The Lee’s Summit Journal this week won two prestigious awards from its parent corporation, The McClatchy Company.
Eight newspapers from across the country won nine McClatchy President’s Awards in the Community Newspaper Division, the company announced Feb. 12.
McClatchy owns 30 daily newspapers including the Kansas City Star and 45 community newspapers, plus websites and niche publications across the nation.
The Cass County Democrat Missourian, a McClatchy newspaper also published by the suburban staff managed by Journal Publisher John Beaudoin, won two McClatchy President’s awards as well.
“We often get feedback, and generally positive and reaffirming, when we put our newspapers up against some of the best in the state of Missouri and the region,” Beaudoin said. “To put our stories, photographs and overall news package against some of the best community papers in the country and come away with some hardware could not be more rewarding to us.”
The Journal won a second place in the Visuals category for a picture of an owl nesting in a Lee’s Summit park, taken by Russ Pulley. It won honorable mention in the Features category for a series on the changing diversity in Lee’s Summit, by Pulley and Toriano Porter.
Commentary announcing the awards said Pulley worked to find an interesting angle on what could have been a routine photo.
“He used textures and angles and symmetry, lining up perfect placement of the bird to make an intriguing photo. Kudos for using his reporting skills while on the hunt for wild art, his calls to the parks department paid off.”
The “Shifting Culture” series by Pulley and Porter on changing demographics of the city was “chock full of numbers and highlighted the challenges ahead for schools and local governments.”
“The diversity series that Russ and Toriano put together was truly a collaborative newsroom effort,” Beaudoin said. “I am really proud of our reporting in that series.”
Bethany Bashioum of the Cass County Democrat Missourian staff won second in the News category in cover a two-month dispute between Belton and its firefighters over fund-raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The city had first given, then retracted, permission for firefighters to raise money while on duty.
Bashioum also won Honorable Mention in Visuals for photograph of a “snow-encrusted” teen sliding in the snow.