The Anniston Star won 12 awards, six of them first-place, in the state press association’s annual Alabama Media Awards announced Friday, including a recognition for the state’s best newspaper website.
The first-place honors included Best Humorous Column for Features Editor Lisa Davis, Best Sports Photo for photographer Stephen Gross, and the Freedom of Information-First Amendment Award for staff writer Bill Wilson.
In addition to the best website honor for annistonstar.com, The Star also took first place for Best Lifestyle/Family Pages and Best Local Economic Coverage. Those awards were each judged by a collection of three separate issues of the newspaper.
The awards were announced online Friday by the Alabama Press Association, and were for work published in 2019. The Star competes in the contest’s top division, among the state’s largest news organizations. Members of the Mississippi Press Association judged the contest.
Wilson’s stories about a former Heflin city clerk’s use of a city credit card for personal expenses took the Freedom of Information award. The stories relied on credit card statements obtained through a public records request to explain the reasons for the clerk’s resignation.
“Dear Alfred P. Sloan Jr.,” one section read. “I understand you are the person who came up with the idea of ‘planned obsolescence’ back in 1924 when you were working for General Motors. I would like a word, sir.”
Gross’ photo of a Jacksonville State football player reacting to a touchdown by the opposing team won him the sports photo award.
The Star also took second place in Best Local News Coverage, behind only The Tuscaloosa News. Assistant Metro Editor Ben Nunnally took second place in Best Business Story and in the Freedom of Information-First Amendment category.
Third-place honors included Phillip Tutor in Best Feature Story Coverage, and the paper’s entry in Best Local Education Coverage.
The Star also placed third in the contest’s General Excellence award, behind the first-place Tuscaloosa News and the Montgomery Advertiser in second.