News-Times writers bring home awards

Whidbey News-Times editorial staff won a total of nine awards in the 2009 Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were announced Oct. 2.

Staff reporter Liz Burlingame won second place in the best education story category for the story “Students demand free speech.” She won third place in the best lifestyle feature category for the story “Life afloat.” She also won third place for front page design.

Staff reporter Jenny Manning won third place in the comprehensive coverage category for her many stories about the “Smiley Saga.” The judges wrote that the story of Smiley the dog “has to be one of the strangest court dramas on record.”

Manning also won an award at her former newspaper, the Snoqualmie Valley Record. She received a second place award in the best news of the weird category for the story “Raucous rooster round-up.”

Assistant editor Jessie Stensland won second and third place awards in the best crime and courts story category with “Craigslist prostitutes arrested in Oak Harbor” and “Emotions overflow at sentencing hearing,” respectively. She won a second place award in the best environmental story category with the story “Otter pandemonium: They’re cute but they smell bad.” She also won a third place award for the best personality profile with “Keen-eyed proofreader turns 100.”

In addition, the newsroom staff and graphic artist Cynthia Woolbright received a third place award in the best special section category for “Dawn on a New Generation,” which was about the new Growler aircraft at the Navy base.

Winners were chosen from a total of 2,493 entries submitted by 80 member newspapers, both dailies and weeklies. The awards are given in four different circulation categories. The Whidbey News-Times is in the second to highest category.

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