Breaking news: Two Observer Media Group publications earned the titles of “Newspaper of the Year” in Local Media Association’s annual competition.
LMA, the only non-profit professional trade association that serves the suburban and community newspaper industry, is made up of more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada.
According to an LMA news release, the winning newspapers “displayed top-notch editorial coverage, eye-catching graphic design and prominent advertising layouts, exemplifying creativity and innovation in all areas of the newspaper.”
The Sarasota Observer took first place in class C, made up of non-daily newspapers with a weekly circulation of 22,501 to 37,500.
Judges’ comments included: “It’s difficult to evaluate content, typography and advertising separately in this tightly integrated, complete package of community coverage. It all works as one. A tabloid might appear small in size, but the news, feature and community coverage is broad and seemingly comprehensive. The headlines deliver, but it’s a combination of solid writing and effective typography. Overall, in editorial and advertising, the paper displays some of the most sophisticated typography and display in the category.”
The Longboat Observer was named the top newspaper in class B, made up of non-daily newspapers with a weekly circulation of 10,001 to 22,500.
Judges’ comments included: “This is a very diverse publication with a strong blend of hard news, feature and information. Headlines are clear, with good layering that lets readers scan. Photos are exceptionally strong and widely used. It’s clear that the Longboat Observer sets the area agenda and reflects it. Advertising is plentiful — front page ‘stickies’ and inserts show a burgeoning advertising load. Classifieds are easy to scan, as are the directories. House ads are also lively and well done.”
The Longboat Observer previously won second place in its circulation division in the 2009 Newspaper of the Year contest.
For the 2012 Newspaper of the Year contest, staff of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism judged contest entries.