Excellence in Journalism recognized!

Two awards for “General Excellence” were among the several honors three Eagle newspapers won in the annual competition for daily and weekly membersof the Oregon and Southwest Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Polk County Itemizer-Observer placed first in General Excellence and the Madras Pioneer placed third. The award for overall appearance and content is the most prestigious honor presented by the professional group. Dallas publisher Nancy Adams was there to accept the top honor at a banquet held at the Portland Zoo May 22. The second-place winner was the Beaverton Valley Times.

Idaho County Free Press community editor Lorie Palmer took a second place in the Lifestyles Reporting category for a story entitled “Students enjoy farm tour.” She also received a third-place award in the Health Reporting category for the story “Family works through autism diagnosis.” Lorie has worked at the Free Press for 15 years this month and has earned many awards for her writing and photography.

Madras Pioneer staff members were singled out for four awards in addition to the General Excellence nod. News editor Holly Gill won two first-place awards for her article “Foreclosure Fever” on Jefferson County foreclosures in theBusiness News category and in the Page One Design category. Sports editor Joe McHaney won a second-place award for Sports Section Page Design and third-place award for his sports column.

In addition to the General Excellence award, the Dallas newspaper’s sports editor, Sam Scott, earned a second-place award in the Best Sports Photo category for a photo of a young rodeo cowboy falling off his bucking bronc during the Polk County Fair’s youth rodeo last August.

Judging period for the Excellence in Journalism Awards was for newspapers published from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2009.