The Blackshear Times consistently ranks among the best weekly newspapers in the state and this year is no exception.
The Times recently received seven Georgia Press Association (GPA) newspaper contest awards including two first place awards, three second place awards, and two third place recognitions — one of those for general excellence.
Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the 2020 annual GPA Convention, typically held in Jekyll Island, was canceled. Newspaper contest awards were presented virtually this year.
Times News Editor Sarah Tarr Gove received a first place award for page one design for the February 13, 2019 front page designed around two Valentine’s Day stories highlighting the timeless love of two Pierce County couples married more than 50 years.
Times Staff Writer Jason Deal also brought home a first place award in the humorous column category for his July 10, 2019 column titled ‘Three Cheers for ‘Mater Sandwiches’. Gove took third place in the same category.
Times Publisher Matt Gardner received a second place award for editorial page and The Times received two second place staff awards for newspaper layout/design and local news coverage in 2019.
GPA also recognized The Blackshear Times with a third place nod for general excellence.
The Times’ staff continue to be recognized for journalistic excellence.
Deal, a veteran journalist with 25 years of experience, has previously won state and national awards for his coverage of the Pierce County Schools, his occasional humor column and hard news writing. He has been with The Blackshear Times for nearly 20 years.
Gove received several GPA awards during her five-year tenure as editor of The Claxton Enterprise in Evans County, including a first place award for feature photograph, and was recognized in 2018 by Editor & Publisher magazine as one of the top journalists under 35 in the nation in E&P’s annual “25 Under 35” feature.
Gardner has also received numerous GPA awards during his 19 years in the newspaper industry, many of those in the advertising contest, including a 2015 first place clothing retail advertising award.
The Times has now won more than 400 state and national awards for journalistic and advertising excellence over the past four decades.