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  • The Franklin County Citizen Leader was named one of the best newspapers in Georgia by the Georgia Press Association.
    The Franklin County Citizen Leader was named one of the best newspapers in Georgia by the Georgia Press Association.

Citizen Leader named one of best

The Franklin County Citizen Leader has been judged one of the best papers its size in the state of Georgia.

The Citizen Leader took second place in the General Excellence category in the Georgia Press Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest.

Winners in the contest were announced Saturday during the GPA’s 133rd annual convention, held at Jekyll Island.

“To place in General Excellence is a great honor,” Citizen Leader Publisher Shane Scoggins said. “It is nice to be recognized by our peers for our efforts to cover a great community.”

General Excellence awards are based on overall evaluation of the newspaper. Points toward General Excellence are earned based on awards in contest categories and in Georgia Press Association’s advertising contest.

The Georgia contest was judged by members of the South Carolina Press Association in February and early March.

The Citizen Leader won 14 awards in 12 different categories, including multiple awards for its editorial page and sports coverage.

The paper won the J.C. Williams Trophy for Best Editorial Page.

A judge for the category lauded the Citizen Leader’s Op-ed content and the writing of CNI President Dink NeSmith, a regular columnist.

““Impressive to see op-ed pages here in addition to the standard editorial page,” the judge wrote. “Good bit of local focus, as it should be. Dink NeSmith holds no punches, and that’s good. Nice use of photos to accompany.”

Scoggins won the H.H. Dean Trophy for Editorial Writing.

“These editorials have clear, strongly stated opinions that show a paternal compassion and depth of knowledge for the community they cover,” a judge wrote.

Staff Writer Lisa W. Manus also took third place in the Humorous Column category.

In sports awards, the Citizen Leader won third place for its sports section and dominated photography honors.

Scoggins won first place for sports photography for a photo of the Franklin County Lady Lion softball team waiting at home plate for teammate Pressley Chappelear to arrive after hitting a home run in the state championship game.

“This photo captures the emotion of playing in a state championship and the team’s joy for her teammate and the home run,” a judge wrote. “In a category with many amazing photos, this one stood out. Clarity, timing, perspective emotion. Great job!Top notch!”

Manus also won second place in the same category for her shot of the Lion football team playing in the rain against North Oconee.

“Difficult shot in the rain,” a judge wrote. “Body language tells a story.”

Manus also won second place for Sports Feature Story writing.

“Great sports coverage for the community,” a judge said.

Scoggins also brought home awards for second place for Sports Coverage, second and third place for Sports Feature Photo and third place for sports column.

The Citizen Leader also won second place for Local News Coverage.

Staff Writer Kandice S. Eberhardt won third place awards for Breaking News Writing and Feature Writing.

“It’s our goal every week to produce as good a local newspaper as we possibly can,” Scoggins said. “We don’t do that for awards. Rather, we do it because our readers and Franklin County as a whole deserve it. The community has shown time and again that it appreciates our efforts. We will continue to work hard to make Franklin County proud.”

Franklin County Citizen Leader

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 580, 12150 Augusta Road
Lavonia, GA  30553

Phone: 706-356-8557
Fax: 706-356-2008