Newspaper staff members honored

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The editorial staff of Carroll County Newspapers had a strong showing in the Arkansas Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Editorial Contest, winning a total of 35 awards. For the second consecutive year, the Carroll County News was awarded first place for general excellence among medium-circulation weekly newspapers.

Every member of the full-time editorial staff won at least one individual first-place award, and freelance photographer David Bell won Photo of the Year in a competition that included every newspaper in the state.

The awards were presented on Saturday, June 30, at an awards banquet that closed out the APA’s annual super-convention. This year’s event was held at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks in Eureka Springs.

“Last year was the first time ever that CCN was selected as the best weekly newspaper in Arkansas. It was a great honor to editor Scott Loftis and the staff,” said Carroll County Newspapers publisher Bob Moore. “But to repeat again this year and to be honored at the state press convention in Eureka Springs was truly amazing. I am happy for the entire staff. They work hard to cover the county and keep our community informed. I am so proud of them. Every one of them received a first-place award and some more than one in different categories. There were lots of smiles around our table at the luncheon. It was a great team effort.”

“I really don’t have the words to express how incredibly proud I am of our staff,” said Scott Loftis, managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers, which publishes both the Carroll County News and the Lovely County Citizen. “These awards reflect a lot of hard work and dedication to serving our customers — the people who read our publications to stay informed about their community. Our staff is very deserving of this recognition.”

The Carroll County Newspapers staff won eight individual first-place awards. Photographer Tavi Ellis won first place for Single News Photograph in the Medium Weeklies division and also took first place for Single Feature Photograph in the Larger Weeklies Division —a category where she also won second place. News reporter Kelby Newcomb won first place for Feature Story among Medium Weeklies and also won second place and received an honorable mention in that category. Sports editor Ty Loftis won first place for Sports Feature Story in Medium Weeklies. Bell won first place for Single Feature Photograph among Medium Weeklies. Associate editor Samantha Jones won first place for Feature Story in Larger Weeklies. Scott Loftis won first place for Sports Column in Medium Weeklies and shared first place for Front Page Design in Medium Weeklies with the late Melody Rust, who passed away on Thanksgiving Day 2017.

“It was very special for all of us to see Melody honored,” said Scott Loftis. “And just to be clear, the winning page was all Melody’s work. We were asked to submit multiple pages in that category and I worked on some of the other pages that we submitted, but Melody is the one who won that award.”

Jones, who manages day-to-day editorial functions at the Lovely County Citizen, won second-place awards for News/Political Column in both the Medium Weeklies and Larger Weeklies divisions and General Interest Column in Larger Weeklies, took third place for Humorous Column, News Story and Coverage of Education, all for Larger Weeklies, and earned an honorable mention in Feature Story in addition to taking first place in that category for Larger Weeklies. She also earned honorable mentions for Beat Reporting in Larger Weeklies and for News/Political Column in Medium Weeklies.

Newcomb, who covers Berryville and Green Forest city government and the education beat and also is the lead features writer for the Carroll County News, won second place for Coverage of Education, Coverage of Business/Agriculture, News Story, In-Depth Series Reporting and Headline Writing, all for Medium Weeklies.

Ty Loftis won third place for Sports News Story and he and Scott Loftis shared third place for Best Sports Page in Medium Weeklies.

Bell, who retired as a full-time photographer for Carroll County Newspapers in 2017 but continues to work on a free-lance basis, won third place for Single News Photograph and for Sports Feature Photograph, both in Medium Weeklies.

Ellis, the lead photographer for both the Carroll County News and the Lovely County Citizen, won third place for Picture Page/Photo Essay among Medium Weeklies.

Scott Loftis, who covers county government and the courts beat in addition to serving as managing editor, won second place for Beat Reporting and General Interest Column, both in Medium Weeklies.

Seven papers competed in the Medium Weeklies division, submitting a total of 264 entries. Among Larger Weeklies, seven newspapers submitted a total of 278 entries.

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