Six newspapers in the Observer Media Group garnered 61 total awards, including 24 first-place finishes, at the 2013 Florida Press Association Better Weekly Newspaper contest held July 10 to July 11, at the Biltmore in Coral Gables.
The Observer’s newspapers entered into the contest included the Sarasota Observer, East County Observer, Longboat Observer, Palm Coast Observer, Business Observer and the West Orange Times.
The Sarasota Observer won the sweepstakes cup for the most number of awards in its category of a weekly circulation of 15,000 or more. In addition, the Palm Coast Observer (15,000 or more) and the Longboat Observer (7,000 to 15,000) won first place in the general excellence category. In addition, Observer newspapers swept the category for special issue section or supplement (circulation more than 15,000) for the East County Observer’s Football Preview, the Observer’s SEASON magazine and the Observer’s Spirit of America. The Sarasota Observer also swept the category for multimedia storytelling for circulation more than 15,000.
In total, the Sarasota Observer (circulation more than 15,000) claimed 17 awards:
General excellence, first place
Editorial award, first place — Matt Walsh, “Thank you, Alta Vista”
Feature story: profile, first place — Alex Mahadevan, “Hidden History”
Arts, entertainment and review reporting, first place — June LeBell, Sarasota Opera reviews
Business reporting, first place — David Conway, “Zoning code bubbles to surface for breweries”
Community history, first place — Mallory Gnaegy, “Instrumental Anniversary”
Special issue, section or supplement, first place — Observer staff, “Spirit of America”
Best headline, first place — Sarasota Observer staff, “Hotel finds its ‘suite’ spot,” “Groups feel burn of Sunshine,” and “Zoning code bubbles to surface for breweries”
Multimedia storytelling, first place — Mallory Gnaegy, “Day in the life”
Multimedia storytelling, first place — Nick Friedman, “Sarasota Chalk Festival”
Special issue, section or supplement, second place — Mallory Gnaegy, Stephanie Hannum and Nicole Thompson “SEASON”
Informational graphic, second place — Nicole Thompson, “Crime per 100,000 citizens”
Multimedia storytelling, second place — Yaryna Klimchak “A stitch in time”
Overall graphic design, third place — Nicole Thompson, Jennifer Edwards and Nancy Schwartz
Feature story: non-profile, third place — Nick Friedman, “Strumming Along”
Agricultural and environmental, third place — Yaryna Klimchak, “Bird battle”
Sports Spot news story, first place — Jen Blanco, “Playoff Picture”