December 3, 2015

Editor of the Year

Bill Church, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Read some of Herald-Tribune’s major projects from 2014 online: Dorothy’s Choice, Newtown 100, The Cost of Life, Home to Havana, Medical Marijuana, A stickup. A manhunt. A Mistake?, TransSarasota, Kindness of Strangers

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This editor “thinks like a publisher, acts like a marketing director and exudes the enthusiasm of a newsroom intern,” his publisher’s nominating letter extolled, citing numerous examples in all five Editor of the Year criteria: Community Interaction, Major Projects, Newsroom Development, Print Product Advancement and Digital Product Advancement.

His commitment to the community (as evidenced by extensive work with area business, arts, cultural, philanthropic and ethnic groups, as well as his weekly column and frequent lunch-group appearances), his industry commitment (as shown in his training sessions and leadership roles in his own newsroom and newspaper, for his company and with numerous state and national organizations) and his mantra of “thinking big, acting big” brought significant and tangible results in all five factors.

This is an editor solidly grounded in excellent journalism while enthusiastically embracing the rapidly changing media landscape — all to the benefit of his newspaper and his community.

Honorable Mention

Neal White, Waxahachie (Texas) Daily Light

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He represents the dozens of resource-challenged small-town editors who strive ceaselessly, tirelessly and passionately to bring their readers the information they need to be better citizens.

His “Find a way to say yes” mantra and open-door policy bring the newspaper into meaningful daily contact with its community. His weekly newsroom training sessions help his small staff grow beyond the newspaper’s size. And his “Digital First, Print Best” philosophy brings his staff and his readers both immediacy and depth.