AJ/GC News Staff Recognized with 5 Awards

Ads, headlines and sports judged to be among Arizona’s best

By Dana Trumbull

The Apache Junction & Gold Canyon News staff received five awards at the Arizona Newspapers Association-Associated Press Media Editors (ANA-APME) 2018 Better Newspapers Contest and Excellence in Advertising competition, including one first place, one second place and three third place nods. Awards were presented at the conclusion of the ANA Fall Convention and Annual Meeting October 6, 2018, at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, Chandler, AZ. The News competes in Division 3 (non-daily, with circulation greater than 10,000), which is the largest weekly media category in the competition.

In the Excellence in Advertising competition, Graphics Manager Trish Beltran received first place in the category “Most Effective Use of Paid Small Space” for The News ad she designed for Sunland Springs Golf. The ad she created for Dr. Abedi Dentistry earned third place for “Best Color Ad.” Beltran has been with The News since the paper was newly created in 1997. Now, more than 20 years later, she says, “The News isn’t just my job, it’s my life, my family and most importantly my future.”

Entering the ANA-APME Better Newspapers Contest for the first time, Senior Reporter Bill Van Nimwegen garnered third place for “Best Headline” with his report titled, “Leave Us Alone, Say Gold Canyon Residents.” VanNimwegen has been reporting for The News for six years, but he “has ink in his blood,” having helped out in his grandfather’s newsroom as a child in Iowa.

“I am honored by the recognition from ANA and grateful that the Association works to promote journalism across the state,” said Van Nimwegen.

This year, Sports Editor Daniel Dullum, took home two awards in the same category: “Best Sports Beat Coverage.” He snagged a 2nd place win for his coverage of Apache Junction High School and Imagine Prep softball, and 3rd place for AJHS football.

Dullum took over sports for The News in 2015, but he is far from a novice. His 2018 ANA/APME awards are #44 and #45 in his career collection, writing on topics ranging from sports to education, entertainment and general news.

This year, 53 newspapers entered the Better Newspapers Contest for a total of 1,183 entries. The Better Newspapers Contest consists of nine categories that measure the overall quality of the newspapers and 26 categories that honor individuals who contribute to journalism excellence. The Utah Press Association judged Arizona entries this year, as state associations work together to ensure impartiality.

Owner/Publisher Robin Barker congratulated the team, “We have the very best, most qualified folks working for The News. It’s wonderful when others recognize their talent. I am so proud of one and all. Way to go!”

All award recipients were notified prior to the presentation event that they had earned 1st, 2nd or 3rd place honors; however, they were not told which level they had attained. The Better Newspapers and ANA Excellence in Advertising Competitions measure the overall quality of newspapers and honor individuals who contribute to journalism and advertising excellence.

Picture above: L-R: Graphics Manager Trish Beltran, Sports Editor Daniel Dullum and Lead Journalist Bill Van Nimwegen were acknowledged by industry peers with five journalism and advertising design awards.

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