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The Local: Building on standard of excellence

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By Melissa Blankenship

You are reading an excellent newspaper.

Each year, the Kentucky Press Association (KPA) hosts a statewide contest, Excellence in Newspapers, that honors reporters, editors, photographers and graphic designers in several categories. Newspapers are grouped by size into different divisions, then each entry is judged by out-of-state professionals who name the winners.

In our division, the Henry County Local won third place overall in General Excellence, thanks to the individual awards earned by the editorial staff.

News editor Brad Bowman racked up quite a few awards, including: first place, best news story; first place, best feature story; second place, best enterprise/analytical story; second place, best on-going/extended coverage story; and third place, best on-going/extended coverage story.

Sports editor Greg Woods earned a first place in best sports column and a first place in best sports feature, along with an honorable mention in best sports story.

Former editor Jonna Spelbring-Priester won first place in best editorial, third place for best column and a second place for best graphic (the contest entry deadline was prior to her resignation).

The combined effort of the editorial staff led to the third place General Excellence award. This is significant because the Local was competing against like-size papers throughout the state of Kentucky and made top three. In the past, we’ve won this designation, several times over, in fact. And it’s not easy to get.

We wanted you, our readers, to know that we focus on providing you with quality content each and every week. And while it’s incredibly satisfying to be recognized by the pre-eminent press organization in the state for our work, what our readers think about the Henry County Local is more important to us.

We have made a couple of changes over the past month (like moving this page to A5 instead of A2), and we will likely make a few more changes over the course of the next several months. We value your opinion and feedback because we always want to improve upon our product for the people who matter most – our readers.

Please feel free to email, call or send a note to us to give us feedback on specific articles or give us ideas for stories. What do you like most about the Local? What kind of articles would you like to see more? In what ways can we improve upon our already excellent product?

We will continue to bring you quality content in a timely manner. We will continually strive to improve. We will always remember that it is our community that we serve, first and foremost. And hopefully next year, you’ll read about our First Place General Excellence award.

Please respond with feedback, suggestions or ideas to: Henry County Local, 18 South Penn Avenue, Eminence, KY 40019; or call (502) 845-2858; or email Melissa at publisher@hclocal.com.