Courier wins three awards in annual Tennessee Press Association competition


Newspaper publishers, editors, writers and designers won awards in the Tennessee Press Association’s 2022 newspaper contest co-sponsored by the University of Tennessee System, which has been a part of the annual event since 1940.

The Courier brought home to Hardin County three awards, plus a prize from UT’s Edward J. Meeman Foundation for the newspaper’s first-place Public Service entry.

The family- and locally-owned newspaper received a third-place award for Investigative Reporting and a fourth-place award for Coronavirus News Coverage.

“I’m particularly pleased to see that plaque for first place in the Public Service competition category, because our goal is to not only keep local citizens informed about their community, but to recognize civic virtues that make for a better community,” said Courier Publisher Joe Hurd.

The paper’s winning entry included 44 stories which focused on reading and literacy, patriotism and civic pride, and public service itself with a year-long series called “Mission of the Month.”

The third-place award for Investigative Reporting was for four stories by Staff Writer Kelly Jordan that examined issues surrounding a marina proposed for Saltillo.

The winning Coronavirus News Coverage and Community Service entries had stories by Jordan, Editor Ron Schaming, and Linda White, who has now retired.

As part of the annual contest, newspapers winning first-place awards in the categories of editorials, best single editorial, and public service received $250 prizes from the Meeman Foundation.

The Meeman Foundation was established in 1968 at UT to fund the contest, provide professional critiques of journalists’ work, and support journalism students and educators.

“Our long partnership with TPA reflects our shared commitment to education and accountability to all Tennesseans,” said Carrie L. Castille, UT Institute of Agriculture senior vice chancellor and senior vice president, who presented the awards at the ceremony. “We’re grateful to be able to work with TPA to make that happen.”

Reciprocal judging is done with another state’s association. This year, the Hoosier State Press Association of Indiana judged 1,130 entries from 67 of the Tennessee Press Association’s 133 member newspapers.

The TPA awards were presented Aug. 26 at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville.