The Sun News receives 25 awards at S.C. Press Association meeting

The Sun News collected 25 awards Saturday night at the annual South Carolina Press Association meeting in Myrtle Beach, including top honors for general excellence and niche website.

Journalists from across the state gathered at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes to celebrate their winnings. The Sun News was awarded first place in the general excellence category for daily newspapers with a circulation between 18,000 and 45,000.

“I am proud of the work journalists at The Sun News have done to provide the content our readers need to know about their communities, and for their creativity and dedication in using new digital platforms to share that news to an even wider audience,” said Mark Webster, president and publisher of The Sun News. “These awards show that their excellence has also been recognized by their fellow journalists.”

The Sun News’ staff earned these honors:

• GoToMyrtleBeach.com, The Sun News’ tourism website, won first place for affiliated or niche website.

• Features editor Vicki Grooms won third place for lifestyle/feature special edition or section for a section titled “A Day in the Life: Murrells Inlet, ‘slice of heaven.’ She also earned second place for entertainment section for the Kicks! section. Grooms earned second place in the profile feature writing category.

• Reporter Jason M. Rodriguez won first place for enterprise reporting.

• Freelancer Derrick Bracey won first place for a series of articles for The Weekly Surge.

• Reporter Amanda Kelley won third place for beat reporting.

• Reporter Charles D. Perry won third place for business beat reporting and earned an honorable mention in the news feature writing category.

• Reporter Maya T. Prabhu won third place for news feature writing.

• Columnist and blogger Issac J. Bailey won second place for column writing.

• Reporter Ryan Young won second place for spot sports story and second place in the sports feature story category.

• Reporter Alan Blondin won second place for sports enterprise reporting.

• Designer Amanda Criswell won first place for her feature page design portfolio and second place for photo page design.

• Designer and reporter Claire Byun won third place for single feature page design.

• Multimedia journalist Janet Blackmon Morgan won first place for sports action photo, and first and second place for photo series or photo story. She also won third place for general news/feature video.

• Multimedia journalist Charles Slate won first place for humorous photo.

• The Sun News staff won third place for its newspaper website, MyrtleBeachOnline.com, and first place for its use of Facebook.

Judi Mundy Burns, publisher of The Index-Journal of Greenwood, was elected president of the South Carolina Press Association Saturday. She succeeds Morrey Thomas, who is publisher of the News and Press in Darlington.

Mike Smith, executive editor of the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, was elected daily newspaper vice president and Ellen Priest, president and publisher of The Star in North Augusta and the Aiken Standard, was again chosen as weekly newspaper vice president.

Jane Pigg, publisher of The Link in Cheraw, is the association’s new treasurer.

Elected to two-year terms on the press association’s executive committee were: Charlie Nutt, publisher of the Free Times in Columbia; Reaves McLeod, owner of The Colletonian in Walterboro; Steve Wagenlander, publisher of Summerville Communications; and Webster of The Sun News.

Re-elected to continuing terms on the group’s executive committee were: P.J. Browning, president and publisher of The Post and Courier in Charleston; and Don Kausler Jr., regional editor of the Morning News in Florence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.