Whidbey News-Times wins multiple awards

Whidbey News-Times staff earned a total of 19 awards, announced during the 126th annual Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest

A total of 78 newspapers from around the state participated in the contest.

News-Times assistant editor Jessie Stensland was named News Writer of the Year for the second year in a row.

News Writer of the Year is awarded across all circulation categories, while the other awards were named within the circulation group.

Stensland won first place in the Best Crime and Court Story category for the story, “Did ‘voices’ drive him to kill?”

“Wow. The introductory paragraphs, told from the perspective of the defendant, are stunning,” the judges wrote. “The reporting is intimate, balanced and thorough. A gift for readers.”

In addition, Stensland was awarded third place in the crime category for “Husband held on $5 million bail for wife’s murder.” She won second place in Best Government Reporting - Short for the story, “Bones break the bank” and second place in Best News Story for “City to explore chicken regulations.”

Stensland also won a third-place award for Best Front Page Design.

Reporter Nathan Whalen earned a first place award in Best Sports News for “Coach’s firing stuns swim team.”

Whalen won second place in Best Breaking News for “Storm slams West Beach Road.” He and Stensland both won third place in Best Breaking News for the story, “Three killed in Navy EA-6B crash.”

Whalen won second place in Best Business News for “Going Digital.”

Former reporter Justin Burnett, now South Whidbey Record editor, was awarded first place in Best News Story — Long for the story, “Fewer riders, canceled trips plague ferries.”

Burnett won third place in the coveted News of the Weird category for the UFO story, “The weirdest thing we’ve ever seen.”

Burnett also won third place in Color Pictorial for the photo, “Whidbey skyline.”

Burnett, Stensland, Publisher and Executive Editor Keven R. Graves and contributing editor Megan Hansen earned a second place award in Best Comprehensive Coverage for the story, “Massive landslide wreaks destruction.”

Former reporter Kathy Reed, now Oak Harbor Chamber director, earned third place in Best General Feature Story — Long for the story, “Marine endures segregation, receives Congressional medal.” She won third place in Best Health and Medical for “A journey to freedom.”

In advertising, former marketing artist Leslie Vance and former ad manager Lee Ann Mozes won first place in Multiple Advertiser Ad for “How Many Years in Business.”

Vance also earned third place in Ad Campaign for Single Advertiser for “Family Dermatology Services for All Ages” and third place Best Use of Color for “New Image Beauty.”


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