News-Times staff members won a number of awards in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2021 Better Newspaper Contest.
The awards were presented during ONPA’s annual convention on Sept 9 and 10 at Mt. Hood Resort.
Reporter Ken Lipp was awarded first place in the category “Best Spot News Coverage” for “Seven rescued from cliffs at Yaquina Head,” a story about a U.S. Coast Guard and Lincoln County Technical Rescue Team ropes crew rescue. The judge commented, “Lipp’s writing is simultaneously urgent and detailed. The rescue story from the cliffs is harrowing, and the reporting is outstanding.”
Lipp also received a third place award in the category “Best News Photo” for “Fire impacts,” a photo depicting the destruction caused by the Echo Mountain Complex fire in Otis.
News-Times publisher Jeremy Burke received a first place award in the category “Best Sports Photo” for “Pacific playground,” which is a dramatic photo showing a surfer catching a large wave. The judge’s comment: “Incredible waves here and shadow play here.”
Burke also earned second place in the category “Best News Photo” for his photograph showing a Coast Guard helicopter and personnel rescuing a young girl from the rocks at Yaquina Head, which accompanied Lipp’s article “Seven rescued from cliffs at Yaquina Head.” Regarding Burke’s photo, the judge stated: “Very succinct and dramatic.”
Reporter Michael Heinbach earned a second place award in the category “Best Spot News Coverage” for his story, “Waldport stunned by loss,” about the murder of Waldport resident and city council member Mark Campbell. The judge’s comment: “Kudos to Heinbach for not just taking the sheriff’s office press release at face value. He questions it, and also questions why law enforcement provided so few details about a local murder.”
Heinbach also was awarded third place in the category “Best Coverage of Business or Economic Issue,” for “Buying local — wasabi-style,” about a wasabi farm near Pacific City. The judge’s comment: “A fun story.”
Reporter Mathew Brock won second place for “Best Enterprise Reporting” with his series, “The Legacy of Heaven’s Gate,” which was a look back at the involvement of the Heaven’s Gate cult in Lincoln County. The judge’s comment: “Great look back at this infamous story, taken with a local, fresh angle.”
Managing editor Steve Card received a third place award in the “Best Editorial” category. His submission included three editorials, all related to the COVID pandemic: “Good intentions, bad decision,” regarding the Lincoln County Commissioners’ decision to exclude people of color from face mask requirements; “There needs to be a balance;” and “We will get through this.” The judge’s comment: “Explained the issues well and gave strong calls to action.”
The News-Times was also awarded third place in the category “Best Special Section or Issue” for “Coast Guard Appreciation Month.” The judge’s comment: “Unbelievable photos — really nice, simple piece created to honor the Coast Guard. Excellent work. Great idea.”