The Morgan County Citizen was named the best weekly in the state of Georgia last Friday at the annual meeting of the Georgia Press Association.
Competing with weekly newspapers across the state, the Citizen and its staff placed in several categories including Page One Design, Local News Coverage, Special Issues, Spot News Photo, Feature Photo and Religion Writing. Managing Editor Tia Lynn Ivey won first place in the Enterprise Story category in part with a story she produced in 2018 attempting to explain ambulance response times and costs associated with the service. On Ivey’s work, a judge said “excellent reporting on timely topics of high interest… you really went the extra mile…”
Ivey also garnered a first place award in Business Writing for coverage of the Facebook project.
Staff member Jesse Walker won first place in the Magazine Photography division. Art Director Danielle N. Hawkins was awarded first place in the Magazine Cover Design category. Lake Oconee Living Magazine Editor Andrea Gable shared a first place award for Magazine Product with Hawkins and won first place in the Magazine Story category.
The newspaper staff also won a first place for Lifestyle Coverage.
In a separate Newspaper Advertising Contest, the Morgan County Citizen won first place honors in the Apparel, Jewelry and Accessories category; first place in the Newspaper Promotion Out of Print category; first place in the Food category and first place in the Special Section category. The paper also placed in the Non-Traditional advertising category and the Apparel, Jewelry and Accessories category.
Staff member and Senior Writer Dianne Yost compiled the award packages and accepted the newspaper’s first place in General Excellence category before a ballroom full of state’s newspaper professionals at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel.
“It is gratifying for this newspaper, this staff and this community to be recognized as the state’s best,” said Publisher Patrick Yost. “Like so many things in Madison and Morgan County we strive to be the best on a weekly basis and this award validates that effort.”
The Oconee Enterprise in Watkinsville placed second in the General Excellence category and the Jackson Herald in Jefferson placed third. The Enterprise is edited by Michael Prochaska. Prochaska served as an intern and, briefly, as the managing editor of the Morgan County Citizen.