Renton Reporter recognized for Community Service for veterans series

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The Renton Reporter Saturday received a second-place award for Community Service in a statewide competition for its series looking at the needs of veterans in Renton and King County.

The second place for "Taking care of those who serve" was one of seven awards, including five first places, the Renton Reporter received in the 2012 Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.

Here are the awards won by the Renton Reporter news staff:

Reporter Adam McFadden

• First place for Best Sports News Story, "Hazen rides emotion to tie against Kennedy Catholic." On the day of the match, the Hazen girls soccer team attended the memorial for a player's mother who died the week before. The judge "almost cried."

• First place for Best Sports Page Design, a preview of the 2011 Seamount League football season.

• First place for the 2011 Seahawks special section, which he wrote and designed. The judge called it a "nice mix of copy, ads and pictures."

Reporter Tracey Compton

• First place for Best Breaking News Story, "Bomb forces library evacuation," about the evacuation of the downtown Renton library in June 2011 after a home-made bomb was found outside. The judge wrote: "The reporter knows how to bring readers to the scene."

• Second place for Best Education Story, "Bringing truant kids back to school,"  about a truancy program offered by the King County Prosecutor's Office. The judge wrote: "Story of one truant bookends solid reporting with good use of data and quotes."

Editor Dean A. Radford

• First place for Best Editorial, "Police chief must do complete investigations" about the Mr. Fuddlesticks videos." The judge wrote: "This measured editorial wisely cautions against a rush to judgment after laying out the various sides of the legal debate for readers."

The WNPA's Community Service Award recognizes newspapers for their work that makes a difference in their communities.

"Taking care of those who serve" appeared in the Renton Reporter in July and August 2011, in advance of a countywide vote on extending the veterans and human services levy.

The stories of veterans and the support they receive or don't receive were told in print and online at

Interviewed for print were veterans and their families served at the Compass Center in downtown Renton. In order to show the difference in how veterans were welcomed home after their service, four veterans told their own stories to the Renton Reporter in video interviews that appeared on

The veterans served during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the wars of the last two decades.

Judges referred to "moving profiles of vets trying to find a place in the community."

There were about 2,200 entries in news, advertising and Web from 73 non-daily community newspapers across the state in the WNPA contest. The judges were from the New York Press Association.

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