The 105th annual New Mexico Press Association Better Newspaper Contest took place Saturday, and even with the highest number of entries since the contest began, the Roswell Daily Record stood out with 21 awards, including the award for General Excellence.
In both editorial and advertisement, the Record took many first-place awards as well as some second places.
In advertising, Steve Stone won first place in Auto Advertisement, as well as winning second place for Auto Advertisement along with Aric Loomis. Loomis also won second place for Web Advertisement and Web Site. Sandra Martinez walked away with two first-place awards: Retail Advertisement and Shared/Signature Page.
“The staff is wonderful and they all do a great job,” said Advertising Director Vonnie Fischer. “It wasn’t hard to pick out creative content (for the contest).”
Shifting into editorial, longtime photographer Mark Wilson grabbed a first-place award for Photo Series for “Color Me Dance,” and in Feature Photo with “It’s harvest time at the vineyard,” he took second. For the category of Editorials, Editor Andrew Poertner won first place.
“I think it’s great that the hard-working staff at the RDR were recognized by their peers,” Poertner said. And he said the Record winning so many more awards this year as in previous years was a “great achievement.”
For both Feature Writing as well as Education Writing, reporter Jill McLaughlin won first place. She also took first and second place in the category of Series or Continuing Coverage. As far as individual awards go, McLaughlin won the most at the Daily Record.
“I want to thank Mr. Fischer for his leadership and constant support,” she said. “Without him and the rest of the team at the Roswell Daily Record I wouldn’t be able to do what I do every day. I have put in a lot of really hard work and of course I was extremely surprised, but coming to Roswell and being welcomed by the community has been such a rewarding experience, and that alone means more to me than any awards I could win. It’s still exciting though,” she laughed.
McLaughlin, having gone from the Roswell Mud, Sweat and Tears up to Albuquerque for the Awards Banquet had a packed day, but said it was a very fun day.
“I had mud in my ear at the banquet, and you can quote me on that!” she said laughing.
But it wasn’t just about individuals at the awards ceremony. The entire Daily Record staff was honored with overall awards. The greatest honor was for General Excellence, but the staff also received first-place awards for Design and Typography, Real Estate Advertisement, Classified Ad Section, News Writing, Environmental and Agriculture Writing and Headline Writing. The final award the paper walked away with was second place for Environmental and Agriculture Writing.
“We are extremely proud of our entire staff for winning first place in General Excellence, New Mexico Press’s top award for newspapers in the state,” said Publisher Charles Fischer. “This is just recognition for the great work each of our associates puts in on a daily basis. We are also very proud of the individual winners. This is the most awards the Roswell Daily Record has ever won. With 1,777 entries this year the competition was very strong. I also want to thank the members who did not win awards. They also do an excellent job and sometimes other papers just had a great story that year that might have just edged out one of their stories.”