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Start The Presses: A rewarding day

April 16, 2011|Dan Evans

This is a big day for us.

On Saturday, the California Newspaper Publishers Association awarded the Burbank Leader three first-place prizes. This included the grand prize for “General Excellence,” an honor that recognizes the entirety of the paper: from its news coverage to its sports coverage; from its columnists to its opinion pages; from its layout to its photography.

The Leader was also honored with separate first-place awards for its design and its website. I want to particularly thank Matt Wilkes for his continually award-winning work on the design side. And though the website is a staff effort, I would be remiss if I did not thank former Web Editor Jamie Wetherbe for her vision for the site, and current online maven Katie Landan for her work building on that solid foundation.

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In addition to the awards won by the Leader, Megan O'Neil received first-place honors for her coverage of the mudslides in the Foothills for our sister paper, the La Cañada Valley Sun. O'Neil currently covers education for the Leader and Glendale News-Press.

Keep in mind, this is on top of the dozen or so honorable mentions the Leader and News-Press received for, among other categories, sports reporting, photography and editorial page writing. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Still, I am particularly proud of the general excellence award, as it highlights the team effort. The Leader won the award in our category, weeklies with a circulation of between 11,001 and 25,000. It's a bit heady when you look at some of the other winners: the San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Francisco Examiner, Santa Cruz Sentinel and The Desert Sun.

I'll stop bragging on this in a moment, but I'd like to share a comment from the Blue Ribbon Panel — the group that made the final decision on the award:

“Comprehensive local coverage: front pages reflect a good mix of stories with government, crimes, sports and business. Wide range of columns cover aspects of community. Paper is well-organized, good local editorial cartoons and local sports coverage, and photos are nicely displayed. Great job!”

Following the CNPA ceremony, I had the opportunity to stop by the arts festival going on this weekend in downtown Burbank. It continues through today, so you still have time.

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