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WJ named best in state among newspapers its size

Awarded ‘general excellence,’ 12 other honors, by Colo. Press Association

Staff report
OUR WORLD — The World Journal was recently named the best newspaper of its size in Colorado, receiving a “General Excellence” award from the Colorado Press Association for work done in 2020.
In addition to the top honor — a first for the World Journal — staff members received 12 awards across a broad spectrum of categories in the CPA’s 2020 Better News Media Contest, during a virtual awards ceremony held May 20.

“We are deeply honored to be recognized by our peers as being among the best newspapers in the state,” Co-Publisher Brian Orr said. “It is a really wonderful achievement and shows what a solid, stable team we have here — great writers, great editors, and photographers.
“We just have a great team here, each of whom are dedicated and passionate about the communities they serve.”

Co-Publisher Gretchen Orr said, “We are proud of our World Journal team for their excellence in all areas.

“The newspaper is nothing without the efforts of the WJ journalists and photographers, editors, ad design team, sales team, office manager, events and social media managers, and of course, the many freelance contributors, whose involvement in their community newspaper helps us keep on top of what’s happening,” she said. “We are all deeply committed to informing, celebrating and supporting the people and institutions of ‘Our World.’”

Publisher Brian Orr received first-place for best New Media/House Ad Promotion and second-place for best advertising campaign, “Vote Republican.” He also swept the Cover Design category. Conor and Brian Orr won first-place cover design for the 2020 “Mountains and Mesas” and Brian won second-place in that category for the 2020 “Western Spirit.

Reporter Bill Knowles won a first-place in the Business News/Feature category for his story “Trinidad City Council uses controversial process for filling empty council seats.” Judges praised Knowles for his “great reporting” on that story.

Mark Craddock received a second-place award in the Health Enterprise/ Feature category for “Who Lives? Who dies?”, an examination of Colorado’s crisis standards of care which was adopted early on in the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The excellent lede asking the questions on everyone’s mind put this story on top,” judges said. “It went on to answer those questions, as much as possible at the time.”

This is the second consecutive year Craddock was honored in that category.
Craddock also won first-place, Informational Graphic, for a full-page graphic looking back at the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Lots of info here,” judges commented. “Great info that is timely during this battle against COVID-19. Makes it easy for the reader to see comparisons and a snapshot of the situation. Great job.” This is also the second consecutive year Craddock won in that category.

In the photography categories, Craddock won first-place, News/Feature Photo, for an image of three sisters, donning face masks, waiting in line during the first day of in-person class at Peakview Elementary. He also won second-place, Slideshow, Gallery or Photoessay, for a collection of mostly pandemic-related images photographed throughout the year.
Correspondent Joel Priest won first-place Sports Photography for an image of the La Veta High School volleyball team celebrating during the 2019 district tourney.

Geri Ugolini-Craddock won second place in the Sports Photo category with a shot of John Mall High School basketball player Jazia Sandoval going up for a layup in early 2020.
This is the third-consecutive win for Ugolini-Craddock in the sports photo category.
The World Journal also won a sweepstakes award for best photography and design, the second-straight year it was so honored.

The CPA’s annual Better News Media Contest looked at work published between Nov. 1, 2019 and Oct. 31, 2020. This year’s competition was judged by the Louisiana Press Association.