Two Bellefontaine Examiner staff members were recognized with awards Sunday during the annual Ohio Associated Press Media Editors banquet in Columbus.
Sports editor Matt Hammond received a first-place award in the best sports columnist category. Mr. Hammond and graphics artist Steve Smith landed a second-place honor in the best special section category for their four-page preview on the Ohio State-Michigan football game.
A 16-year employee of the newspaper, Mr. Hammond submitted a collection of columns that appeared in the “Buckeye Insider” section on Fridays during the football season. His work included columns on Carlos Hyde becoming the first running back under Urban Meyer to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, Meyer’s dislike for all things Michigan and a column on Australian punter Cameron Johnston.
The judges, who represented the Cadillac News of Cadillac, Mich., and The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph, Mich., called Mr. Hammond’s columns “superb.”
“Matt puts readers close to his subjects and leaves himself out,” continued the judges. “He lands zinger quotes and fun facts, and puts the material together in a breezy, terse fashion. His columns are entertaining and informative. They’re a treat, not an obligation.”
For the best special section entry, Mr. Hammond supplied the content, which included feature stories on local natives Lukas Cane, a cheerleader at OSU, and Lewis VanHoose, a former equipment manager for the Buckeye football team. Mr. Smith performed the layout for the section.
The judges described the entry as having “good use of graphics and illustrations in an easy-to-read format. Lots of good information from week to week.”
Sixty-four daily newspapers submitted 2,599 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2013.
The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,500 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States. Members of AP include 85 daily newspapers in Ohio.