The Log Cabin Democrat took top honors in two categories during the Morris Awards, held last week in Jacksonville, Fla.
The awards honor the best news gathering from the various properties of Morris Communications, the owner of the Log Cabin Democrat. The newspaper competed with the other publications, which span from Florida to Alaska.
Courtney Spradlin and the staff of the LCD won first place in the category of Community Engagement for the paper’s reporting and communications during a nighttime standoff between the Conway Police Department at a black bear stuck in a tree. In addition to the traditional print story and the presence online at thecabin.net, Spradlin and the staff relayed the events through social media, eventually interacting with “the bear,” who had created its own Twitter account.
According to the judges’ remarks, “This was playful coverage of something the community could rally around and have fun with. So often, we are so serious and miss the fun things we can do.
This was water-cooler conversation! They paid attention to what was going on in social media — the Twitter campaign was inventive — and then they went back around and gave it to the print readers. We loved the slide show. It showed us what happened.”
The LCD also took first place in the category of Videography, with Multimedia Specialist Eric White winning for his work on the beginning of the 2012 high school and college football season. The series of videos created by White and Sports Editor David McCollum consisted of interviews with coaches and on location practice coverage.
According to the judges, “This project is an incredible dedication of time and resources to a topic that is severely local and of high interest. Special credit given for incorporating local advertising as sponsors, too.”
The awards were given during the Morris news summit, which hosted the 13 publications over a two-day period.