Observers win top honors from Florida Press Association


The Longboat, East County and Sarasota Observers were named the top three weeklies in the state in the Florida Press Association's 2010 Better Weekly Newspaper Contest. The Observer Group Inc. received the awards at the Florida Press Association's Annual Convention July 1 at The Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg.

The Observer Group swept the General Excellence category, taking first (Longboat), second (East County) and third (Sarasota). The company's website,, also won first place in Website Development.

In addition, the Longboat Observer won first place in Overall Graphic Design (Nancy Schwartz) and Religion Writing (Robin Hartill).

The East County Observer won first place in Sports Game Day Story (Jen Blanco), Sports Feature Story (Jen Blanco) and Spot News Picture (Michael Eng).

The Sarasota Observer won first place in Community History (Loren Mayo).

Other awards included:

Longboat Observer
Second place — Editorial Award (Matt Walsh)
Third place — Community History (Robin Hartill)

East County Observer
Second place — Sports Picture (Jen Blanco)
Second place — Portfolio Photography (Michael Eng)
Third place — Special Issue, Section or Supplements (15 Years Strong)
Third place — Overall Graphic Design (Jessica Eng)

Sarasota Observer
Second place — Overall Graphic Design (Nancy Schwartz)
Third place — Special Issue, Section or Supplement (Season magazine)
Third place — Spot News Picture (Loren Mayo)

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