By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
FCN tops in state
0619GPA.Morris award
Charles H. Morris, center, a principal partner of Swartz-Morris Media Inc., which owns the Forsyth County News, receives his presentation into the Georgia Press Association’s Golden Club from group president Laura Geiger. At right is Charles Hill Morris Jr., publisher of The Covington News. - photo by For the Forsyth County News
The Forsyth County News has been honored as one of Georgia’s top newspapers, taking first place in general excellence for papers its size during the 2010 Georgia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The newspaper won a total of 22 awards, including 11 first-place honors for, among others, its sports section, headline writing, page one and layout and design.

Also at the convention, Charles H. Morris, a principal partner of Swartz-Morris Media Inc., which owns the Forsyth County News, earned induction into the GPA’s Golden Club.

The club honors individuals who have worked in the newspaper industry for 50 years or longer, at least 40 of those in Georgia.

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.

“I’m so very proud of our newsroom for their work in reporting on our city, county and communities. This year it scored the highest mark among our peers in the industry, winning first place for general excellence in our circulation category,” said John Hall, publisher of the newspaper. “Simply stated – our peers recognized the Forsyth County News as the best in the state among newspapers of similar size.

“Our reporting staff, photographers and editors earned more than 20 awards in various categories of news, photography and design – with more than 10 first-place recognitions. My thanks goes to our entire newsroom with a tip of the hat to our editor, Kevin Atwill. He’s the type editor who steps forward and inspires writers and others to improve in their craft and do excellent work.”

Among the contest honors, the newspaper’s Progress 2009 section won first place in the special sections category.

The newspaper’s editorial page, editorial writing and lifestyles coverage each garnered second-place recognition, while second for business coverage went to Staff Writer Jennifer Sami.

Individual second-place honors went Staff Writer Julie Arrington for hard news writing and Photographer Emily Saunders for photo essay.

Saunders also received three first-place awards. She won for best Web photo, feature photograph and photo essay.

Associate Editor Crystal Ledford received first-place recognition for feature writing, while Sports Editor Jared Putnam won first place for sports feature photograph.

In addition, the newspaper took third place for local news coverage.

Third-place individual awards went to BJ Corbitt for sports writing; Online Editor Jim Dean for news photograph; Sami for religion coverage; and Saunders for sports feature photograph.

In April, the Forsyth County News won 12 awards, including four first-place honors, in the GPA annual advertising contest.

The FCN newsroom won 24 awards in last year’s GPA newspaper contest, including second place for general excellence.

In GPA competitions, the Forsyth County News competes in Division C against newspapers up to 15,000 circulation.

Morris began his newspaper career as a carrier boy for The Augusta Chronicle, which was owned by his father. He later worked for the Daily Oklahoman and the St. Petersburg Times, where he worked in almost every department.

He joined the Savannah Morning News as a reporter in 1960 and was named publisher in 1966. In 1970, he started his own company, which today includes 70 publications in 10 states and the Virgin Islands, as well as 11 network television stations in the South.