By Mike Sherman, APSE President
Jesse Newell, who covers the University of Kansas athletics for the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, took first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2014 contest for Beat Writing in the 30,001 to 75,000 circulation category.
Newell, whose five-story entries highlighted his work on the Kansas basketball and football beat, will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2015 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Conference June 24-27 at The Westgate Hotel in San Diego, Calif.
Newell received three of six first-place votes from APSE judges, who ranked him ahead of runner-up Brian Christopherson, Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star and third-place finisher Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman. Cripe won the 2014 beat writing award in this category. The top 10 is listed below with links to each writer’s Twitter page and available entries.
Sports editors in the 30,001 to 75,000 circulation category submitted a total of 58 Beat Writing entries from APSE member sports departments in 2013. Contest catchers numbered each entry, assuring they had been stripped of headlines, graphics, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.
The contest is open to APSE members. Go to this link to join.
In early February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., selected a top 10, with each judge ranking the entries in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for second and so on down to 1 point for a 10th-place vote. The final 10 were given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.
The Beat Writing category recognizes the most authoritative, newsy and innovative coverage of a beat during 2014. Each APSE member news organization was permitted to submit up to two entries of five stories each. Each entry consisted of at least one breaking news story, one event or game coverage, one enterprise piece and two wild-card stories that could include a blog post.
Here are the top 10, listed in order of finish
1. Jesse Newell, Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, 50 points, 3 first-place votes
2. Brian Christopherson, Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, 41 points, 1 first-place vote
3. Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman, 39 points, 1 first-place vote
4. David Dorsey, The News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla.), 37 points
5. Tim Wilkin, Times Union (Albany, N.Y.), 36 points
6. Evan Woodbery, Knoxville (Tenn.) News Sentinel, 35 points
7. Zac Boyer, The Washington Times, 32 points
8. Seth Soffian, The News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla.), 31 points
9. Vince Nairn, Wilmington (N.C.) StarNews, 16 points
10. Seth Emerson, The Telegraph (Macon, Ga.) 13 points
(Mike Sherman is sports editor of The Oklahoman and president of APSE. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-475-3164.)