Once again the Idyllwild Town Crier captured several awards in the statewide Better Newspapers Contest, which the California Newspaper Publishers Association annually sponsors. The contest period was from November 2013 through October 2014.
Two of our contributors earned second-place awards for their work. Cheryl Bayse’s photograph of the girl and the butterfly during Butterfly Daze was the second-place choice in the Feature Photo category.
Conor O’Farrell, a monthly columnist for the paper, earned his first award Saturday, too. His column, “Off the Leash,” also earned second-place honors at the awards luncheon.
O’Farrell, a career actor, who will be starring in a new NBC series “Game of Silence” next season, said, “This is more important to me because it’s a reflection of me; the way I see the world and the way I think.
“These columns are more personal, responding to something I created,” he said. “In acting, I’m only the voice of somebody else’s story.”
Since the series will be filmed in Atlanta, O’Farrell has already had to respond to questions whether he could continue writing his column: “I can do that. I already email them into the paper now.”
In addition, the Town Crier garnered four other Blue Ribbon finalist’s honors.
“Considering that we had fewer entries in this the 2014 contest, winning six awards is big,” said Town Crier publisher Becky Clark proudly. “I don’t think we’ve ever received as many in the statewide competition. I’m very pleased with the staff.
“Again recognized for her unique photography and capturing the unusual, was Jenny Kirchner. Her photograph of a cow struck by a car on Highway 74 was a finalist in the News Photo category,” Clark added.
Halie Wilson’s front-page layouts also were recognized as a Blue Ribbon finalist product in the Best Front Page Tabloid category. Wilson has received several honors in past years, including 2012 and 2013.
“It’s a real honor for CNPA to recognize the Town Crier for our front-page design. We will continue to make strides to create a reader-friendly experience both in the print edition and online,” said Wilson, the paper’s operations manager.
Jack Clark, Town Crier co-owner and legal counsel, was awarded the Blue Ribbon finalist distinction for his investigative story about the cause of the Mountain Fire and the status of legal action stemming from the conflagration.
The Town Crier’s fourth Blue Ribbon award was for its special publication of the 2014 Lemon Lily Festival program.