Key Peninsula News Wins 14 Statewide ‘Better Newspaper’ Awards


For the third consecutive year, the Key Peninsula News won top honors for writing, photography and advertising in the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, held Oct. 9. See all the winning entries here.

Now in its 133rd year, WNPA presents awards for work published the previous 12 months. This year, 51 newspapers submitted 1,420 entries judged by the New York Press Association.

The KP News received 14 awards in multiple categories from all four divisions, which include publications with circulations ranging from 2,500 to over 11,000. KP News won eight awards in 2019 and three in 2018.

Writer Sara Thompson received one of the WNPA’s three highest individual honors when it named her Feature Writer of the Year for her articles on local artists and icons, including Pat Thompson (June 2019), Tip Toland (Sept. 2019), Phoebe Toland and Dick Notkin (Dec. 2019), Mel Hing (Jan. 2020), and Hugh and Janice McMillan (Feb. 2020).

The judges commented that “Every piece in this collection is well thought out, easy to read and smoothly uses elegant language and style to tell the stories behind local artists… Not only does she comprehensively recount the interesting backgrounds of these subjects, but she sharply shares their unique perspective and aspirations behind art and what expression means.

“Half the battle writing a brilliant feature is finding fascinating people with stories worth telling, and this journalist clearly has strong enough roots in the community to do that. (She) clearly had deep, personal conversations with her subjects and delightfully shows the profound meaning behind their personalities and struggles.”

Design Editor Tim Heitzman won four awards, including second place in overall Ad Campaign for Glen Cove Repair and third place for KP Community Services. He won second and third place in the Newspaper House Ad category for imagery that was “unique and memorable,” according to the judges.

Associate Editor Ted Olinger won first place in the Personality Profile category for his profile of Phil Bauer (April 2019) and third place for his Lifestyle Feature Story “Homemade Parade Rides Again July 4” (July 2019).

“Ted Olinger’s profile subject comes alive for readers thanks to his conversational and compact storytelling style,” the judges said. “In a competitive category, Olinger’s writing stood out.”

The late Ted Ralston was posthumously awarded third place for his profile “Mary Mazur, Historian” (Sept. 2019).

Joseph Pentheroudakis won second place for a General Feature, “The Night Key Center Burned” (Feb. 2020). “This is old school journalism,” the judges said. “It requires not just the quick, dispassionate shorthand of a reporter, but the eloquent flair for drama of a true storyteller.”

Carolyn Wiley was rewarded for the third year in a row statewide, taking third place in Humorous Columns with “Devil’s Head Diary,” for her “very strong language skills and storytelling abilities.”

Executive Editor Lisa Bryan won first place for her Color Feature Photo of artist Tip Toland (Sept. 2019). “The photographer captures the intensity of the sculptor at work. An excellent photo perfectly composed and exposed.”

Richard Miller won first place for his Color Portrait of Mac Bryant (Nov. 2019). One judge said “this portrait of the young man and his dog drew me in and compelled me to do what I usually don’t do when judging photos — I read the story. Nice job!”

Miller and Pentheroudakis shared second place for their springtime Photo Essay on the back page Out & About (March 2020).

Chris Konieczny won third place for a Color Feature Photo of Dave Leger and his honeybees (May 2019). “Good feature photos show the emotions of a person in a moment,” the judges said. “The beekeeper is joyfully working with his bees. He is proud of the results of his care and effort.