From Staff Reports
For the second year in a row, The Laurens County Advertiser captured first place for General Excellence among weekly newspapers in its division in the South Carolina Press Association annual awards contest.
The awards were originally to be announced in April at the annual SCPA meeting, but the event was canceled due to COVID-19. The SCPA is to hold an online awards ceremony later this month.
“General Excellence is an award that goes out to everyone who works at our newspaper, from the front office to the newsroom and the pressroom,” said Advertiser Associate Publisher James Brown. “Winning this award says so much about the efforts of our team.”
Former sports editor Nick Herman also won awards for headline and column writing.
Select issues of the paper were judged by award-winning journalists from another state for the General Excellence award.
The issues included coverage of the arrests of eight people connected to the murder of a York County woman off of Ekom Beach Road in rural Laurens County. The Aug. 7, 2019 edition of The Advertiser also included the reaction of Laurens County Sheriff Don Reynolds to the alleged drug-related murder and the proliferation of contraband cellphones in state prisons. The accused mastermind behind the murder was incarcerated and allegedly operating a drug ring from behind bars.
“We’re very proud of our accomplishments over the past two years regarding the press association awards,” said Advertiser Editor John Clayton. “Being recognized in this way shows that we’re doing some things right. We always strive to do better, but this tells us that we’re going in the right direction, particularly in a time that is perilous for community journalism.”