ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth American on Saturday, at the Maine Press Association’s annual meeting, won first place in the General Excellence category for large-circulation weekly newspapers.
The American joined the Bangor Daily News, the York Weekly (small-circulation weekly) and the Maine Sunday Telegram, all of which were honored by the state association for General Excellence in print newspapers.
The awards were presented Saturday night at the Sunday River Resort & Conference Center in Newry, concluding a day of workshops for editors, journalists, advertising staff and photographers.
Maine Chief Justice Leigh Saufley was the keynote speaker. She shared her views on the Maine Judicial Branch, press access and the ongoing effort to digitize court records.
Earlier in the day, the association inducted three new members to its Hall of Fame, including R. Nathaniel W. Barrows of Stonington, now in his 50th year as publisher and editor of Penobscot Bay Press.
Also inducted were Kathryn Olmstead, a writer, editor and publisher who has been affiliated with Maine journalism since the late 1970s and the late Winifred French, founder, in 1968, of The Quoddy Tides. She also was the newspaper’s reporter, editor, publisher and distributor for many years.
In the General Excellence competition for print newspapers, the contest judges wrote of The American: “The writing here is first-rate. Reporters at this paper aren’t afraid to turn a phrase. Packed with news, the paper maintains order throughout with a clean, readable design. Front page layouts are attractive and The American boasts a strong editorial page. This is the best of a strong division.”
The American also won more than a dozen awards for advertising excellence, photography, page design, circulation promotion, humor columnist, theater reviewer and news writing.
The American’s general manager, Terry Carlisle, said the General Excellence award “is especially gratifying because it recognizes the work of the whole team — the reporters, photographers and editors, the ad reps, the page designers and the press crew. It takes a wide range of talents and skills to put out a really good newspaper. These folks do it week after week. I could not be more proud of the American crew.”