brandenburg’ special page.
2nd Place for “Multiple Advertiser/“Sig” Page” – Chayse Immel and Crystal Leo for the ‘Read an Ebook Week’ special page.
1st Place for “Best Investigative Story or Series” – Chad Hobbs for ‘The Gene Hobbs Tragedy’
1st Place for “Best Headline Writer” – Seth Dukes
1st Place for “Best General News Picture” – Seth Dukes with the picture of Global Disaster Outreach’s Duck Fundraiser
2nd Place for “Best General News Picture” – Chad Hobbs with the picture of a helicopter hovering over the back of a work truck on a farm
3rd place for “Best General Picture” – Seth Dukes with the picture of ‘COVID-19 Graduation’
3rd place for “Best Feature Picture” – Seth Dukes with the picture of Adam Barr/Barr Farms ‘Raising the Barr’
1st Place for “Best Sports Picture” – Richard Fairman for the picture of ‘Senior Kendall Wingler can’t be stopped’
2nd Place for “Best Sports Picture” – Richard Fairman for the picture of ‘No stealing second base’
2nd Place for “Best Sports Feature Story” – Chad Hobbs for ‘Jasey Allen – A heartbroken member of the Class of 2020’
3rd place for “Best Graphic” – Ashley McCrumb for the graphic ‘Drawing the line’