EO wins top prize in state newspaper contest

July 19, 2019 GLENEDEN BEACH — The East Oregonian received 10 awards, including the top prize — General Excellence — at the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s annual competition, held Thursday and Friday at the Salishan Resort in Gleneden Beach.

The awards are for work done during the 2018 calendar year. The contest was judged by newspapers from the Kentucky Press Association and the EO competed against other daily Oregon newspapers with circulations less than 10,000.

Reporter Antonio Sierra was a multiple winner, earning a first-place finish for best education coverage for his story “Homeless in high school.” Sierra teamed with former reporter Jayati Ramakrishnan in the same category for the story “United in protest.”

Former photographer E.J. Harris was also a multiple winner, taking the top spots in the best feature photo category. Harris’ photo “Ferris Wheel Sunset” took top honors, while his photo “Speed and Impact” took second place. Harris also took a third place in the best sports photo category for his photo “Purple Reign.”

Ramakrishnan and reporter Kathy Aney took the top two spots in the personality feature category. Aney took first place for her story “Rural journal revived.” Ramakrishnan took second place for the story “Shining a light on sexual abuse.”

Reporter Jade McDowell took a third place for best lifestyle for her story “Age of the Millennials.”

Sports writer Annie Fowler earned a third-place award in the best sports story category for the story “Glory Days.”

The General Excellence award, which the EO has won eight of the past nine years, is judged based on the overall product, from news and editorial content to photos and design to advertising and reproduction. The samples are taken from three random editions throughout the year.

“It’s a tremendous honor for any journalist to win and be recognized for their hard work and diligence throughout the year,” East Oregonian and Hermiston Herald Publisher Chris Rush said. “Another General Excellence award is added confirmation that we are striving to serve our readers as best we can with relevant news, features and information.”

The Hermiston Herald won five awards, including a third-place in its division for General Excellence. McDowell brought home a first for best government coverage.

Ramakrishnan won multiple awards, claiming second in the general feature story category and third for best educational coverage. Community Editor Tammy Malgesini took second place in best lifestyle coverage.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the staffs in both Pendleton and Hermiston — not only in the newsrooms, but throughout both buildings — and the dedication they show everyday to put out the absolute best product they can,” Rush said. “The awards are the icing on the cake.”