Park Record earns 18 awards in statewide newspaper competition |

Park Record earns 18 awards in statewide newspaper competition

Staff overcame challenges during pandemic, publisher says

Add the coronavirus pandemic to the list of challenges that Summit County’s oldest news organization has overcome in its 141 years of existence.

Despite hardships brought on by the health crisis, The Park Record in 2020 continued to fulfill its mission of serving the community and was rewarded on Wednesday with recognition in the Utah Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.

The paper earned 18 awards in the statewide contest, the most in its circulation division comprising the largest non-daily newspapers in Utah. That included seven first-place honors for work ranging from coverage of a controversial annexation attempt to a photo package spotlighting senior students whose final months in high school were upended by the pandemic.

Park Record Publisher Andy Bernhard said he was “particularly proud” of the staff’s performance in 2020.

“The ability demonstrated to overcome the challenges we’ve all experienced as a result of COVID, coupled with an especially demanding news and advertising environment, is all the more remarkable,” he said. “Our staff writers, columnists, designers, outside editors and account managers work very hard, and the recognition these awards represent is validation of their collective effort. This group represents the Park City community well and we can all be proud of that.”

Notably, the paper won a prestigious honor that recognized the work of the entire editorial staff: the Best News Coverage category, in which judges combed through three complete editions published in 2020, evaluating the depth, breadth and quality of coverage.

Photographer Tanzi Propst hauled in the most individual honors, with four awards. She took first place in Best Photo Page for a two-page spread showcasing Summit County’s high school graduates and in Best Sports Photograph for a shot of a Park City High School baseball player diving into first base. Propst also earned second-place honors in the Best Feature Photograph and Best News Photograph categories.

County reporter Alexander Cramer’s coverage of a Hideout Town Council meeting in which a technology blunder temporarily halted the town’s push to annex land in Richardson Flat netted him a win in Best Reporting Based on a Public Notice — a category in which all the circulation divisions, including daily newspapers, compete together.

Judges handed other first-place awards to production manager Ben Olson for a front-page infographic detailing the boundaries of Summit County’s legislative districts, columnist Tom Kelly for his Ridgelines column and The Park Record staff for a campaign that allowed readers to donate to the paper during the pandemic.

The Park Record staff also earned second-place honors in Best News Series for reporting on the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the community, and in Best Community Event for coverage of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Propst added another second-place honor, alongside Olson and former Park Record sports reporter Ryan Kostecka, for Best Sports Page. Editor Bubba Brown, meanwhile, finished second in Best Editorial.

The paper’s third-place awards were given to city reporter Jay Hamburger in Best Business Story, Kostecka in Best Sports Story, circulation manager Lacy Brundy and designer Louise Mohorn in Best Circulation Promotion, the paper’s staff in Best Website and arts and entertainment reporter Scott Iwasaki and Mohorn in Best Lifestyle Page.

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