Awards were presented Saturday night in Nashville to Tennessee newspapers and broadcasters for the state’s top journalism achievements of 2012.
Top honors in features reporting and news photography went to the STAR. Photographer Brandon Hicks took first place for Spot News Photography, and reporter Max Hrenda won first place for features reporting.
In addition to the two first-place honors, the STAR received several other accolades during Saturday’s awards ceremony.
In addition to Hicks’ first-place award, he also picked up second- and third-place awards for feature photography.
The STAR’s Danny Davis was also honored for journalism excellence in photography, earning third place for “Individual Achievement for a Body of Work in Photography.” He also won third place for spot news photography.
A second-place award in Features Reporting was given to work by Robert Sorrell, a former STAR staff writer, and Mark A. Stevens, publisher.
Reporter Ashley Rader won a second-place award for Business News reporting.
Stevens and Editorial Director Rozella Hardin also were awarded a second place for editorial writing.
The Elizabethton STAR was one of only five media outlets in Tennessee honored for “Freedom of Information” reporting.
Hrenda and Editor-In-Chief Brian Reese were honored for a story comparing Carter County Commission pay with that of compensation in surrounding counties in Northeast Tennessee.
Other “Freedom of Information” winners included newspapers The Tennessean, the Jackson Sun and the Knoxville News-Sentinel and WBIR-TV.
“I am so proud of our news team,” Stevens said. “I believe our reporters and photographers are, hands down, the best in Northeast Tennessee, and the Associated Press is now reporting the STAR’s news team is one of the very best in Tennessee.
“These are not only honors for the Elizabethton Star but, also, for the communities we serve. We are grateful every day for the opportunity to bring quality journalism to our readers.”
Reese said the awards were “a kind of ‘official confirmation’ of what I already knew: our team is fantastic.
“I know I don’t say it enough, but I consider myself very lucky to have co-workers like I have at the STAR.”
The STAR was one of only three newspapers in Northeast Tennessee to win awards. The Kingsport Times-News picked up one award, a third-place award for video reporting, and the Greeneville Sun won several honors, including first-place awards for sports/outdoor reporting and for video reporting.