Journal earns 17 awards in annual ‘better newspapers contest’

The Journal of the San Juan Islands earned 17 awards in the Washington Newspapers Publishers Association 2014 Better Newspapers Contest.

The total includes six first-place selections in categories of news, advertising and features published online at

Journal graphic designers Scott Herning and Kathryn Sherman each earned first-place in advertising categories; editor Scott Rasmussen was awarded first-place for a feature article about the first baby of 2014, and shared first-place honors with former reporter Steve Wehrly for an editorial calling on an elected official to step down, and shared first-place honors with Sherman as well, for a slideshow of Friday Harbor’s 2013 Halloween parade, presented on Wehrly also earned first-place in the personality profile category for “Beyond the Neslund Murder.”

The Journal is a division of Sound Publishing, the largest community media organization in Washington state.

The Better Newspaper Contest awards were announced at the WNPA 127th annual convention, Oct. 3, in Chelan, Wash. The annual contest recognizes excellence in editorial, advertising, photography, special sections, online work and service to communities by members of WNPA.

The competition traditionally draws about 2,600 entries each year from 80 percent or more of eligible WNPA members, and entries are judged by press-association partners in other states. Entries for the 2014 contest were judged by the Arizona press association.

The Journal competed in Group I of the BNC contest, circulation of up to 2,500, and also received two awards for online slideshows in the contest’s “open competition”, Groups I-IV (circulation over 12,750).

In addition to its individual BNC awards, The Journal also shared in two awards in the Special Sections category with staff of its sister paper, the Islands’ Sounder, earning second-place for the 2013 Springtide publication and third-place for the 2013 edition of Home & Garden.

Complete list of Journal 2014 BNC Awards:

1st Place:

• Best Lifestyle Feature Story: “First baby of 2014,” Scott Rasmussen

• Best Editorial: “A good time to step down,” Scott Rasmussen, Steve Werhly

• Best Personality Profile: “Beyond the Neslund trial,” Steve Werhly

• Best online Photo Gallery: (groups 1-4 combined), “Friday Harbor Halloween Parade,” Rasmussen/Kathryn Sherman

• Advertising: (SJI Cheese), Scott Herning

• Advertising: St. (Patrick’s Day Extravaganza), Sherman

2nd Place:

• Use of Process Color, (smaller than 1/2 page), “Capture your Engagement,” Sherman

• Best online Photo Gallery/Slide Show (groups I-IV combined), “San Juan County Fair 2013,” Rasmussen/Sherman

• Tourism, Springtide

• Best News Story, short, “Yacht fire sets new record,” Rasmussen

• Best Lifestyle Feature Story, “A dog gone good contest,” Rasmussen

3rd Place:

• Best Business News Story, “Downriggers destroyed by fire,” Rasmussen

• Advertising (4th of July), Herning

• Topical/Non-tourism special section, Home and Garden 2014

• Best Feature Page Design, “Inspiration on Fire,” Rasmussen/Sherman

• Advertising (SJ Celebrity Golf), Herning

• Advertising (SJC Pioneer Festival), Sherman