Cody Stavenhagen of the Tulsa World won first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest in Beat Writing category for the 30,000-75,000 circulation division.
Stavenhagen won for his coverage of University of Oklahoma football.. He will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2017 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner will conclude the APSE Summer Conference, which takes place June 26-29 at The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans.
Sports editors in the Under 30,000 category submitted 69 Beat Writing entries. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.
Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, John 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 beat writing category judges a portfolio of five stories by a single author that shows authoritative, newsy and innovative coverage of a beat. Entries included at least one breaking news story; one event or game coverage story; one enterprise piece and two wild-card stories from any of the aforementioned categories (or other stories or analysis related to the beat).
The top 10 is listed below, with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.