The Forsyth County News has again been honored as one of Georgia’s top newspapers, taking first place in general excellence for papers its size during the 2011 Georgia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
It was the second consecutive year the newspaper has finished first.
The FCN won a total of 17 awards this year, including nine first-place honors for, among others, its sports section, local news and lifestyles coverage, page one and layout and design.
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.
"Our reporting staff and editors had an outstanding showing in this year’s contest," said John Hall, publisher of the newspaper. "They’ve really done some excellent community reporting as evidenced by the awards.
"The entire staff has worked diligently as a team, under Editor Kevin Atwill’s leadership, to again capture first-place in the general excellence category. This top award simply says that Forsyth County News was recognized among peers in the industry as the best in Georgia among newspapers of similar size.
"It’s a great tribute to the day-in and day-out work of a dedicated newsroom."
Among the contest honors, the newspaper swept the special sections category, with its Progress 2010 section taking first place.
The annual Life in Forsyth issue received second, while third place went to the newspaper’s section celebrating the city of Cumming’s 175th anniversary.
The newspaper’s editorial page garnered second-place recognition, while second for business coverage went to Staff Writer Jennifer Sami and second for religion coverage went to Staff Writer Alyssa LaRenzie.
LaRenzie also received individual third-place honors for education coverage and feature writing.
Sports Writer BJ Corbitt earned first place in sports writing.
Second-place honors went to Sports Editor Jared Putnam for sports photograph.
In addition, Photographer Emily Saunders received first place in the feature photograph category.
"These awards followed the GPA Advertising Contest in April, where our graphics staff won several honors for advertisements which were produced locally for local businesses," Hall said.
"Helping our clients to be creative is just part of what we do each day — whether in print or with online advertising."
The FCN newsroom won 22 awards in last year’s GPA newspaper contest, including 11 first-place honors.
In 2009, it received 24 awards, including second place for general excellence.
In GPA competitions, the Forsyth County News competes in Division C against newspapers up to 15,000 circulation.