COLUMBUS - The Herald-Star's 2011 Progress Edition was named the Best Special Section in Ohio when the Associated Press Society of Ohio handed out its annual awards Sunday.
"Pride and Progress: Building for the Future" took top honors in Division II when the awards were presented during the annual luncheon at the Hilton Columbus at Easton Town Center.
"We're excited to have received this award," said Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. "It's truly a reflection of the hard work each member of our staff did in producing the stories and designing the edition."
The 2011 Progress Edition, which was delivered to readers in four sections throughout February, focused on how our area was looking ahead and featured in-depth reporting on how public-private partnerships were driving economic vitality in our region, improvements that were being made to the area's recreational opportunities, expansion of area businesses and how the region was becoming a hotbed in the shale energy drilling industry.
The judges described the project as an aggressive and powerful endeavor featuring no less than two eight-page sections weekly. The variety of topics and the volume of locally written stores also was impressive, the judges wrote. "Progress 2011" sets a scary bar for newspapers, even those with much larger circulation, the judges concluded.
General Excellence awards for 2011 went to The Columbus Dispatch, The (Canton) Repository, the Sandusky Register, The (East Liverpool) Review and The (Fremont) News-Messenger.
The Sidney Daily News won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishments in pursuing freedom of information. The Daily News won with its entry "Sheriff Kimpel."
John F. Wolfe, chief executive officer and publisher of the Columbus Dispatch, was the recipient of the Special Recognition Award.
Sixty-seven daily newspapers submitted 2,928 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2011.
Entries were judged by editors from The Washington (D.C.) Post, Division V; The New York (N.Y.) Times Syndicate, Division IV; the News-Enterprise, Elizabethtown, Ky., and the Kileen (Texas) Daily Herald, Division III; The Dominion Post, Morgantown, and The Statesboro (Ga.) Herald Division II; and The Daily Times, Marysville, Tenn., and The Lake Sun, Camdenton, Mo., Division I.
The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,500 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States. Members of the AP include 87 daily newspapers in Ohio.