Staffers earn numerous awards, Aegis named top news organization

Staff members and contributors to The Aegis received more than 40 awards for online and print reporting, photography, video, design and commentary and The Aegis was named the Top News Organization in its class by the Maryland Delaware D.C. Press Association during the organization’s News with Integrity and Excellence in Journalism Conference in Annapolis Friday.

Among the top awards bestowed for journalistic work in 2017 was a Best in Show for a sports column given to long-time Aegis running and track correspondent Bill Blewett for his column on the late Jim Kehoe, a high school and college running champion from Bel Air, who went on to a championship coaching career at the University of Maryland, later serving as the Terps athletic director.

Matt Button, photographer and writer for The Aegis and The Record, received the region’s top honor for a breaking news photograph of the charter bus crash on Interstate 95 near Havre de Grace. His award winning photo appeared on the front page of The Record dated May 19, 2017.

The Aegis website,, also was honored with a website of general excellence award.

By virtue of its large number of individual awards, The Aegis also received its seventh consecutive News Organization of the Year award (formerly Newspaper of the Year) in the division for non-daily publications with a circulation above 20,000 weekly. The award was also the ninth in 18 years for The Aegis.

The Excellence in Journalism contest, governed by the Association’s Editorial and Advertising committees, admitted nearly 2,200 entries from 62 member publications among 94 categories. There are eight divisions in the contest, which group member publications into daily and non-daily print and online-only categories, then further group them by circulation.

The award entries were judged by members of the New Mexico Press Association.

One Best in Show award is given in each category across all divisions. Additionally, the James S. Keat Freedom of Information Award is given across all divisions to the publication best demonstrating use of public information act requests in its reporting. This year, the James S. Keat Award was shared by The Baltimore Sun and the Montgomery County Sentinel.

The capstone award, one per division, is News Organization of the Year.

According to the association the award represents the best publication in each division and is chosen based on the points accumulated for first and second prizes in each individual category.

News Organization of the Year winners on the daily divisions were the Baltimore Sun, Division A (print dailies over 75,000); The Frederick News-Post, Division B (print dailies from 20,000 to 75,000); and The Daily Times, (print dailies under 20,000). For non-daily publications, in addition to The Aegis in Division D (print non-dailies over 20,000), winners were Cape Gazette, Division E (print non-dailies from 10,000 to 20,000); The Montgomery Sentinel, Division F (print non-dailies under 10,000); and Capital News Service, Division O (online-only). This is the first year for Division O.

Chevy Chase High school senior Matthew Cohen was named the 2018 Michael S. Powell High School Journalist of the Year. The other finalist for the prestigious award was Alyssa Kraus, editor of The Patriot, the student newspaper of The John Carroll School in Bel Air.

The Aegis’ individual awards are as follows:

Front page design, second place, Michael Myers and staff, Oct. 20, Edgewood workplace shooting;

News page design, first place, Michael Myers, Oct. 20, Edgewood workplace shooting;

General social media reporting, first place, Daniel Griffin, “Donnie Wahlberg visits Waffle House;”

Breaking news reporting, first place, David Anderson and Erika Butler, “Woman, 56, found beaten to death in Bel Air home;” second place, Erika Butler and David Anderson, “Police investigate report of person with firearm at Harford Community College;”

Continuing coverage, first place, David Anderson, “The death of Sgt. Mark De Alencar;”

Investigative reporting, first place, David Anderson, “Fire, EMS Service limits who can get call info;” second place, Erika Butler and Kevin Rector (The Baltimore Sun), “Suspect in shooting has extensive record of violence on the job;”

Local government, first place, David Anderson, “Battle lines are forming on Harford EMS study;”

State government, first place, Erika Butler, “Continued Route 22 construction delays plague Aberdeen businesses;”

Trump’s impact on local communities, first place, David Anderson, “Passport seekers keep Bel Air Library busy;” second place, Matt Button and David Anderson, “Bel Air protesters march on Rep. Harris’ office to protest Obamacare repeal;”

News-driven multimedia storytelling, first place, Erika Butler, David Anderson and Emma Patti Harris (The Baltimore Sun), “Bel Air Police detain woman walking, question her immigration status;”

Business reporting, second place, Erika Butler, “Klein’s flagship store in Forest Hill completes renovation;”

Medical Science reporting, second place, David Anderson, “Bel Air girl with rare disease prepares for Miss Maryland Pageant;”

Environmental reporting, second place, David Anderson, “Popular orchard on Mason-Dixon Line in path of big power line project;”

Arts/Entertainment reporting, second place, Erika Butler, “Donnie Wahlberg leaves $500 tip for three Edgewood Waffle House employees;”

Public notice reporting, second place, Allan Vought, “Bel Air to sell property along Baltimore Pike;”

Editorial, first place, Allan Vought, “What, our fault?” second place, Ted Hendricks, “Words won’t hurt;”

Editorial cartoon, first place, Nils Johnson, “Pulling the plug;” second place, Chelsea Carr, “Paging Dr. Harris;”

Local column — feature or humor, first place, contributor Mac Lloyd, “The latest Lloyd boy’s first haircut;”

Online blog, second place, contributor Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, “Our efforts have made a difference;”

Feature story — non-profile, second place, Allan Vought, “Conowingo Dam visitors get up close look at an engineering and construction marvel;”

Features-driven multimedia storytelling, first place, Erika Butler and Jen Rynda (Howard County Times), “From the tragedy of their husband’s and fiance’s deaths, a strong bond is formed;”

Sports story, first place, contributor Chris Jeter, “Aberdeen turns to Steamed Crabs for fun and a loss;”

Sports feature story, second place, Allan Vought, Super horse Man o’ War had many ties to Harford County and Maryland;

Multimedia storytelling sports, first place, Randy McRoberts, David Anderson and Matt Button, “Ripkens question Aberdeen about stadium negotiations, delays;”

Sports column, first place, Bill Blewett, “Remembering the great Jim Kehoe as track and field season begins;”

General news photo, second place, contributor Scott Serio, “Hero’s homecoming;”

Breaking news photo, first place, Matt Button, “Edgewood workplace shooting;” second place, Matt Button, “I-95 bus crash near Havre de Grace;”

Feature photo, first place, Matt Button, “Kloe Patrick finds a comfortable place to rest Friday at the Harford County Farm Fair;”

Photo series, first place, Matt Button, “Farm Fair opens;” second place, Matt Button, “Graduations;”

Best photo gallery, second place, Matt Button and contributors, “Solar eclipse in Harford;”

Sports action photo, second place, Brian Krista, “Christine Riggins lands in the long jump pit after state championship leap;”

Spot news video, first place, Ted Hendricks and Allison Knezevich (The Baltimore Sun), “Bystander talks about Edgewood shooting;”

Sports video, first place, Randy McRoberts, “Harford Tech Cobras complete perfect regular season with 57-14 win over Joppatowne;”

Special event video, first place, Matt Button, “Eclipse watching at Harford Community College;” second place, Brian Krista, “Aberdeen Proving Ground live fire demonstration.”

The Record’s awards are as follows:

Page 1 design, second place, Michael Myers, “Bus crash;”

Arts/Entertainment reporting, first place, David Anderson, “Nearing the finish;”

Sports story, second place, Randy McRoberts, “IronBirds, youth baseball are in Aberdeen to stay;”

Breaking news photo, first place, Matt Button, “Bus crash;”

Feature photo, first place, contributor Hung Ta, “Eagle with fish.”

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