The Lawrence Journal-World won several awards in the recent Inland Press Assn. national newspaper contest, including the 2001 Community Leadership Award for the "Lawrence is Growing: Finding Common Ground" project.
The newspaper also placed first in the personality profile category, second in both the investigative reporting and explanatory reporting categories, and third in the front page contest.
The awards were presented Monday at the association's annual meeting in Chicago.
"We're proud that we did so well in a national contest judged by professionals from around the country," said Richard Brack, managing editor. "It's a reflection of a talented, dedicated staff, the newspaper's dedication to community and the publisher's commitment to quality."
Regarding the Lawrence is Growing project, the judges said it was "difficult to choose from several outstanding entries."
"But the winner took a complex premise and built on it community growth and what it means to everyone. They clearly went beyond simple reporting to create stories to help people understand their community."
The series was a joint project of the Journal-World, 6News and World Online. Judges noted the newspaper's use of convergence of television and online reports to present the series that began in April and concluded this month with a final report to the community.
"It worked and made sense and was useful to readers," judges said. "It demonstrated real community leadership."
In the personality profile category, Features Editor Jan Biles was honored for "Holding on to Hope."
According to judges, the series was "an emotional, well-reported look into the challenging life of an epileptic and her hope for relief from experimental procedures.
"The narrative sensitively captures the frustration and hope while simultaneously imparting information about epilepsy."
In explanatory reporting, Staff Writer Tim Carpenter was honored for his series on "mainstreaming" special needs children in public schools. The series explored the costs for the Lawrence school district, which has excelled in educating special needs students and has become a magnet for families seeking assistance.
In investigative reporting, a team of Journal-World reporters led by staff writer Dave Ranney was honored for what judges called "an impressive series that dug through records of administrative investigations of corruption in the Kansas Lottery. The reporters had to go behind the scenes to expose a cover-up by the agency." Other reporters on the stories were Joel Mathis, Mike Belt and Mike Shields.
In the front page contest, the newspaper's front page was honored for its quality, completeness and visual appeal. The winning pages were designed by wire editor Susan Roberts and news editor John Taylor.