Editorial: Taking a moment to reflect

By on June 21, 2012

On June 13 through June 15, newspapers from throughout the state of Illinois gathered in Springfield for a three-day convention, as well as to announce the winners of their editorial and advertising contests.

While none of us do our jobs for industry accolades, it is nice to take a step back from the production grind and reflect on the work that we can be particularly proud ofduring the previous year.

The Elburn Herald had a number of first-place honors.

In the News Reporting—Single Story category, reporter Susan O’Neill won first place with a story titled “Residents respond,” a story focused on the termination of long-time Sugar Grove Library Director Beverly Holmes Hughes.

“Covering discord in a board when a long-time librarian was fired and community members backed the librarian was handled well. These are tough stories when details of decisions are not forth coming,” the judges commented.

In the Feature Writing category, reporter Lynn Meredith earned first-place honors for her story titled “History Detectives: Where is the body buried?”

“The lead paragraph kept me reading this unusual story. This could have been a “dull” story, but isn’t,” the judges commented.

The staff of the Elburn Herald collectively earned first place in the Newspaper Design category.

“Nice, clean front page. Beautiful layout throughout. Well-organized throughout. Nice crisp photos (although page 1 on Sept. 8 could use a dominant photo),” read the judges comments.

Sports Editor Mike Slodki won first place in the Sports Section category.

“The writing set this particular entry above the others in this class—the stories have strong leads and supporting material. The pages also have strong lead photos that draw the readers’ attention,” the judges wrote.

In the Best Full-Page Ad category, Design Director Leslie Flint won first place for an advertisement featuring the Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center.

“Well-designed ad sells packages to Starved Rock Lodge and Convention Center in an appealing and eye-catching way,” read the judges’ comments.

Flint also won first place in the category that considers an overall body of work: Best Ad Designer.

“Head and shoulders above the other entries. Excellent typography selection; good use of space; great individuality. Very nice job!”
the judges said.

Flint earned several additional awards during the convention, as well. She won third place in the Single Page Design category, third place in General Advertising Excellence, and fourth in Best Full-Color Ad.

Meredith added an additional award with a third-place honor in the Business/Economic Reporting.

As a staff, the Elburn Herald also won third-place honors in the Best Annual Special Section category for its Back to School section, as well as for Best Niche Publication for its new Insight publication.

As stated above, these awards are a nice way to take a step back and reflect on the things that went well. Every edition, each member of the staff puts forth their best effort, and sometimes things come together well and smoothly, and sometimes it can be a struggle to put things together.

The drive behind all of what we do is to serve our community to the best of our ability, each and every day. So while it is nice to occasionally step back and be proud of the work that the industry recognizes, our true reward is based on the connection we make—every week—with our fellow community members.