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FCN brings home many awards
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Forsyth County News
The Forsyth County News has been honored as one of Georgia’s top newspapers, taking second place in general excellence for papers its size during the 2009 Georgia Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest.

The newspaper won a total of 24 awards, including eight first-place honors, for its news, sports and lifestyles coverage.

The awards were announced during a banquet at the recent GPA convention on Jekyll Island. The contest, held annually, recognizes the best print journalism in Georgia.

"Hearing from your peers in the industry that you are doing a good job is always gratifying, and earning recognition as one of the best newspapers in the state is certainly rewarding. But the real measure of a local newspaper is the support it receives from its readers and advertisers, and in that regard we are very fortunate indeed," said John Hall, publisher of the newspaper.

"At the Forsyth County News we have an excellent group of employees in every department committed to producing a quality, community oriented newspaper and Web site. We think we have made some strong improvements to both our newspaper and our Web site in recent months, and plan to continue doing so in the months to come."

Among the contest honors, the newspaper's Progress 2008 section won first place in the special sections category.

Education and lifestyles coverage each garnered first place recognition, while first for business coverage went to Staff Writer Jennifer Sami.

Photographer Emily Saunders received three first-place awards. Saunders won for best Web photo, sports photograph and spot news photo.

The newspaper swept the category for feature writing. Former Associate Editor Ben Holcombe won first place, Sami finished second and Staff Writer Frank Reddy received third.

In addition to general excellence, the newspaper took second place for local news coverage.

Second-place individual awards went to Sports Writer BJ Corbitt for sports writing; Sami for hard news writing; and Saunders for sports feature photograph.

The newspaper's third-place awards included editorial page, editorial writing, page one and sports section.

Sports Editor Jared Putnam won two individual third-place awards for sports photograph and sports feature photograph.

Other third-place individual honors went to Online Editor Jim Dean for best photo gallery on a newspaper Web site; Sami for feature photograph; and Saunders for news photograph.

In April, the Forsyth County News won nine awards, including four first places, in the GPA annual advertising contest. The FCN newsroom won eight awards in last year's GPA newspaper contest.