The Fresno Bee took first in four categories, was second in general excellence and brought home 12 total awards in the California Newspaper Publishers Association 2014 Better Newspapers Contest.
The first- and second-place awards were announced Saturday at the annual CNPA meeting, held in San Diego.
The Bee was honored in the category for newspapers with daily circulation between 35,001 and 150,000.
First-place awards came in Arts and Entertainment coverage (by the Features staff led by editor Kathy Mahan), website, sports photo (Craig Kohlruss for a photo of the Fresno State men’s basketball team’s pregame huddle) and photo essay (Eric Paul Zamora for his coverage of the Junction fire above Oakhurst).
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The Bee also received eight second-place awards including general excellence. Other seconds were for environmental reporting (Mark Grossi for “Summer without water: How can they let this happen?”), editorial comment (Bill McEwen for “Judge Petrucelli’s conduct is major ethics breach”), editorial cartoon (SW Parra for “The Six Californias”), graphic illustration (Parra for “Boxing Master”), news photo (Kohlruss for coverage of a warehouse fire), feature photo (Zamora for a photo of a boy with a snake at the Discovery Center) and sports photo (Zamora for a photo from the Clovis Rodeo).
The Bee’s sister paper The Merced Sun-Star was first in general excellence in the 15,000-and-under daily circulation category and won four other awards: first and second in investigative reporting and second place in coverage of local government and enterprise reporting.
Two other sister papers, the Sierra Star covering eastern Madera County and the Los Banos Enterprise, won three awards apiece in their weekly circulation categories. The Star won in sports story and artistic photo and was second in editorial comment; the Enterprise for agriculture reporting, columns and sports photo.
Other central San Joaquin Valley award winners: the Visalia Times-Delta/Tulare Advance-Register (second in lifestyle coverage in the 15,000-and-under daily class); the Business Journal, a Fresno weekly (second in agriculture reporting and feature story); the weekly Selma Enterprise (second in enterprise reporting) and the weekly Merced County Times (first in sports photo essay).