Staff members from the Hays Free Press were exubilant this week as it was announced that the newspaper had been named the best in Texas for newspapers of similar size.
The newspaper has been named best in class, winning sweepstakes, seven of the past 8 years, only missing 2011.
The Hays Free Press won first in Sports Photos, News Writing, Editorials, Page Design and General Excellence and took second place in Best Website, Headline Writing and Advertising.
Judges complimented Advertising entries, saying they had “good, eye-catching layouts.”
The winning editorials received praise from judges, “These editorials take on tough issues with boldness and creative writing. Very enjoyable.”
In the News Writing category, which included the story about the Two Todds – Buda and Kyle mayors Todd Ruge and Todd Webster, judges said, “Great, timely stories with local emphasis.”
Finally, in Sports Photography, the picture of Hays high jumper Reagan Casey clearing a bar at the Texas Relays with Austin skyline in the background, drew first place and praises, “Wow! The collection of photos here are incredibly strong, backed by clear emotions, well-timed moments, and close-knit crops. “props to the photographers for the angles used to capture the photos!”
The statewide award follows the Sweepstakes win by the newspaper staff at the South Texas Press Association in April.
At this contest, the newspaper took first place in Editorial Writing, Sports coverage, Sports Photos, Display Advertising & Design, Lifestyle Pages (Community), Page Design and General Excellence.
In addition, the Hays Free Press was awarded second place in Serious Column Writing, Humorous Column Writing, Headline Writing, and honorable mention in News Writing and Special Sections.
Judges from the South Texas Press Association commented:
“Wow! What a great community newspaper. Excellent hard news coverage. Great use of color. Great opinion page and 4 sections including sports, community & business. Good education coverage. Great, clean design. Clearly the best paper in this division.”