The Saratoga Sun -

By Liz Wood 

Getting our yearly measurements


This weekend I attended my eighth Wyoming Press Association Convention. It seems hard to believe I have been working at the Saratoga Sun this long. Time flies when you are having fun.

In November, the staff at the Saratoga Sun went through the newspapers from Nov. 1, 2011 through Oct. 31, 2012 and tried to decide which articles and photos are the best.

We have a limit of 60 entries and we usually have twice that many when we finish with our first selection of articles, columns, ads and photographs.

Each of us have ownership in what we have done and it can be painful to cut out what we believe is a good article, ad, photo or column.

This year was no different and as we began to cut out what we thought was not a sure winner, we had discussions about what the judges may be looking for this year. Since a different state judges us each year, we face an ever-changing palette of tastes.

As with any contest, it is difficult to second guess what the judges will think is a good article. Some years, we have very few comments, other years, we have plenty.

This was one of those years that we had plenty of comments on our awards.

Tom Dixon, our former editor won three first place awards this year. Brian Trautwein, our new sports reporter, certainly has big shoes to fill.

Comments for Tom included gems like: “By the way, how much time did you spend coming up with ‘The staccato, thunking of a dozen basketballs punctuated every now an then by the crisp swish of the net … So many columnists would have missed such an opportunity and simply said the sounds of balls dribbling. You painted a picture with your words.”

The entire staff, who spent a lot of extra hours working on the 125th Anniversary edition, were especially pleased to hear what judges had to say about that edition.

“Overwhelming first-place finish. Project obviously took a great deal of time and effort … ”

For the last four years, we have been working hard on our headlines after former editor KayCee Alameda and I became determined to earn a first place in headline writing.

We had honorable mention three years ago, second place for the last two years and this year we came home with a first place finish.

The judges comments were: “Entertaining and clever headlines with nice puns on words, such as “Chili cookoff to bring the heat at Brewfest”, “Rain or shine - beer will flow, bulls will buck” to name a few. Clearly someone is spending time at the Saratoga Sun on headline writing (or is just naturally gifted).”

I have to admit, it is a little of both. We do spend time on our headlines, but Keith McLendon, our graphic designer, is gifted with coming up with catchy headlines. Now that I have put that in print we will never be able to get his head through the door.

We won 11 awards this year, which matches our awards from last year with one exception, we received more blue and red ribbons than in the past.

These awards mean a lot to us, but they pale in comparison to the compliments we receive from our readers and those who happen upon our paper when in town.

On Monday, we received a phone call from an angler who attended the fishing derby and appreciated the photos of past derbies which included one of his friends who is now deceased.

We still hear good things about our 125th Anniversary edition and people were buying it months after the edition came out.

We value the comments we hear from our readers and we continue to strive to bring you a better paper each week.


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