Park Record wins General Excellence honors in annual statewide newspaper contest
Award list also includes nine first-place articles
Undeterred by a second year of the coronavirus pandemic, The Park Record staff emerged from the past year by winning the coveted General Excellence award during the Utah Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest ceremony dinner on May 21.
The event, which took place in the Megaplex Theatres at the District in South Jordan, recognized outstanding journalism between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021. In addition to the General Excellence nod, The Park Record took home 20 awards that fell in the category of non-daily newspapers with circulations of 3,000 and larger.
The tally included nine first-place awards that covered the debut of an online Sundance Film Festival and the controversy about a Black Lives Matter mural on Main Street by reporter Jay Hamburger, an editorial addressing Hideout’s attempt to annex 350 acres of Richardson Flat, and a series about last summer’s Parleys Canyon Fire that led to the evacuation of thousands of Summit Park residents written by Hamburger and former County Editor Alexander Cramer.
Other first-place recognitions included a controlled-burn photo by recently-hired photo editor David Jackson, a lifestyle page created by former page designer Louise Mohorn that featured a candy-shop article by Scene Editor Scott Iwasaki, and the annual special section Milepost magazine by the newspaper’s staff.
“Earning the first place General Excellence award in this year’s Utah Press Association Better Newspaper Contest certainly validates the amazing effort put forth by the entire staff, especially noteworthy during this challenging COVID work environment,” said Park Record Publisher Andy Bernhard. “The awards represented all departments and are a testament to the dedicated team here at The Record. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished and know the Park City community shares that pride.”
Bubba Brown, who served as The Park Record’s editor from 2017 until April 2022, said he was thrilled the paper received the General Excellence award.
“Every year we come so close to winning the award, so it’s nice to finally win it,” he said.
The Park Record also garnered eight second-place honors, including a profile of Park City High School running back Carson Tabaracci by Sports Editor Brendan Farrell, and two third-place kudos, which included an infographic regarding the drought’s impact on local reservoir water levels, that was designed by Production Manager Ben Olson.
Brown, who rose to the rank of editor after working for three years as The Park Record’s business editor, was honored that Bernhard invited him to attend this year’s Better Newspaper Contest awards.
“It was great to have the opportunity to step back in and be part of The Park Record one last time, and celebrate with colleagues and enjoy a night where we can sit back and be proud of the work that we have done,” said Brown, who is now a senior technical writer for the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, a partnership between the University of Utah and Weber State University. “Even though we’re not doing this for awards, and we’re not doing this for recognition, there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into putting out each edition of the newspaper and operating the website. But it adds another element when you have judges who look at what we do and say the work was worthy of recognition.”
The number and diversity of the articles that won the awards reflect the quality of The Park Record staff, Brown said.
“If you look at the amount of names from our paper who won awards last Saturday, you see everyone who was working in our editorial department at that time,” he said. “The stories that were recognized were produced during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. So to have the staff rise to the occasion and produce the quality of work that they did is really remarkable.”
The money will allow work on the S.R. 224 electric bus and bus rapid transit project to continue.
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