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Times' Web site named best among state's daily newspapers
Georgia Press Association honors site at annual convention
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — Less than a year after being relaunched, The Times’ Web site,, was named Georgia’s best daily newspaper Web site at Friday’s Better Newspaper Contest awards banquet at the Georgia Press Association convention.

The Times print edition won second place in general excellence among newspapers its size in Georgia.

Also, The Times’ ongoing coverage of the drought and its effects on Lake Lanier won a second-place award for community service. Previously, the drought coverage was awarded first place for community service by the Associated Press.

The Web site award makes the top site among daily newspapers of any size in Georgia. Second place went to the Macon Telegraph and third to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

"It is particularly gratifying to have our Web site named the best in the state," Publisher Dennis Stockton said.

"We have made a determined effort to give those readers who look online for The Times the most timely, accurate and complete coverage possible. The recognition by the Georgia Press Association shows that we are doing just that."

Launched in late October as an online companion to the newspaper, is updated continually throughout the day, providing readers with the most accurate news in a fast, easy-to-navigate way. The site also makes extensive use of innovative audio and video technology.

The Georgia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest is an annual competition to recognize the best print journalism in Georgia. In most categories, daily and weekly papers were judged in eight classes based on size. In some categories, such as Web site and information graphics, all weekly newspapers were judged together in one class and all daily newspapers were judged in a second class.

The GPA honors come less than two months after The Times won more awards than any newspaper of any size at the Georgia Associated Press Association awards banquet.

"We’ve built a newsroom full of talented journalists who are dedicated to producing a quality newspaper and Web site that not only tell our readers the facts of the day, but gives them the depth to help them understand the issues," Executive Editor Mitch Clarke said. "I couldn’t be prouder of the
recognition our staff has received, and I hope our readers are seeing their commitment and excellence in our pages every day."

The Times received 18 total awards, including general excellence. Other awards won Friday night by The Times include:

  • First place for best front page.

  • First place for feature writing by Rick Lavender.

  • First place for photo essay by Scott Rogers.

  • First place for news photograph by Robin Michener Nathan. She also won a second-place award for photo essay.

  • Second place for local news coverage.

  • Second place for layout and design.

  • Second place for hard news writing by Debbie Gilbert.

  • Second place for serious column by Executive Editor Mitch Clarke. He also won a third-place award for humorous column.

  • Third place for headline writing.

  • Third place for business coverage by Community Editor Harris Blackwood.

  • Third place for education coverage by Jeff Gill.

  • Third place for sports column by Katie B. Davis.

  • Third place for information graphics by Senior Design Editor Kristen Morales.

General excellence is calculated by assigning point values to awards earned by each newspaper; the newspaper with the highest number of points wins in its category. Points earned in the separate Georgia Press Association Advertising Awards are included in the point total.

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