A community enterprise [Editorial]

The Aegis

Among the many awards for reporting, photography, video, design and commentary received by The Aegis and The Record from the Maryland, Delaware, D.C. Press Association last Friday are several worthy of note.

The association includes newspapers and online publications from around the region, and each year it holds a contest for members to showcase their best work.

For 2017, The Aegis and The Record combined received more than 50 first and second place awards across two of the contest’s eight divisions.

By virtue of its 46 awards, The Aegis also was named News Organization of the Year for non-daily publications that circulate more than 20,000 print and online readers weekly. This was the seventh such award in seven years for The Aegis and ninth since 2001. The Record received similar honors for publications with less than 10,000 weekly circulation in 1999, 2002 and 2003.

Each contest category has a Best in Show entry selected across all divisions, and for 2017 Matt Button’s photograph of the Interstate 95 charter bus crash near Havre de Grace last May was tops in the breaking news photography category. This award winning photograph appeared on the cover of The Record on May 19, 2017.

Also receiving a Best in Show for a sports column was Bill Blewett, the long-time running columnist and correspondent for The Aegis. Bill wrote about the late Jim Kehoe, a homegrown track star from Bel Air in the late 1930s and early 1940s who went on to star as a runner at the University of Maryland, then coached championship track and cross country teams at his alma mater and later became the Terps athletic director.

Bill’s column remembered Kehoe’s accomplishments and legacy at the start of another high school track season in 2017, which went on to produce a significant number of state champions.

Bill Blewett has been writing about running and track and cross country in Harford County for The Aegis for more than 40 years. He’s one of several contributors to both The Aegis and The Record who have supported us over their years with their fine work.

Our contributing editorial cartoonists, Nils Johnson and Chelsea Carr, were also award winners this year, as they have been in the past, as was Mac Lloyd, former Aegis Sports Editor, who wrote a whimsical piece on his grandson’s first haircut and how the young “Lloyd boy’s” experience paralleled that of his father’s some 30 years earlier. Mac’s story was honored as a feature and humor column that came complete with then and now photos; he also received an award in 2016 for a guest sports column.

Receiving an award for a feature photo that appeared on the front page of the Record last November was Hung Ta, of Bel Air, who has provided both The Aegis and The Record with a number of captivating bald eagle photos from the Conowing Dam Eagle Day event the past three years.

We also want to thank Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler who received a press association award for his insightful commentary published in December on the county’s efforts to overcome the current opioid epidemic.

As an organization, we’ve been blessed by tremendous community support both in print, online and e-newspaper readership and advertising going back to the first print edition of The Aegis in 1856. And we also have been fortunate to have a community that shares with us its news and photos and videos, from birthday celebrations, to club events, weddings and anniversaries, graduations, promotions, as well as the unusual that happens every day in Harford County.

Over the years, concerns have been expressed to us about corporate ownership and what lies ahead in the future. We’d like to point out in closing that everyone on our current staff, including Triffon G. Alatzas, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Baltimore Sun Media Group, who is our top boss, the editors, photographers and sportswriters and our contributors, is a resident of Harford County. The majority of our staff members have worked for The Aegis for two, three and four decades.

With your continued support, we hope to continue to bring you the story of Harford County as it happens.

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