By Monroe Journal

Through the Mississippi Press Association’s 2020 Better Newspaper Contest Awards in Biloxi July 10, the Monroe Journal won nine awards, including a second-place award for the highest honor, General Excellence.

For its circulation division, the Monroe Journal tied for second place in the category with Kosciusko’s Star-Herald. The Laurel Leader-Call won first place in the state for General Excellence.

All entries were reflective of newspapers from 2020.

Sports editor Melissa Meador won five awards, including a first-place award for Sports News Story for an April 2020 story about high school athletics seasons being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Judge’s comments were, “Good breakdown showing how much more was lost than ‘just games’ from this cancellation. It adds to the impact of this significant event.”

Meador also placed first for Sports Feature for an April 2020 story about former Hamilton coach Lewis Earnest’s retirement. The judge’s comment was, “Well written.”

She also received a third-place Sports News Story award for a May 2020 story about Smithville coach Chad Collums’ return to the school as football coach and another third-place award for Sports Column.

Meador also placed third in the Sports Page or Section category.

Managing editor Ray Van Dusen won a third-place award in the Commentary Column category.

Design-wise, former Monroe Journal designers Christine Rollins and Scott Burden placed third for the Front Page category. Burden also placed third in the overall Design category.

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