Press association names Enterprise newspaper of year

Newsroom staff wins 13 first-place and one second-place award in competition

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Enterprise took top honors Friday in a regional press association contest.

Named Newspaper of the Year for its circulation division by the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association, The Enterprise newsroom staff won 13 first-place awards and one second-place award in the 2008 editorial contest. The results were announced at a luncheon in Baltimore.

The midsize, non-daily circulation division in which The Enterprise competes is the largest of the six divisions included in the contest, representing 55 newspapers.

"I am so proud of the editorial staff at The Enterprise," said Karen Acton, group president and publisher of Southern Maryland Newspapers. "Their commitment to excellent journalism is evident by the awards that they have received and by the service that we provide to our community. I am thrilled that we won Newspaper of the Year again. I know how hard the staff works, and it is rewarding to be recognized for their efforts. Congratulations to the staff."

The Enterprise newsroom staff won two first-place awards as a group. One was for public service, which honored the special section "Safety Net," published Jan. 30, 2008, that outlined the challenges to and contributions of the county's volunteer emergency fire and rescue squads as well as related stories and editorials on the issue.

"Wow," wrote the contest judge, a newspaper editor from the Minnesota Press Association, of the entry. "By the time I finished reading your ‘Safety Net' special section and the supporting articles, I was ready to give you a standing ovation! The editorial voiced a specific call to action and you made things happen."

The staff also won first place for continuing coverage for its ongoing work on the legality of gambling machines, an effort led by staff writers John Wharton and Jesse Yeatman, with editorials by Rick Boyd, editor.

Susan Craton, community editor, won first place in the feature story category for "R u fast enuf?," a story about a Leonardtown teen who competed in a national texting competition. That entry also won best in show as the top entry among all the feature stories in every circulation division.

Craton also won first place for feature story profile for "Sock still rocks," a story about the Clinton's former First Cat that lived in Hollywood with Betty Currie.

Former staff writers Jeanne Murray and the late Paul C. Leibe won first-place honors for their two-part series on "Women at War."

Staff writer Kayleigh Kulp won a first-place award for economy coverage for "As price of gas balloons, it sends other costs soaring."

Yeatman won a first-place award for environmental coverage for his story on the struggling clam industry, "This man knows manoes."

Donnie Morgan, managing editor, and Yeatman won for best headline with "Liquor board throws cold water on Hot Noodle," a story about the liquor board revoking a business' alcohol license because of unlawful acts on the premises.

In the spot news photo category, Yeatman took first-place honors for his photo "Pickup skids off road in Sandgates." Reid Silverman, photographer, won second-place for his photo of a volunteer fireman at work at a barn fire for "Trash fire spreads to barn."

Silverman won first place in the sports photo category for his shot of several members of the Great Mills High School girls basketball team struggling to maintain possession of the ball in "Great Mills remains undefeated."

Silverman also won first place in the art or illustration category for a photo illustration of actors auditioning to be a ghost in the Ghosts of Sotterley event last year that accompanied a story, "Good ghosts?"

Paul Watson, regional sports editor, won first place for sports page design for his work on the Nov. 4, 2008, edition of The Enterprise.

And Elizabeth Ayres, a local author who writes the Soundings essay each month, was awarded first-place honors in the local column: feature or humor category for "Sea nettles," which was published in the July 16 edition of The Enterprise.

The MDDC Editorial Contest is designed to recognize editorial excellence in the newspapers of Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The contest features 38 categories. Complete results and more comments from judges are available at

The Enterprise last won newspaper of the year honors in the 2004 MDDC Editorial Contest.