The Transcript-Bulletin won 20 awards, including 12 first-place awards, from the Society of Professional Journalists Utah Headliners at the organization’s annual awards banquet Friday at the University of Utah. The awards were for work done in 2007, and surpassed the 12 total awards the paper won last year.
Photo editor Troy Boman was named Best Photographer in the state in our circulation class (non-daily newspapers) for the second straight year. Troy also won a first-place award for spot news photography for a photo of aerial efforts to battle last year’s Kimball Fire in the Stansbury Mountains, and a second-place award for feature photography for a lighthearted look at a popular Grantsville barber shop.
On the writing side, six current Transcript staffers won awards for excellence. Hometown editor Sarah Miley led the way by taking top honors in the General News category for an exhaustive article on the school voucher debate just ahead of last year’s referendum on the issue. Jamie Belnap, who covers mainly crime and courts, won two first-place awards — one for military reporting for a feature on the Merchant Marines of Tooele County, and another for a general feature on a Grantsville man who trains sled dogs. Missy Thompson, our film critic, won the Review/Criticism category with a story that put a fresh, local angle on the Sundance Film Festival. Tim Gillie, who covered the state Legislature for us last year, took first in the Government Reporting category for his thoughtful examination of how Erda residents were leading the statewide battle for water rights reform. Doug Radunich won a third-place award for Consumer Reporting for a story on the proliferation of fast food outlets in Tooele Valley. Sports Editor Mark Watson won an honorable mention in his previous beat for Medical/Science Reporting for a story on a local woman who received a kidney donation. And I even got on the scoreboard for an opinion column titled “Myanmar to Tooele: A real-world civics lesson.”
We also won three awards for excellence in newspaper design. Liz Arellano won a first-place award in the Front Page category and a second-place award in the Feature Page category for her collaboration with graphic artist Abby Palmer on a November Hometown layout.
We’re grateful for the awards, partly for the chance they give us to reflect on past work. These days, newspapers move on very quickly and it’s sometimes nice to hear from our peers that a story we worked particularly hard on was well received.
That said, we’re moving on quickly as well, as you may have noticed from recent changes in the paper. For starters, we are printing on a new press (see story below) that allows for color on every page. The entire A section already features full color, and we will continue to incorporate color throughout the rest of the paper.
Our new weather page on A9 takes full advantage of color by giving readers an expanded look at all-local meteorological data presented in a visually distinctive format. The page features a seven-day forecast for Tooele, weather maps of the county and the state, and information on temperature trends, precipitation, local creek levels, UV rays, pollen and sun/moon phases. We hope you’ll find the new page useful at a glance or for planning a weekend trip.
Finally, we have a new Web site at a familiar address: www.tooeletranscript.com. The new site allows for better organization of news articles, photos and archives of past stories. It’s also more interactive, with readers being able to comment on stories, vote on their usefulness and forward them to friends. The new site also makes it easier to write letters to the editor, purchase classified ads and upload events to a community calendar.
Please let us know what you think of the changes — both in and out of the newspaper. We value awards, but the feedback that means the most to us always comes from our readers.