Telegraph wins 23 GPA awards

The Telegraph won 23 Georgia Press Association awards Friday night in the 2015 Better Newspaper Contest, including 12 first-place honors.

Among the first-place wins was the newspaper’s “The House Next Door,” a nine-day series last fall that focused on residential blight in Macon-Bibb County. Soon after The Telegraph announced it was working on the series, Macon-Bibb government leaders dedicated $10 million to help fight blight.

That series -- a collaboration of The Center for Collaborative Journalism that’s made up of The Telegraph, Mercer University’s journalism school and Georgia Public Broadcasting -- won in the community service category.

The Telegraph also took top awards for its website, macon.com, and its local news coverage.

“Another strong showing in the GPA contest speaks to the commitment of Telegraph journalists,” said Telegraph Executive Editor Sherrie Marshall. “They work very hard, and it is gratifying when that work is recognized as among the best in the state.

“The awards are for work across many content areas, from local news to photography to the website, We are especially pleased with the Community Service Award for our series on blight. The topic was suggested by our readers, and reporting and writing the series with our CCJ partners was a significant undertaking that we believe struck a chord in our community.”

The awards were presented during the press association’s 129th annual convention on Jekyll Island. The Telegraph was judged against other newspapers in the state with print circulations of 30,000 or larger.

The complete list of Telegraph wins:

First place for local news coverage;

First place for community service for the blight project;

First place for business coverage, reporter Linda S. Morris;

First place for religion coverage, reporter Ed Grisamore;

First place for sports photograph, photographer Jason Vorhees;

First place for serious column, editorial page editor Charles Richardson;

First place for feature writing, reporter Phillip Ramati;

First place for investigative reporting, reporter Jim Gaines for his look at the often complex and frustrating process of getting a blighted house condemned and torn down;

First place for website;

First place for online news project, Jonathan Heeter;

First place for web photo, photographer Woody Marshall;

First place for photo gallery on a newspaper website;

Second place for lifestyle coverage;

Second place for education coverage, reporters Oby Brown and Jenna Mink;

Second place for news photo, Woody Marshall;

Second place for photo essay, Jason Vorhees;

Second place for sports writing, reporter Seth Emerson;

Third place in general excellence;

Third place for page one;

Third place for sports section;

Third place for spot news photo; Woody Marshall;

Third place for feature photo; Woody Marshall;

Third place for photo essay; Woody Marshall.