Daily Leader wins press awards

BILOXI – The Daily Leader news department took home 10 awards, including four first-place honors, from the Mississippi Press Association’s 2013 Better Newspaper Contest Awards ceremony and the Associated Press Media Editors Awards ceremony Saturday in Biloxi.

The Daily Leader competes in the small daily category for daily papers with less than 9,000 circulation.

Among the first-place awards, the newspaper was honored for best editorial page. “The page has an even spread of content ranging from eye-grabbing cartoons to a thorough viewpoint column …,” the judges commented. The page is edited by Daily Leader Editor Rachel Eide.

Also receiving a first-place plaque in the best special section category was The Daily Leader’s 2013 Brides magazine, edited by former Lifestyles Editor and Daily Leader special correspondent Tammie Brewer. “Great variety of interesting articles on the topic,” the judges said. “Great use of graphics and the element of design. Stories all well written.”

Two first-place awards – for best spot news story and best spot news photograph – went to former news reporter Caleb Bedillion.

Commenting on Bedillion’s first place news spot story on a local robbery, the judges said, “Nicely done, particularly the response and reactions of the victims. Often easy to overlook them in a spot crime news story.”

Bedillion’s first place spot news photograph of a local house fire also garnered the judges’ praise.

“Superb composition, captures firefighters, door frame and porch chair indicating a home. The angle of the camera makes the fire seen even in the corner of the ceiling. A threatening force. Terrific action,” the judges said.

The news staff also won two second place awards from Mississippi Press and one second place from the Associated Press.

Eide received a second place award in the feature photo category for a photo of an off-duty policeman and local dancers performing for a video shoot downtown.

The Daily Leader website, dailyleader.com, compiled by the news staff, won a second place award in the best website category, and sports photographer Jonathon Alford won a second place award in the Associated Press Louisiana-Mississippi contest for a sports feature photo.

The Daily Leader also won three third place awards in the Mississippi Press contest.

Focus magazine, edited by Eide and the predecessor of Brookhaven Magazine, won a third place award in the magazine periodical category, and the newspaper’s news content as a whole won third place in the best design category and a third place in the general excellence category.

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