ARN wins two major state awards; Erdrich dominates in photo categories

ARN wins two major state awards; Erdrich dominates in photo categories

The Abilene Reporter-News scored awards in two major local news coverage categories and photojournalist Ronald Erdrich won six awards, including Star Photojournalist of the Year, in the annual Texas Associated Press Managing Editors contest.

Awards were for 2022 and announced this weekend at the organization’s annual meeting Galveston.

Based on Sunday circulation, Abilene now competes in Class 1A.

Ronald Erdrich’s photo of a woman holding a U.S. flag and saluting to honor fallen Eastland County Sheriff Deputy Barbara Fenley was part of his winning Star Photojournalist of the Year package.

The Reporter-News took second place in community service for its coverage of the national abortion issue that came to bear here as an effort to declare Abilene a “sanctuary city for the unborn.” The effort to bring forth an ordinance gained traction in the spring and ended with a winning vote in November, with ordinance leader Scott Beard then announcing his bid for City Council.

The newspaper was third in team effort for its coverage through the year of LGBTQ events and challenges in the community. Those ranged from the city’s first Pride Parade to efforts by some to determine what books were appropriate in the public libraries.

Reporter Brian Bethel, Editor Greg Jaklewicz and Erdrich were central in coverage of those two major newsmakers last year.

The Reporter-News continued its recent excellence in these top categories. The ARN was first in community service in both 2020 and 2021, both years for its coverage of the city’s Black community and how the city dealt with racial issues and opportunities.

First-place photo by Ronald Erdrich in the 2022 Texas APME contest, taking Oct. 18 near St. Ann Hospital.

The judge said of Erdrich’s Star Photojournalist of the Year entry, “Good selection and variety. Nice moments. Good emotion. Good job.”

In addition, Erdrich took first and second place in news photography. His winning photo was a shot during one of two fires that destroyed what was left of the former St. Ann’s Hospital in north-central Abilene.

“A beautiful photo and moment that captures humanity’s delicate relationship with nature. Really nice compositionthat offers a unique perspective of a regularly-occurring breaking news topic. The matching pattern of theburning pieces and the fire ladder & water make for a particularly compelling visual congruence and juxtaposition,” the judge said of Erdrich’s first photo.

He was third in photojournalism.

Erdrich received two honorable mention awards, for features and sports photography.

Jaklewicz also picked up several individual awards.

He was second in Star Opinion Writer of the Year, third in opinion writing and received an honorable mention for headline writing.

And honorable mention went to Dylanne Weese for her Sunday Page 1 designs.

This article originally appeared on Abilene Reporter-News: ARN wins two major state awards; Erdrich dominates in photo categories