“I am proud of each individual award but General Excellence takes an all-around team effort and is a testament to the hard work and long hours our staff has put in over the past year,” said MDJ Publisher Otis Brumby III, adding the award will provide the impetus to make Cobb’s leading news source an even better newspaper. “As an organization, we recognize there are still areas to improve. We must continue to grow, create unique content and enhance our distribution channels. Our organization is committed to these goals, and I believe some of our best journalistic efforts are ahead of us.”
General Excellence is based on a package of newspapers chosen over the course of the year by competing publications and random dates chosen by the GPA. These packages are then judged on the overall quality of the editions.
The MDJ also earned first place in another top category, Local News Coverage, a category in which the MDJ also earned second place. The nine first place award were four more than the nearest competition in the 30,000-and-under circulation category, The Times of Gainesville and The Athens Banner-Herald. The MDJ also earned six second-place awards and six third-place awards.
“I am extremely proud of the editorial department for earning the General Excellence award. News, sports, lifestyle, photography, copy desk … every staff member had a big hand in winning this award,” said MDJ Managing Editor Billy Mitchell. “The talent and passion this staff puts into their work is reflected in this award. I salute them all.
“These awards also are a result of our broad coverage of Cobb County and I think they are an accurate indicator of our continued emphasis on local news.”
The MDJ also earned first-place recognition for best Lifestyle coverage and best headlines. Chief Photographer Kelly J. Huff won first place for Best News Photo, Best Sports News Photo and Best Sports Photo. Editorial Page Editor Joe Kirby earned the top award for Editorial Pages and Editorial Writing.
FIRST PLACE: General Excellence; Local News Coverage; Lifestyle Coverage; Editorial Page; Editorial Writing; Headline Writing; News Photo; Sports News Photo; Sports Photograph.
SECOND PLACE: Local News Coverage; Hard News; Community News; Sports News Photo; Sports Feature Photo; News Feature Photo.
THIRD PLACE: Layout and Design; Sports Writing; Sports Pages; Special Section; Religion; Humorous Column.