Media Archive

Newspaper earns honors from state press group

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 43, October 22, 2003

PORTLAND Two staff members of the Piscataquis Observer recently attended the annual convention of the Maine Press Association and carried home several awards.

Representing the newspaper were Jim Macomber, sales representative, and Ben Bragdon, reporter. During the "Better Newspaper Contest" banquet, the highlight of the two day convention for many in attendance, the Observer staff members accepted honors in several categories of the annual press gathering.

On behalf of the newspaper, Macomber accepted first-place honors in the Newspaper in Education division of the 2003 statewide competition for daily and weekly newspapers. As part of a multi-page supplement highlighting the importance of newspapers in the classroom Observer staff solicited student-written articles and student-designed advertisements to showcase.

In making their selection, contest judges had this to say about the Observer's award-winning NIE section. "The execution of the idea was carried out well with numerous photos on the lead-off page, plus a signed explanatory comment by staff writer Jessica Lee to set up the section &Mac247; a necessary component. The inside story about budding journalists at Foxcroft Academy shows that the newspaper went out of its way to get something extra, as were two student commentaries on the last page. The kids pics and comments were well done; the question for that age group was right on target. Overall, nice layqut, nice package."

"The newspaper is currently making plans to create another NIE supplement in 2004. Informational packets will be sent to area teachers with plans to make this year's promotion even better," said Macomber.

Bragdon, who covers sports for the Observer each week, won several individual awards from his peers. He won second place in the sports column category for his commentary on ESPN and its impact on sports. His story on the Dexter Tigers' state field hockey title won third-place honors in the sports story ranks.

The Observer's sports section placed third in the state behind the Mount Desert Islander and the York Weekly. Recognizing that Bragdon also wrote news stories and took photos for the paper, judges called him "the hardest working journalist around."

Mark Putnam, executive editor for Northeast Publishing Company which oversees the Dover-Foxcroft newspaper, also attended the convention and awards ceremony. "We are extremely proud of the work done each and every week by our Observer staff. They all care about the communities they serve and it shows every Wednesday when the paper hits the street. This small staff works hard and it is nice to be noticed by your peers," he said.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.