Iron County Today earns top honors from Utah Press Association
By Louise R. Shaw
For Iron County Today
SALT LAKE CITY—The stories, photos, layouts and ads produced by the staff of Iron County Today earned the newspaper the top award in its category at the Utah Press Association awards banquet on Saturday.
A steady stream of first, second and third place finishes were awarded to the staffs of Iron County Today and the Davis Clipper, both weeklies owned by publisher R. Gail Stahle.
“It’s wonderful to be recognized,” said Stahle. “It’s not me – it’s all the staff that does all the work.”
In the end, the awards earned by Iron County Today garnered the most points and the top honor in Utah for weekly papers: General Excellence.
Tom Haraldsen, managing editor of both Iron County Today and the Davis Clipper, was thrilled with the awards and what they represent.
“It really is a tribute to the dedication of everyone involved in the papers,” he said, “from the editorial staff – which is made up of part-time writers, to the design team to the office manager and the sales executives.”
“What excites me about the award of excellence,” he added, “is that it verifies what we have felt all along, that Iron County Today is one of the best weekly community newspapers in the state and certainly the best in Southern Utah.”
Stahle was complimentary of both the dedication and the imagination of those who work for the two newspapers, and of how their work contributes to the community.
“I could go on forever about how important newspapers are,” he said. “I love newspapers – I’ve been involved with newspapers for 72 years and I know they are the biggest way to ensure our freedom and keep our freedoms alive. They have a really significant effect on society.”
To have his newspapers honored by the state association is “fantastic,” he said.
Entries were judged by members associated with media and the press in Arizona.
Iron County Today earned first-place finishes in 10 categories featuring writing, photography and advertising.
In categories related to writing, ICT received: Best Editorial for “Real newspapers ensure Real News” by Tom Haraldsen, Best Feature Story for “The Heart of an Archer: Ed Eliason” by Dawn Aerts, Best Editor’s Column for “What a Crock!” by Corey Baumgartner, and Best Sports Story for “Wright Strikes Gold” by Tom Zulewski.
For their photographs and layout, Iron County Today earned: Best Photo Page for “2017 Cedar Livestock and Heritage Festival” by Corey Baumgartner and Devin Christ, Best Sports Photography for “Track and Field Day” by Corey Baumgartner, and Best Lifestyle Page for “Xanadu at Cedar High” by Devin Christ.
Other first-place awards were: Best Community Event for “Hunting Season” by Devin Christ and Holly Coombs, Best Use of Ad Color for “Presidents’ Day Sale” by Devin Christ, and Best In-House Self Promotion for “IronCountyToday.com” by Devin Christ.
The Cedar paper won a number of second place honors, including Best Sports Column for “Second NASCAR date in Vegas signed and delivered” by Tom Zulewski, Best News Coverage, Best News Photograph for “Fire Road Race” by Corey Baumgartner, Best Front Page for “Brian Head Fire” by Devin Christ and Holly Coombs, Best Sports Page by Devin Christ and Tom Zulewski, and Best Website.
In addition, they earned third place in a number of categories, including Best General News Story for “Armed suspects captured after chase through Parowan” by Craig Bennett, Best Staff Produced Ad for the “R. Scott Phillips campaign” by Devin Christ and Patti Bostick, Best Advertising Idea for “Christensen’s Christmas” by Devin Christ and Scott Stahle.
CAPTION: Publisher R. Gale Stahle, center, along with Managing Editor Tom Haraldsen, far left, and Dick Stahle, Scott Stahle, C.J. Stahle and Clark Stahle hold the first-place awards earned from the Utah Press Association. Photo by Louise Shaw