Kudos for Our Sports Team; Staffers Earn Top Awards in AP Editors' Annual Competition

By Bailon, Gilbert | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), March 16, 2014 | Go to article overview

Kudos for Our Sports Team; Staffers Earn Top Awards in AP Editors' Annual Competition


Bailon, Gilbert, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


It takes little time for visitors to detect that St. Louis is a great sports town. And we are happy to say that our journalist peers around the country have designated the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as one of the top newspaper sports staffs.

The Associated Press Sports Editors' annual awards were announced last week, and the Post-Dispatch sports department fared well.

Competing in the 75,000-175,000 circulation category, we placed in the Top 10 for special sections, Top 10 for Sunday sections and Top 20 for daily sections. In addition, our University of Missouri beat writer Dave Matter placed in the Top 10 for beat writing.

Given the number and quality of newspapers in the competition, it was an impressive showing. The true winners are the passionate readers who consume our sports news every day in print, online and using mobile devices.

Sports Editor Roger Hensley said, "It's really nice for our staff to be recognized for all of the hard work they put into it. In my 14 years at the Post-Dispatch, this is by far the best all-around showing we've had in the APSE contest. And the credit goes completely to the people on our staff all of them."

In the Special Section category, we entered our Stan Musial Commemorative Section, a 24-page celebration of Musial's life and playing career that explored all that he meant to the game of baseball and our hometown. The Top 10 award for this section published in January 2013 is one more nod to the greatness of Musial and demonstrates how our staff was able to capture what Musial means to baseball fans.

In the Sunday and Daily section categories, APSE judges selected two mandatory dates that all newspapers had to submit, and then each paper could select two optional dates. But to capture the awards, the mandatory dates also must live up to the high standards.

According to the contest-entry wording for Sunday and daily sections: "The best sections offer coverage, news, features and opinion, supported by scores, results and standings of the day's activities as needed to reflect the interest of the readership. There should be an appeal to the fanatic as well as the casual fan and an attempt to satisfy a range of readership diversity."

In addition, it says judges should look for: "Subject matter: Determine the quality of staff-written material. Big-event coverage should be coordinated to avoid overlap. News should be played properly, and judges should look at reaction to breaking news. Judges must note if there is an effort to bring something extra. Does the section offer features, trend pieces, scoops, innovative standing features or reader nuggets? Do efforts show originality and a high level of reporting and writing? Is there an effort to entertain as well as inform?"

Based on the judging results, the Post-Dispatch had a good year filling those requirements. …

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