Sun Herald journalists win big at Mississippi Press Association awards

The Mississippi Press Association held its annual awards ceremony Saturday at the Golden Nugget Casino, and the Sun Herald staff earned many honors for their efforts in online and print journalism in 2016.

The Sun Herald competed against other top papers in the state, including The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson and Daily Journal in Tupelo.

First place

General News Story: Anita Lee for “Hours before prison, Krystal Gonzalez opens up.” Judges comments: “This story showed the other side. As the media we tend to focus on the crime and not how the criminal feels or what they are going through. This was a wonderful well written article.”

Sports Column: Patrick Magee for his regular columns on USM sports and more. Judges comments: “Excellent job and very readable. Enjoyed them all!!!”

Photo-Story Combination: Amanda McCoy and Justin Mitchell for a feature on a Harvard-bound drag queen from Hancock County. Judges comments: “Artful representation of an important story.”

Personality Portrait: Tim Isbell for photos and video of a Pascagoula family with quadruplets. Judges comments: “You can’t plan it even if you did.”

Lifestyles Page or Section: Staff. Judges comments: “Good variety of content; appealing layout and typography.”

Headline: Arthur Jaramillo for “Nuts for Lutz,” (Saints’ Wil Lutz kicked winning field goal against the Panthers) “Seaworthy” (when the Saints beat the Seahawks) and “No doubts about Thomas” (feature on Saints rookie Michael Thomas).

Website: Staff for sunherald.com

Use of Online Video: Amanda McCoy for a story on a gay military couple who had to divorce to adopt their son. Judges comments: “Gripping and compelling storytelling. Great use of visual/digital tools in service of good journalism.” She also won second place for videos with a three-part series on a domestic abuse survivor.

Second place

In-Depth Investigative Coverage: Wesley Muller and John Fitzhugh for the Fostering Secrets series.

Game Story: Patrick Ochs for “Over Easy: Bulldogs crack Rebels early in Egg Bowl

Commentary Column: Paul Hampton for his regular Crawdaddy columns on Mississippi politics and more.

Spot News Photo: John Fitzhugh

Feature Photo: John Fitzhugh for an ecstatic child on her dad’s shoulders at a Mardi Gras parade (view a gallery of the winning photos at the bottom of this page)

Front Page: Staff

Editorial Page: Paul Hampton and Sharon Fitzhugh

Editorial: Paul Hampton for writing the Sun Herald’s editorials

Design: Staff

Third place

In-Depth Investigative Coverage: Margaret Baker for stories on former Moss Point police chief’s traffic stop and the police benefit fund.

Game Story: Patrick Magee for “Fried Rice: Golden Eagles win C-USA baseball title.”

General News Photo: Amanda McCoy for a photo of a gay couple who had to divorce in order to adopt their son

Spot News Photo: Amanda McCoy for a photo at the Pass Christian Mardi Gras parade shooting.

Sports Feature Photo: Tim Isbell for a shot of Shuckers player Chris McFarland talking to his wife on the phone before a game for a feature on what it’s like to be a Shuckers player by Patrick Ochs.

Sports Action Photo: Tim Isbell for a photo of MGCCC second baseman Marcus Buckley and St. Louis catcher David Prost pleading their case to the umpire as Buckley slides onto home base.

Editorial Cartoon: Tim Lockley

Sports Page or Section: Staff

Special Section: Staff for Cruisin’ The Coast publication

View a list of all the Mississippi winners here.