Florida Press Association

At the 2010 Florida Press Association (FPA)/Florida Society of News Editors (FSNE) Annual Convention in June, two TownNews.com-hosted newspapers were recognized in the category of website development in their Better Newspaper Contest.

The Independent Florida Alligator, a Campus Communications publication in Gainesville, won first place with www.alligator.org in Division A - circulation over 15,000.

"The Independent Florida Alligator was pleased to earn first place in website development," said Stefania Ferro, online managing editor. "The online team works very hard to provide our readers a better news experience at Alligator.org. We're constantly adding multimedia elements to local stories, such as interesting video and audio clips, and more photos than our print version. We strive to provide content our college audience enjoys, and the community is very supportive of our efforts."

The Polk County Democrat, a Sun Coast Media publication in Bartow, received third place with www.polkcountydemocrat.com in Division C - circulation under 7,000.

Arkansas Press Association

At the 2010 Tri-State Press Convention in June, two

TownNews.com-hosted newspapers were recognized in the category of best web design for weekly newspapers in the Arkansas Press Association's News-Editorial Contest.

Judging was by members of the Mississippi Press Association.

The Ashley County Ledger, an independent publication in Hamburg, won first place with www.ashleycountyledger.com.

"The win this year is the fourth time that www.ashleycountyledger.com has been recognized as the best weekly newspaper website in Arkansas in the last nine Arkansas Press Association contests for the best web edition. In those years, the Ledger's edition has never placed lower than third best in the state," noted a column the paper printed announcing the win.

"The award recognizes publisher David Moyers, advertising director Jan Roberts and Sheila Prescott, who provides news and classified work on the web and print editions.

"The win this year came after a major redesign of the site in 2009 completed with designers from TownNews.com, the host for the Ledger web edition."

The McGehee-Dermott Times-News, an independent publication in McGehee, received second place with www.themcgeheetimes.com.

The online version of the McGehee-Dermott Times-News made its official debut on August 12, 2009. Since then the site, which was created by the staff at TownNews.com, has registered nearly 4 million hits.

The site was recently named the second best weekly newspaper website in the state at the annual Arkansas Press Convention News-Editorial contest.

"We were thrilled to be honored by the APA for our website, especially since we consider ourselves still pretty early in the game," said Times-News editor Rachel Denton Freeze. "We just launched last August and we've received incredible community feedback and support that continues to grow."

"Our website visitors, including the APA judges, have been extremely complimentary from calling it ‘user friendly' and ‘well organized' to simply thanking us for bringing their hometown news to the Internet," Freeze added.

"The staff at TownNews.com has been friendly and helpful from day one. Before launching our site, I always thought it would take hours each week to maintain a successful newspaper website. But in fact, I only spend a couple of hours each week on it," said Freeze.

Tennessee Press Association

In July, the Tennessee Press Association and University of Tennessee announced the winners of their 2010 newspaper contest. Two TownNews.com-hosted newspapers were recognized in the category of best website.

The Paris Post-Intelligencer, an independent publication in Paris, received first place in group three for papers with a paid combined weekly circulation of 15,001 to 50,000 with www.parispi.net.

Paris Post-Intelligencer also recently won Best Overall Website at the Tennessee Press Association's annual Advertising and Circulation Conference in April.

"The reason for these wins is a simple one," said Chad Howard, web administrator. "We don't look at our website as just another source of news from our paper, we look at it as an extension of our paper. One accentuates the other, neither standing alone. For your website to be successful, you must do the same."

The Daily Herald, a Stephens Media, LLC, publication in Columbia, received fifth place in group four for papers with a paid combined weekly circulation of 50,001 to 200,000 with www.columbiadailyherald.com.

"Judges considered quality and quantity of community content, ease of navigation, timeliness and special features. The Daily Herald, has made good use of its site for breaking news," said Chris Fletcher, editor. "Last year, the newspaper broke a news story of national importance on the website, reporting that the local General Motors factory had lost a three-city bidding war to produce a new small car. Had the product been secured, thousands of local jobs would have been saved."