The awards were presented Friday at Ponte Verdi Beach, Fla., where the Georgia Press Association held its annual convention.
The Standard took the top honor in the Special Issues category for its 150th Anniversary Edition of Cedartown’s founding in 1854.
The special edition was published on January 29, 2004 as a tabloid insert with the newspaper.
The 68-page edition recapped Cedartown’s history though it’s first 150 years with numerous stories and photos. The section was published just prior to the city’s celebration of its 150 anniversary on February 8, 2004.
The judges wrote: Loved this whole section. The articles read very well, the pictures were outstanding, the research was extensive, to say the least, and the layout was varied and eye-catching – an overall great job. (We also appreciated the high editorial-to-advertisement ratio.)
Assistant Editor Aimee L. Harmison won first place in the Feature Writing category. Her articles submitted included one that highlighted the Jungle Eaters reunion held last year in Cedartown. Also called Vietnam Land Clearers, the Jungle Eaters operated large bulldozer-type machinery equipped with a special blade to clear dense jungle during the Vietnam War. The special blades used were manufactured especially for the Jungle Eaters in Cedartown by the Rome Plow Company.
She also submitted two other articles – one told the story of Alison Beckman, a young, single mother, determined to finish her high school education. The third article informed our readers of Matthew Bertles, a local soldier who was wounded in Iraq and was honored by the City of Cedartown for his courage on the battlefield.
Commenting on the articles, the judges wrote: Quite a cross section of topics – each interesting and well written.
Publisher Jim Penney said he was proud of the Standard’s staff for these two honors. He noted that current staff writer Michael Packer, along with former staff writers Jan McDaniel and Matt Tuck also worked on the Cedartown Anniversary Edition.
Advertising representatives Ann Wood and Carissa Aiken were responsible for all advertising sales and ad makeup for the special edition.
The Cedartown Standard competes in Division E, which includes all Georgia newspapers published two or three times per week that are members of the Georgia Press Association.
The Better Newspaper Contest is sponsored annually by the Georgia Press Association.