Daily wins 48 APME awards
By Bruce McLellan Executive Editor 7 hrs ago
BIRMINGHAM — The Decatur Daily news staff won the Freedom of Information category and received three sweepstakes awards Saturday during the Alabama Associated Press Media Editors awards program.
The Daily received a total of 48 awards in the competition for articles, photographs, page designs and more published last year. Winners were announced in Birmingham at the APME program for state newspapers and television and radio stations.
The first place in Freedom of Information came in a competition with newspapers in all divisions and was for Daily Metro Editor Eric Fleischauer’s effort to obtain, analyze and report on the state’s incentive agreement for the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA project. The reporting was intended to increase the public's understanding of the project and of the state's cost in securing it. “We are proud of all of our accomplishments and awards,” said Scott Brown, director of operations for The Decatur Daily and Tennessee Valley Media. “It is always an honor to win Freedom of Information. It’s a recognition of not just one instance where we made the effort to obtain public records but validates the dozens of requests we make each year on behalf of citizens after initially being refused access.”
In the Public Service category, which also includes all newspaper divisions, Fleischauer’s reporting on former Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin’s use of jail food money finished third.
The Daily’s other awards came against newspapers of similar size.
The Daily won the news, sportswriting and photo sweepstakes, which were based on points accumulated for other awards in that category.
Following are The Daily’s place finishes:
Freedom of Information: First, Eric Fleischauer, "Mazda Toyota Auto Plant Agreement and Incentives.”
Public Service: Third, Fleischauer, “Sheriff's Use of Inmate Food Money Under Scrutiny.”
Best Education Story: First, Deangelo McDaniel, "Arming Teachers"; second, Bayne Hughes, "On the Fast Track.”
Best Business Story: First, Fleischauer, "Remington Misfire?"; second, Marian Accardi and McDaniel, "Mazda Toyota Plant Called 'Game-Changer'"; third, Hughes, "Mooring Loss Impacting Barges."
Best News Feature: First, Fleischauer, "The Sheriff’s Nemesis"; third, Michael Wetzel, "Lost to Time."
Best Lifestyle Feature: First, Catherine Godbey, "Kids of Yoga"; second, Godbey, "Prayers for Chloe."
Best Non-Deadline Reporting: First, Michael Wetzel, "Suicide on the Rise”; second, Hughes, "Gender Gap.”
Best Deadline Reporting: First, Daily staff, “Winds Whip Valley”; second, Fleischauer, "Ex-Warden Charges Dismissed"; third, Mary Sell, "Lawmaker Henry Arrested.”
Sports Non-Deadline Reporting: First, Matthew Speakman, "Using the Ol’ Head”; second, David Elwell, "If a Helmet Could Talk.”
Sports Deadline Reporting: Second, Elwell, "Never Give Up."
Sports Feature: First, Elwell, "Remembering Hazlewood Football"; third, Speakman, "Father-Son Duos."
Participatory Sports Story: First, Elwell, "Dream Team for Area Soccer"; second, Justin Graves, "Where the Fish are Biting."
Best Photo Illustration: First, Crystal Vander Weit, "Cancer Awareness Hero”; second, Jeronimo Nisa, "Baseball Smarties.”
Best Portrait: First, Vander Weit, "Noah Boler”; second, Nisa, "Hall of Fame"; third, Nisa, "James Odom.”
Best Humorous Photo: First, John Godbey, "Nose to Nose"; second, Vander Weit, "Too Close For Comfort."
Best Sports Action Photo: First, Vander Weit, “Catch”; second, Nisa, "Dragon Boat.”
Best Sports Feature Photo: Second, Dan Busey, "Prayer"; third, Nisa, "Halftime."
Best Spot Feature Photo: First, Nisa, "Chicken on a Leash"; second, Nisa, "Shiny Gym Floor"; third, Vander Weit, "Curtain."
Best Spot News Photo: First, Busey, "Hallelujah!"; second, John Godbey, "Storm Damage"; third, Vander Weit, "Right After the Tornado."
Best Photo Compilation: First, Vander Weit, "Homeless in Decatur"; second, Nisa, "Power of Pink"; third, Vander Weit, "Little Farmers."
Best Individual Portfolio: First, John Godbey; second, Vander Weit.