The Anniston Star staff gained recognition this summer in the recent round of awards from the Alabama Press Association and Associated Press Media Editors, or APME.
The Star took home eight APME awards, including three for first place, and 10 awards from the APA, including two first-place finishes. At the APA awards, The Star garnered four awards for second place and four for third place. In addition, The Star took three awards for second place in different categories at the APME awards while also picking up two for third place.
Bob Davis, the associate publisher and editor of The Star, won first place in Division A at the APA awards for Best Editorial with his piece entitled, “A second opinion—Bentley and his distaste for Obamacare.
“I think [the awards] say that people have recognized our work as very high quality,” he said. “It is nice recognition but we don’t do the work we do for awards.”
Davis, who served as president of the Association of Opinion Journalists from September 2012 to October 2013, said the quality journalism The Star produces would not be possible without the unwavering support of the newspaper’s leaders.
“Through the work of the owners, the editors and writers and photographers, they have laid down this tremendous foundation and we are doing our best to add our own bricks to that wall,” he said.
Bill Wilson, a staff photographer for The Star, won first place for Humorous Moment Photo at the APME awards for his photo of an Anniston police officer chasing a goose.
“I think the staff did well and I was pleased with that,” he said. “With the photo I had that won, I just happened to have my camera and it was a cop chasing a goose. I’m just glad I was ready.”
AnnaMaria Jacob, copy desk chief at The Star, won first place for non-deadline page design at the APME awards.
“It’s always a team effort,” she said. “Nothing happens in a vacuum, but when something good like this does happen, it is nice that you can share it.”
Jacob said she was glad to be a part of a great newsroom dynamic where the talent of the copy desk can merge with the talent of the writing and editing staff.
“I think people want more dynamic designs and it’s nice to see that we can complement the work the writers do to make such engaging packages. Just to win an award is always a shock.”
Brooke Carbo, assistant features editor at The Star, also took first place in the APME lifestyle features category for her piece titled "Unsheltered: Alabama's shelter pets head north to find adoptive families.”
“This was my first year to have anything submitted and to win two writing awards in your first year submitting something was unreal,” said Carbo. “Especially the first place award for ‘Unsheltered’ because that is an issue that I do feel strongly about. It was received well when it came out and this is another way to shed light on the subject."