“The depth of coverage this paper provided was outstanding. The photography used, ads used were all designed to support the outstanding editorial coverage.”
For the sixth year in a row the Georgia Press Association awarded Smoke Signals first place for General Excellence in its annual Better Newspaper Contest division. Smoke Signals received a total of 32 awards—20 for advertising and 12 for editorial excellence.
COVID-19 upset the timing and location of this year’s award ceremony. Instead of the traditional GPA Convention awards banquet at the Jekyll Island Club in June, an announcement email was sent to the competing newspapers on July 6. Winners were honored for their outstanding achievements in newspaper journalism and advertising. Professional journalists from the Tennessee Press Association judged the contest.
Editorial entries were judged in seven divisions based on circulation. Smoke Signals entries were judged in Division D (circulation of 6,000 to 15,000) or Division G (all weekly newspapers of more than 15,000 in circulation and all GPA associate media members).
Smoke Signals 2020 awards—the judges’ comments available are indicated in quote marks next to award information below:
- General Excellence, Division G: First Place.
- Best Use of Graphics and Illustration, The Albert and Dorothy Jenkins Award, All Weekly newspapers, First place, Karen Webster. “Eye catching! Great use of a variety of visual elements to make the page engaging and interesting.”
- Layout and Design, Division G: First Place, Karen Webster. “The depth of coverage this paper provided was outstanding. The photography used, ads used were all designed to support the outstanding editorial coverage.”
- Lifestyle Coverage, Division D: First Place. Anita Rosen. “Graphically pleasing with a good mixture of decent writing on various topics. Although it has the look of a publication from a much larger town it also has a solid community flavor.”
- Page One, Division G: Second Place, “Decent layout with most newsworthy story stripped across the top on two editions to show importance; crisp photos.”
- Feature Photo, Division G: Second Place, Rhonda Stock, David, Akoubian Jerry Deeds. “Objectively beautiful photos of the natural world.”
- Editorial Writing, Division G: Second Place, Ken Reynolds. “Excellent, persuasive and informative writing. A very close second.”
- Feature Writing Division G: Second Place, Barbara Schneider. “Missing persons podcast article worth a read.”
- Best Web Photo, All Weekly newspapers: Second Place, Phil Anderson
- Best Website, All Weekly Newspapers: Third place, Smoke Signals. “Nice features on the website, good history stories as well as local news, especially like the addition of online puzzles.”
- Feature Writing, Division G: Third Place, Chris Barker
- Serious Column Division G: Third Place, George Fox
- Humorous Column, Division G: Third Place, Brett Carroll
Advertising team takes home gold
Barbara Smith, Smoke Signals advertising designer received 20 awards including eight first place, four second place and eight third place awards for the ads she created for Smoke Signals during 2019. The list of advertising winners and categories is below with judges’ comments that were provided in quotations after the award information.
- Real Estate - Campaign - Camprini & Co. - all months. “Nice campaign using different holidays and seasons of the year for artwork - very clean and well designed.”
- Home Furnishings & Appliances - Ariana - December Front Page Banner. “Soft and striking colors, simple but elegant design. Proves the statement ‘less is more’”.
- Apparel & Jewelry - Clock Tower - June Ad. “Good use of soft summer colors and background artwork.”
- Miscellaneous - Ace Hardware – March. “Wonderful ad. Loved the Lady Bug and this isn’t your typical Ace Hardware ad.”
- Signature Page - Smoke Signals Holiday Collection – December. “Good use of color and easy to read. Good layout.”
- Small Page Ad - The Beauty Bar – October. “This ad catches your eye.”
- Advertising Campaign - Premier Indoor - all months. “Great colorful campaign with a really clean layout.”
- Service - Kelly Cruz – October. “I can see myself there!”
- Home Furnishings & Appliances - Ariana - July
- Newspaper Promotion - Smoke Signals Dive in Puppy - July
- Signature Page - Smoke Signals Mother’s & Father’s Day Collection - May
- Small Page Ad - Blinds By Design - August
- Advertising Campaign - PetAuPair - all months
- Apparel & Jewelry - Clock Tower - July
- Food - Rooster’s Farm Fresh – August. “Nice fresh, crisp ad. “Now Open” draws you in with a can’t miss pop of color.”
- Home Furnishings & Appliances – ServiceMax, June.
- Miscellaneous - Good Samaritan - March
- Service - Bear Creek Rug - March
- Signature Page - Smoke Signals Valentine Page - February
- Small Page Ad - The Beauty Bar - December