COLUMBUS — Sixty-four daily newspapers from across the Buckeye State competed in this year’s Ohio Associated Press Media Editor’s newspaper competition with Ohio Valley Publishing (OVP) receiving an award in its division.
OVP Editor Beth Sergent was named the 2017 Best Feature Writer in Division I. Sergent submitted into the contest three feature stories which were published in 2017 in OVP’s newspapers, the Gallipolis Daily Tribune, The Daily Sentinel and Point Pleasant Register. One of the three submissions included “A Survivor’s Story” which detailed how William Edmondson of King, N.C., survived the Silver Bridge collapse in 1967. Edmondson was one of only a handful of people pulled alive from the Ohio River on Dec. 15, 1967.
“It was an honor to be nominated and I consider this a win for Ohio Valley Publishing staff, both present and past, who all do/did their part to tell the stories of our communities,” Sergent said.
In all, those 64 competing daily newspapers submitted 1,922 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics, and photos from 2017. The awards were presented in Columbus this past Saturday.
General Excellence awards for 2017 went to The Columbus Dispatch, The Canton Repository, Sandusky Register, The (Newark) Advocate and The Chillicothe Gazette.
The Lancaster Eagle Gazette won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishment in pursuing freedom of information. The newspaper won with its entry “The Fall of Brian Kuhn.”
Also Saturday, four journalists were inducted into the Ohio APME Hall of Fame for exceptional distinction and honor in the field of journalism: Ken Barhorst of The Sidney Daily News, Holly Geaman Koza of WLIO-TV, Thomas J. Mullen of The Lima News and Pershing Rohrer of the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier.
Bethany Bruner, a reporter at The (Newark) Advocate, was named Ohio APME’s Newspaper Rising Star. That award recognizes journalists with five years or less in journalism.
Entries were judged by editors from The Detroit News, Division V; Digital First Media, Troy, Michigan, Division IV; the La Porte (Indiana) Herald-Argus and the Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle, Division III; the Niagara-Gazette, Niagara Falls, New York and the Cadillac (Michigan) News, Division II; the Petoskey (Michigan) News-Review and the Ludington (Michigan) Daily News, Division I.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this article.