From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 43 - January 23, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

WPA rewards members at annual convention

by Rhonda Swain

The Examiner brought home several awards from Cheyenne

For the 104th time, members of the Wyoming Press Association gathered at their annual winter convention last weekend in what certainly must be the culmination of a year's work. The event alternates between Cheyenne and Casper, and was held in the capitol city this year. The Sublette Examiner fared well, winning several honors in various categories.

Each paper in the state is eligible to submit entries in three divisions and a variety of categories. Daily papers, large weeklies and small weeklies competed for Pacemaker awards for news stories, features, sports stories, in-depth reporting, page design, photos and best-designed ads, to name just a few of the categories. Three places are given for Pacemakers: first, second and honorable mention.

With strong competition from 22 other small weeklies across the state, the Examiner came away from the convention with a variety of Pacemaker honors, including eight first places, a second place and four honorable mentions.

The highlight was the awards banquet Saturday night, when the general excellence awards were announced. Papers send three issues for judging, two are chosen by WPA and the third is the choice of the paper's staff. Judges from the Montana Press Association deemed the Examiner to be their first-place choice for excellence in typography, chosen for the paper's overall readability and look, with these comments: 1. Sublette Examiner (89) - Dynamite photos and interesting layout. Clean and well organized.

Comments on the first place in excellence in advertising included : 1. Sublette Examiner (86) - "It is clear that this paper cares about every ad. Even a lost dog and a birthday "happy ad" are carefully crafted. Generally good impact, good variation in style.

The Newcastle Newsletter Journal received the overall general excellence honor, the Biggs Award for small weeklies.

WPA Executive Director Jim Angell, with help from his wife, Mary, and Cec Moats, organized workshops geared toward writing, layout, photo critiquing and increasing advertising and paper sales.

Sublette Examiner WPA Awards

General Excellence

First - Excellence in Advertising

First - Excellence in Typography


In-Depth Reporting

First - "Food storage" by Cat Urbigkit is a series of stories regarding wolves, grizzly bears and federal regulation. Judges' comments: "This series details a growing resistance to federal regulations in great writing that captures Wyoming's independent nature. Clearly hard work went into this."

Honorable Mention - "Instream flow" by Cat Urbigkit relates issues surrounding Pine Creek's insteam flow and the Town of Pinedale's efforts to lease part of its water rights to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. This story tied with a Basin Republican Rustler article, "Hostage at home." Judges' comments: "Both good pieces, but the competition was tough."

Government Issue Reporting

Second - "RS2477 - Erramouspe road" by Cat Urbigkit regarding the Sublette County Commission's handling of the Erramouspe family's road dispute with the Bureau of Land Management. Judges' comments: "Good job of sorting out a complex issue of federal government as local government on a road discussion. Good job of focusing on the reasons cited by government and checking the validity of those claims."

Feature Story

First - "Sublette County, meet Salsa" by Delsa Allen was the feature story the Examiner ran on the 45-pound tortoise prior to its disappearance from his owner's home near Boulder. Judges' comments: "Cleanly written - the reporter seems to disappear as the subject's story is told. Plenty of good quotes ... the family tells their own story. Nice lede (sic); stats and numbers hook easily. The description of the subject imparted a distinct character."

Special Section

First - "Closing the Curtain" was the Examiner's prelude to the annual Green River Rendezvous, including information regarding the possibility of it being the last pageant. Judges' comments: Very nice in all aspects, from locally produced stories to nice, sharp photos to dynamite advertising. Also loved the cover."

Editorial Color

First - "Struggle for the future" examined the future of natural gas development in the Upper Green River Basin with a bird's eye view of the basin, conservation and economic perspectives, and information regarding future development. Judges' comments: "Nice way to draw package together with color. Really ties together well. Good job!"

Use of Artwork

First - "Closing the Curtain" by Delsa Allen was the front page of the Green River Rendezvous section. Judges' comments: "Marvelous use of a photograph in support of the title. Balance between the flap on the left and the main image is superb. Extremely effective cropping and choice of border element (has a period look to it). Interesting font in the title. Very controlled use of drop shadow on lettering, not heavy-handed. No weak elements. Excellent piece of work."

Honorable mention - "Olympic Gold Dreams" by Deanne Swain is the title used in all the stories on those who had something to do with the Salt Lake City Olympics. Judges' comments: "Use of proportion as far as size of various elements, various degrees of screening were spot on!"

Merchandise Ad

First - "Reflections of the Winds" by Delsa Allen. Judges comments: "Beautiful, eye-catching overall ad design. Use of reverse background really brought out the photos. Choice of font on main theme statement tied nicely to logo typestyle. Consistent presentation. Very nice balance between elements - on spacing and choice of placement. This ad would stand out regardless of where it fell in the paper, even given its smaller size."

Use of Color in Ad

First - "Rub a Dub Dub" by Sheri Nolan and Deanne Swain. Judges' comments: "It took me a little while to figure out that these things bordering the photo were foil-wrapped hearts, but otherwise the color definitely enhanced what would be an eye-catching ad in black and white"

Honorable mention - "Los Cabos" by Deanne Swain. Judges comments: "I could almost feel the heat. Nice use of color."

Best Designed Ad

First - "Don't be Afraid of a Mouse" by Deanne Swain. Judges comments: "Wonderful play on words. This ad has everything a good ad needs - large headline, large art and very eye catching. Super job!"

Special Merit

Honorable mention - "Sound of the hooves" by Delsa Allen depicted the Seven Mile River Ranch's horse roundup, done in sepia tones. Judges' comments: "Lovely layout with some compelling photographs. I wanted more ... more photos and more of a story about what goes on on pick-up day, why it is significant, etc."

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