LAWRENCE - A reporter, five editors and a newspaper were recognized Friday during Kansas Press Associationís 109th Annual Convention & Trade Show for contributions to the Kansas newspaper industry. Recipients of the Victor Murdock Award, Boyd Community Service Award, Gaston Outstanding Mentoring Award, Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award, Kansas Farm Bureau Golden Wheat Award and Kansas Gas Service Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing were named during a banquet at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in Lawrence.
Kansas Gas Service recognized Jon Brake from the Manhattan Free Press as the weekly winner, and John Sayler of the Lyons Daily News as the daily winner of its first Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing. The award honors newspaper writers who have authored well-researched editorials that promote creative solutions for both their communities and the state. Each winner received a plaque and $1,000 check from Kansas Gas Service.
The Parsons Sun staff received the Victor Murdock Award. The Murdock Award was established to honor the long-time Wichita Eagle editor. It recognizes outstanding journalistic standards as exhibited through a story or series of stories published in a Kansas newspaper during the past year. The Sun staff provided in-depth coverage and necessary resources for its readership area after a tornado devastated their town last April. They received a plaque and $500 from the Wichita Community Foundation. Ann Charles is publisher of the Sun.
Dave Bergmeier, editor and publisher of the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle, was presented the Boyd Community Service Award. The Boyd Award was established to recognize the owners, publishers and employees of Kansas newspapers who have demonstrated service and dedication for the betterment of their community. This award was created in memory of Frank and Mamie Boyd, former publishers of the Phillips County Review, who epitomized dedication to their community and journalistic professionalism. Bergmeier, who was nominated for the award by the Abilene Area Chamber of Commerce, was selected based on his active involvement with the Abilene School District, Abilene Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Dickinson County and Rotary Club. He received a plaque and $200 check from the Boyd family.
The Gaston Outstanding Mentor Award was given to Emerson Lynn Jr., editor and publisher of the Iola Register. Karl and Dorothy Gaston were known for their service to the newspaper industry, as well as the nurturing environment they provided for young journalists who have progressed in their careers to become award-winning reporters, editors and publishers. KPA established this award in 2000 in appreciation of the investment the Gastons made in the future of the newspaper industry. Lynn was nominated by David Powls, publisher of the Holton Recorder and Sabetha Herald, and he was recommended by 12 other industry professionals upon whom his leadership and mentoring qualities had made a lasting impression. He received a marble tower commemorating his work.
Dolph Simons Jr., editor and publisher of the Lawrence Journal-World, received the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award. He was nominated by his sons, Dan C. Simons and Dolph C. Simons III. The Kansas Newspaper Foundation developed the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award to honor outstanding bodies of work by members of the Kansas newspaper community, and to recognize years of achievement. Simons received a bronze statuette and a $1,000 check. The award is named in memory of Reed, former publisher of the Parsons Sun.
Kansas Farm Bureau presented its Golden Wheat Award to Tim Unruh of the Salina Journal. The Golden Wheat Award was established in 2000 to recognize excellence in agricultural writing. Unruh received a plaque and $1,000 for his efforts to effectively inform the public about the affects of drought on the stateís farming industry.