The Delta Democrat-Times editorial staff took home numerous awards at the most recent Better Newspaper Contest hosted by the Mississippi Press Association for the 2019 contest year.
Sports Editor David Healy, Managing Editor Catherine Kirk, Photographer Bill Johnson and Publisher and Editor Jon Alverson all won first place awards in the competition.
Healy won first place for sports pages in all daily newspapers. Usually this competition is between newspapers of similar size, but this year, all daily newspapers, including the largest newspapers in the state such as the Clarion Ledger, were judged together. Healy also won second place awards for sports columns, sports action photo, sports feature photograph and a third place for headline writing.
Kirk won first place for general interest columns and second place for commentary columns. She also won second place awards for personality portrait, front page design and lifestyles pages. She won third place awards for spot news story, magazine story and design.
Johnson won first place for personality portrait.
Alverson won first place for general news story and third place for commentary column.
The awards ceremony was held Friday via Zoom instead of the usual summer convention.
Wyatt Emmerich, columnist for the Delta Democrat-Times, won the Emmerich Award for editorial excellence.
The award for lifestyles pages continues a streak of awards for those sections that extend for seven years.
The sports section award is the fifth first place sports section award in the last seven years for the Delta Democrat-Times.
Kirk said she is proud of the hard work shown by the newsroom staff.
“Everyone in the newsroom works hard each day to produce a quality paper for the community, and I think these awards prove that,” she said.
Echoing Kirk’s statement, Alverson said, “I’m happy to see these awards come our way again. They show the work we do every day is worthwhile. The sports pages and lifestyles pages awards show our commitment to excellence in those areas.
“We don’t do this for the awards, but the awards say we are doing our jobs well.”