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Messenger staff earns state honors

Members of The Messenger’s staff recently won several awards in statewide contests.

The advertising staff won second place in the sweepstakes category of the Alabama Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest/Advertising Division, in which it competed against other dailies in the state up to 25,000 in circulation.

In addition, the paper won several individual category awards, including:

First Place, Best Special Section, for Profile 2009

First Place, Best Advertising Campaign, for “Troy, Alabama” by Deedie Carter

First Place, Best Original/Creative Idea, for “Spend $20 on the 20th” by Deedie Carter, Sandy Boutwell

First Place, Best Use of Humor, for “Steps for a Healthier Alabama, Smokers Stink” by Deedie Carter

Second Place, Best In-Paper Promotion of a Newspaper, for “Prime Time, Drive Time” by Deedie Carter

Third Place, Best Use of Humor, for “Steps for a Healthier Alabama Cows and Cigarettes,” by Deedie Carter.

“I’m proud of the recognition given to the advertising staff and to graphic designers Perry Brown and Van Gammon, who helped design many of the award-winning ads,” said Stacy Graning, publisher.

The editorial staff also won awards in two separate contests, including the APA Better Newspaper Contest. In that contest, the editorial staff won five awards, including:

First Place, Best headline, for “Still Holding Court.”

First Place, Best Feature Photo, for “Smiles and Charm” by Wes Roberts

Second Place, Best Special Section, for Profile 2009

Second Place, Best Economic Coverage

Third Place, Best Sports Feature Story, for “Trivial Knowledge” by Matt Nascone.

In the Alabama Associated Press Managing Editor’s annual contest, the paper won four photography awards:

First Place, Feature Photo, for “Junior Miss Rehearsal” by Thomas Graning

First Place, Sports Action Photo, for “Fighting Hard” by Thomas Graning

First Place, Spot News Photo, for “Tender Mercy” by Thomas Graning

Second Place, Portfolio of work, Thomas Graning

“Contests are a way for our staff members to measure their work against that of their peers throughout the state, and it’s always extremely competitive,” Graning said.

“I’m proud of our editorial staff and their accomplishments.”

Sixty-four papers in the state competed in the APA Better Newspaper Contest; in the APME contest, The Messenger competed against all other dailies circulation 15,000 and under.