SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Daily Sun will receive six national awards for reporting, photography and a political cartoon later this year.
On Monday, the National Newspaper Association released the names of the winners of the 2018 Better Newspaper Contest — only four newspapers in the Pacific Northwest had award winners.
Daily Sun Reporter Jennie McGhan, political cartoonist Brad Skiff, Publisher Roger Harnack and former reporter Julia Hart are listed among the nation’s best.
The Daily Sun and its sister newspaper, The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle in Omak, will be the only newspapers in Washington state to receive national awards in this year's national Better Newspaper Contest.
McGhan will receive the second-place award for Best Environmental Story among daily newspapers with a print circulation of less than 9,000.
Her award-winning story, “Ancient Fish,” focused on the Yakama Nation’s effort to restore and improve lamprey runs on the Yakima River.
“Nice story about a community's efforts to help re-populate an endangered species,” judges wrote about McGhan’s coverage. “Good presentation.”
Hart, a recently retired reporter and now the first woman mayor of Sunnyside, will receive honorable mention for Best Business Story among all U.S. daily newspapers.
Her story “End of an Era” highlighted the national issue facing all print media — the decline of the press.
The Daily Sun sold its press last year, ending the print era in the Lower Yakima Valley.
“Media trends hit home and hit hard,” judges wrote. “This story will educate many readers on the local impact of a changing business.”
Skiff, an art teacher at Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Wash., will receive honorable mention among all U.S. newspaper entries for his “Bear Facts” political cartoon.
The cartoon pokes fun at federal plans to introduce grizzly bears in the Cascade Mountains.
The judges credited Skiff for his “excellent artwork” connecting the local grizzly bear introduction issue with the “alterative facts” issue arising nationally.
Skiff draws cartoons for The Daily Sun and The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle, as well as teaching art.
Harnack will bring home three photography awards for The Daily Sun from among all daily newspapers in the country; and one award for The Chronicle.
For The Daily Sun, he received second-place for both breaking news and feature photography for “Fire Bomber” and “Crystal Ball,” respectively, and honorable mention in sports photography for “Mutton Bustin’.”
“Fire Bomber” shows a bomber dropping retardant on last year’s massive fire along state Highway 24 and “Crystal Ball” is an unusual view of the Great Prosser Balloon Rally, as seen upside-down through a crystal ball.
“Crystal Ball” is the cover image this year for “Reach” visitors magazine for the Lower Yakima Valley.
“Great drama is evident in these well-done photos,” judges wrote of Harnack’s fire photography.
“Good that the photographer saw this moment and was able to show the reader something new,” judges wrote about “Crystal Ball.”
“Mutton Bustin’” is an image for the Toppenish Fourth of July Rodeo of a youngster mid-air after being bucked off a sheep, with judges calling it a “good, fun sports photo.”
For the Omak newspaper, Harnack will also receive third-place in non-daily Sports Photography for “Second Time Champion,” an image of a Lake Roosevelt High School wrestler from Grand Coulee being carried across the Tacoma Dome by his coach after he won his second state title.
Veteran Eastern Washington sports writer Al Camp won the other award for The Chronicle.
Camp will receive honorable mention in Best Sports Column for his “On the Sidelines” column. Each week, Camp writes about Eastern Washington sports and recreation.
“Kudos to Al for his sense of humor, which managed to make a very cynical judge find some enjoyment in this commentary,” one judge wrote about Camp’s column, which tackles a variety of sports-related issues.
The only other newspapers in the Pacific Northwest to win awards are Yamhill Valley News-Register in McMinneville, Ore., and Daily Journal of Commerce in Portland, Ore.
The awards will be presented Saturday, Sept. 29, during the National Newspaper Association’s 132nd annual gala at Waterside Marriott in Norfolk, Va.