The 2017 Florida Press Association (FPA) Weekly Newspaper Contest winners were announced in random order on Friday, May 4, 2018. The actual awards and whether we placed first, second, or third will be announced noon on Friday, August 10 during the 2018 Florida Media Conference. The Florida Press Association is the preeminent newspaper organization in the state.
This was the Hernando Sun’s first entry into the Weekly Newspaper Contest. As a three year old newspaper we decided to give it a try. We submitted several entries and were recognized with awards in two categories.
The Hernando Sun weekly newspaper placed for the Portfolio Photography Robert J. Ellison Memorial Award Division C for Cheryl Clanton’s portfolio entries. We also placed for the Best Reader-Generated Photograph Division C.
Cheryl Clanton’s photography of Firefighter/Paramedic Steven Terry’s Funeral Procession was exceptional, but one photo stood out in particular: Firefighter/EMT Tim Lair carrying Terry’s helmet during the procession. The date was 10-24 which in firefighter parlance means ‘Assignment Complete.’ Four other photographs were submitted along with the photo of Tim Lair during the procession.
Our entry for the best reader generated photograph was a photo of Ryan Bodiford rescuing a heifer calf from his flooded property in Brooksville after Hurricane Irma came through. His brother Bert Bodiford photographed the rescue and the photo was included on the front page of the issue immediately following Irma, Sept. 15, 2017. The hurricane had a significant impact on our area passing directly over the county and the resulting damage to the electrical grid that left many without power for more than a week. It also resulted in major flooding- especially along the Withlacoochee River with the river rising well past flood stage and remaining so for several weeks.
Our new website allows us to showcase our now award winning photography. We added an image slideshow to the top of articles to give us a place to display the excellent photography in a large format. There is also a feature on the homepage that displays ‘the news in images.’
We are proud to showcase the stories that make up Hernando County and to have talented staff members who help us do that. We are also grateful for readers sharing their stories with us and their impactful photography. Together we are building a local newspaper to tell our story and it is open for all to contribute to whether through photography or the written word.