The Leader staff claims hefty haul of awards in statewide newspaper contest

Leader news staff
Posted 10/14/20

The staff of The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader claimed top prizes in a diverse slate of categories in this year’s competition for Washington state’s best newspapers.

The …

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The Leader staff claims hefty haul of awards in statewide newspaper contest


The staff of The Port Townsend & Jefferson County Leader claimed top prizes in a diverse slate of categories in this year’s competition for Washington state’s best newspapers.

The Leader received top accolades — including several first-place awards — in the news, photography, advertising and specialty publication categories, among others.

Rainier Powers, The Leader’s graphic artist and production designer, received third place in the “Ad of the Year” division for his work promoting the THING Festival.

He also nabbed two first-place awards: in “Single Advertiser Sale/Event (smaller than ½ page)” for a Nifty Fiftys promo, and “Branding Ad” for a Hulbert Construction ad.

Powers also received three third-place advertising awards, for “Single Advertiser Sale/Event
(½ page or larger)” for work done for Howell’s Sandwich Co.; “Use of Clip Art” for a Chamber of Jefferson County ad; and a “Humorous Ad” done for Elevated Ice Cream Co.

He also claimed a third-place “Breaking News Photo” award for his image of the Ninaa Otakii, a sailboat that crashed ashore at Beckett Point.

The Leader claimed two awards in the “Editorial” opinion division: first place for former editor Dean Miller’s “City Hall Sits on Offer to City Manager”; and third place for Lloyd Mullen’s “Learning from Tragedy.”

Mullen also claimed two first-place advertising awards for work done promoting The Leader.

The staff as a whole were recognized with two awards in the “Special Events/Festivals Sections” division: publications highlighting the Centrum Music Festival (second place) and the Wooden Boat Festival (third place).

Former Leader reporter Carmen Jaramillo took home a first-place award in the “Health or Medical story” category for an article about mental health and a second-place award for a “Social Issue” story about a series of three deaths among the local homeless population.

Former reporter Lily Haight claimed a first-place award in “General Feature, Short” for her story “Hen Bravery Set Stage for Victory,” and second place in the “Environmental Story” category for “Discovering a Lost Wilderness.”

“I’m extremely proud of the hard work done every day by our team, and it’s very encouraging when their efforts are recognized by their peers,” said Leader Publisher Donna Etchey.

“They take great pride in what they do — and they should,” she said.

The newer additions to the Leader newsroom were also recognized this year for work done at their previous papers.

The Bainbridge Island Review, previously helmed by Leader editor Brian Kelly, received the coveted first-place award in the “General Excellence” competition. Also called out in the win was Luciano Marano, who was the newspaper’s veteran reporter at the time.

The North Kitsap Herald, where Leader reporter Nick Twietmeyer was previously the editor, received a second-place “General Excellence” award.

Kelly and Twietmeyer, among others, were also among those recognized with a second-place award in the “Lifestyle/Culture Special Section” for the “Upbeat Fall 2019” publication that appeared in the Port Orchard Independent.

Additionally, Marano claimed second place overall in the “Feature Writer of the Year” competition for work done while at the Review.

Kelly claimed a first-place award in the “General News Photo” division for his photograph of Grace Smith at solo ballet practice in the sanctuary of her church following the COVID-caused shutdown of her ballet school. He also won second place in “Front Page Design.”

Awards for the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2020 Better Newspaper Contest were presented by video, via YouTube, Friday, Oct. 9.

This year’s competition, which evaluated work published between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020, was judged by the New York Press Association.

Officials said 51 newspapers across Washington competed in the contest, with nearly 1,500 total entries received.


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Nancy Botta

Congratulations, PTLeader!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
HarveyW-Collateral Damage

So many of the awards were to former Leader staff and former Editor Dean Miller, and publisher Lloyd Mullen. Mr. Miller understood what the term Fourth Estate means and was the best a local paper can be in questioning the Status Quo. He didn't last long. As I have noted before, a newspaper is a business. If major advertisers are also politicians such as the current 3 time Appointed Mayor, 20 year City Council member with her real estate business, decisions must be made how deep to drill into stories like parking deconstruction, which serves her industry, with no regulations or rules considering parking impact with the sale and development of real estate.

Last week a story broke in the Port Townsend Free Press regarding the City Manager's less than advertised qualifications. Far less. Even at the claimed level he has no experience. Now he will appoint a Police Chief who won't be allowed to enforce basic laws and codes. The key to corruption is compromised staffing. Aside from my comments last week, there is no mention of the City Manager scandal, or the ongoing parking deconstruction and ignored multiple studies for profit, all can plainly see.

Will the Leader lead and win another award for true journalism with its current new staffing? So far it looks like what won awards regarding editorials was a one time anomaly. You do have to pay the bills. Real estate advertising is a big fish.

Appointed Mayor Stinson is gone. Some voters did wake up for a while. 3 time Appointed Mayor Sandoval and her influence on the 17 million dollar City debt and failing roads are obviously still here. What about the mis represented qualifications of the City Manager? Award winning journalism has been done on that subject. It was the Port Townsend Free Press, not the Leader. Lead us into more information, Leader. The silence is deafening.

Here is what award winning journalism looks like. As my comment on this story said, it all comes down to voters who simply don't connect the dots.,63395?

Thursday, October 15, 2020