Standard takes several wins in journalism contest

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Newspaper awarded community service award

By Staff

The Kentucky Standard took first place in six out of 16 categories in a multi-state journalism contest organized by its parent company.

One of those first place wins was the Landmark Community Newspapers Community Service Award.

The annual contest awards one newspaper first place for its contribution to the community it serves from among 51 weekly, semi-weekly and daily newspapers throughout Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Nevada and other states.

The Standard was awarded for its coverage in 2017 of the investigation and impeachment of former Bardstown Mayor John Royalty.

“The excellent journalism reflected in this entry is deserving not only of this award, but of those more lofty,” the contest judges wrote. “The Standard performed the best measure of watchdog journalism and investigative reporting its community could possibly expect. The result was the first whistleblower ordinance passed by a local agency in Kentucky and the ousting of a mayor out of control. If there was ever a question of the intrinsic value of a small town newspaper, The Kentucky Standard has provided the answer.”

The award is considered the highest honor in the company, and The Standard’s newsroom took pride in accepting it.

“We believe at The Kentucky Standard that journalism is a public service,” said Forrest Berkshire, the paper’s editor. “Our coverage of this community is a partnership with our readers and sources. Many of the individual articles in this entry would have never been possible without people stepping up who knew of things and letting us know about them so that we could dig deeper.”

The newspaper took 10 awards overall. The winners and categories were:

• Forrest Berkshire, Excellence in Newswriting, first place. The judges wrote: “Readers are given more than a quick retelling of events with Forrest Berkshire’s in-depth reporting. He has shown national stories are local stories, providing a human face to topics of immigration and addiction. His handling of the topics is compassionate and dignified. The coverage of a mayor’s fall from power goes beyond a hearing in the matter and details the controversies throughout his tenure.

• Kacie Goode and Forrest Berkshire (tie), Best On-going/Extended Coverage, first place. Judges wrote: “Berkshire and Goode provide consistent, comprehensive, detailed accounts of two local crises — one involving the failure of a mayor, the other violence in public schools — that members of the community could not get from any other source. By shining the light of public attention on the controversies, the writers brought the public along through the process to resolution of both situations— resignations of principals, county superintendent and mayor. Great work!”

• Susan Turner, Best Front Page Design, first place. Judges wrote: “Once again, use of strong, dominant art set the top three apart. Solid, concise headlines put the first above the rest.”

• Staff, Best Special Section, first place for “Welcome to the Town that Bourbon Built.” Judges wrote: “A well-executed section for the annual bourbon festival. There’s a lot of information here (more than I would have expected), and very nicely presented.”

• Staff, Community Service, first place.

• Randy Patrick, Excellence in Feature Writing, second place.

• Forrest Berkshire, Excellence in Editorial Writing, second place.

• Randy Patrick, Excellence in Column Writing, second place.

• Peter Zubaty, Excellence in Sports Column Writing, third place.