By Tommy Deas
John Bednarowski of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in the Breaking News category for the Under 30,000 circulation category.
Bednarowski won for his coverage of goals being set up incorrectly at the Georgia High School Association state championship basketball games. The winner in each category will receive a plaque at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans June 26-29. (Click here to register for the conference.) The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 26-29 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.
Joey Chandler of The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News placed second. Jon Styf of the Northwest Herald finished third.
Sports editors in the Under 30,000 category submitted 58 Breaking News entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.
Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, Bednarowski and Robert Gagliardi numbered each entry, assuring they had been stripped of headlines, graphics, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.
In February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and off-site around the country, 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 one 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 Breaking News category judges an article of a sports news development (trades, hirings, firings, franchise shifts, etc.) that occurred in the most recent news cycle, Elements of the story considered in judging include timeliness, thoroughness, exclusivity, significance.
The top 10 is listed below, with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.
1 John Bednarowski, Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal, 58 points (4 first-place votes)
Jon Styf, Northwest Herald, 39 points