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Tribune wins five AP awards: Staff honored for sports, graphic design, community service

The Ironton Tribune won five awards in this year’s Associated Press Media Editors competition.

The winners are typically announced in May at an annual banquet, but due to restrictions surrounding the coronavirus, the dinner has been canceled and organizers announced the results last week.

Longtime sports editor Jim Walker added another first place win to his accomplishments in the category of Best Sports Feature Writer.

“There are some good, gripping sports stories here,” the judges wrote of Walker’s package of stories. “The writer does a great job finding stories that are not only great sports stories, but great human interest stories. Stories are all about people and the writer does a great job profiling who these athletes are as people.”

Tribune creative director Kandi Thompson was the winner of two awards.

She won first place for Best Full Page Design for a feature on Ironton business Oops! I Shirt Myself.

“I love how easy it is to know what the centerpiece of the page is, which would be their ‘T-shirt company aims for fun’ story,” the judges wrote. “Not only is the cutout image really cool, but I really like how it fits so nicely within the neighboring stories on the page. My eyes gravitate to the main story, and I appreciate that there’s not a ton of text from each story on the page distracting me from the headlines/images.”

Thompson also won second place for Best Graphics Artist for the Tribune’s annual end-of-year package.

“Cutouts are cute for ‘The Top Tier.’” The judges wrote. “Colorful designs throughout. The circle layout and use of bright colors in the Year in Review is very eye-catching and interesting.”

Community editor Heath Harrison and general manager Sarah Simmons won second place in the category of Best Public Service for “In Your Neighborhood,” a report on the county’s sex offender registry and a glitch at the state level which made some photos unavailable to users.

“It took real courage for the newspaper to dedicate its entire front page to photos of registered sex offenders in their community,” the judges wrote. “The potential pushback from those in the photos, their families, and others was real, but the paper decided to stand tall in the face of that and provide its readers with valuable information that will help them keep themselves and their children safe. The paper also made things better for their community, their work highlighting weaknesses in the registry and leading to those weaknesses being fixed.”

And winning an award for the second time as Best Columnist was Tribune contributor Jim Crawford, who took third place in his category for his weekly political column, which publishes each Friday.

‘This writer’s no-nonsense, common-sense approach to discussing difficult and timely topics made this entry stand out,” the judges wrote.