The Daily Leader’s staff wins a baker’s dozen — Newspaper staff brings home 13 awards at state press convention

Published 9:19 pm Monday, June 18, 2018

The Daily Leader picked up 13 awards for excellence in journalism — including a first place prize for a sports story written by Adam Northam — at the annual convention of the Mississippi Press Association in New Orleans Saturday.

The Daily Leader, competing against other daily newspapers with similar circulation, ranked third in the state for General Excellence in the annual Better Newspaper Contest Editorial Division.

The 2017 Better Newspaper Contest was judged by volunteers from the South Carolina Press Association. Fifty-one newspapers submitted a total of 2,307 entries into this year’s editorial contest.

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Founded in 1866 and now in its 152nd year, MPA is a trade association representing Mississippi newspaper media.

The newspaper was awarded first place for Northam’s story about the Loyd Star baseball team’s title being revoked. Judges called it “a solid story that hit all the angles of the championship being revoked from the school’s reaction to parents of the ineligible players.”

Northam also won second place for a collection of sports columns and third place for a story about Clear Branch Baptist Church’s Halloween drama called “Web of Lies.”

Publisher Luke Horton was awarded third place for a collection of editorials and also scored second place and third place for news packages — a combination of graphics and story — about Census data and Lincoln County School District lines.

The Daily Leader staff received several awards including second place for the annual Gridiron magazine and second place for Brookhaven Magazine, which is published six times a year. The staff also took third place in three other categories: headlines, sports game story and in-depth investigative coverage for a three-part series concerning candidates and taxes, which ran prior to the municipal election. The newspaper’s website,, also was picked for a third place award in the website category.