Daily News, community papers win 12 awards in Florida Press Club contest

MALABAR _ The Naples Daily News and its community publications won 12 awards in the annual Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism contest, including the Daily News taking second place in the Special Section category and the Collier Citizen receiving second place for the prestigious Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting.

The Daily News received the second-place award for the Lighthouse Project, which totaled 132 pages and was delivered to readers in three installments beginning on April 1, 2012, and concluding April 29, 2012. The sections examined the history of Southwest Florida, took a snapshot of where we are today and peered into the future to envision what the region will be like when Collier County celebrates its 100th birthday.

"Our special Lighthouse section, which looked at the community's past, present and future, will guide our news coverage for years to come," Daily News Executive Editor Phil Lewis said. "It was a unique project for a newspaper and we are proud that it is receiving special recognition from our peers."

The Lucy Morgan Award received by the Citizen is named after a former St. Petersburg Times Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter. It was given for a collection of stories that the Citizen published April 13, 2012, that looked into the ongoing problem of those facing homelessness and hunger in Southwest Florida. The articles included personal profiles of those who choose to live their lives without a place to call their own, even though multiple organizations continue to offer services to those who need a helping hand.

The awards were handed out at the organization's banquet Saturday night in Malabar on Florida's central Atlantic coast. This is the 61st year for the Florida Press Club contest.

In addition to the Lucy Morgan Award, the Collier Citizen took second place in the Community News Writing category and third in the Serious Feature Writing category.

The Banner received second place in the Serious Feature Writing category and third in the Community News Writing category.

The Marco Eagle took home third place in the Front Page Design category.

Daily News sports reporters Scott Butherus and Woody Wommack earned individual awards.

Wommack earned first- and second-place awards in the Sports Writing category for his package of three articles on the Florida Everblades hockey team's run to its first Kelly Cup championship and first and second in the Blog Writing category for his popular blog on the Everblades.

Butherus took home third place in the Sports Feature Writing category for his feature on Immokalee football player Deadrin Senat, who overcame adversity to become a top recruit.

The Daily News awards were won in the contest's Class B division, for daily newspapers with 40,001 to 90,000 circulation, while the Banner, Citizen and Eagle awards were in the Class D division, for non-daily, community, tribal or college publications.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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