“Very impressive for a small newspaper. Middletown Transcript has a great Facebook page that drew me in even though I don’t know the community.”

“Readers are clearly responding to the effort put into the Times-Reporter Facebook page. The page is a wonderful experience and readers have responded in a big way.”

“The Las Vegas Review-Journal obviously put a great deal of time and effort into Facebook. The results are extraordinary-in the quality of the product and the reaction of the community.”

“Best of class. Nice presentation of the day’s topic.”

“Interesting stories and presentation for lifestyle. The right touch. Best of class.”

“Meaty music features and comprehensive insight into the Sarasota scene all wrapped in impressive packaging, Ticket offers readers an impressive balance of arts and entertainment.”

“Excellent writing, top in class. You get to know the athletes. Nice work overall.”

“Strong section, top of class. Good writing, nice variety and presentation. Nice work by this staff.”

“Excellent, creative, important. Out of the box approach gives this event even more notice. Great job planning and executing. A pleasant surprise while judging sports.”

“Very nice package, short editorials and many voices. Nice job, head of class.”

“Nice local and national mix, many voices. Head of class.”

“Excellent mix, strong presentation, packed with thought-provoking columns and viewpoints. A standout, inviting and well-designed section.”

“Clean layout and compelling design that was so well executed. The section’s content strikes just the right editorial tone to take local high school sports with respect, yet not too much intensity.”

“A serious topic that must be tackled, but presented in such a thoughtful, interesting way. Very nicely paced section with smart visuals.”

“The Journal Star did a great job of revisiting a major news event and found the perfect balance between then-and-now. Impressive story ideas, design, photos and graphics.”

“Good use of social media by a small newspaper to build its digital audience and engagement.”

“Good use of tools across all platforms to serve the newspaper’s First Amendment responsibilities. If people didn’t know about this gubernatorial debate, then it’s their own damn fault.”

“Smart use of a variety of digital tools to cover an international dragon boat festival. … The energy reflected in this entry makes it a winner.”

“This appears to be a concerted effort, and it pays off. I like engaging the readers at every turn. It looks as if that’s what they do in Waxahachie.”

“A great tutorial in how to use social media to a reporter’s advantage. Really loved the way Jay is doing this.”

“I loved everything about Classroom Times. The idea is a great one, and the execution here is wonderful. I wanted more.”

“Thrilling use of the backboard camera to capture a pivotal moment in a senior’s life…. I enjoyed the boys game, too, as the sights and sounds made me feel a part of the action.”

“Like the alternate story forms and the time-lapse shots. Excellent viewer engagement. Applause for having unique (not all the same) captions in the zoo gallery.

“Lithe, long of limb and beautiful. That describes more than this dancer. The package is done with an economy of movement that embraces the story and art.”

“A thorough look at the overwhelming expense of daycare. The special report supplies local facts, from the cost of daycare to state requirements to the trend away from babysitting and toward enrichment.”

“Thorough reporting of an issue of high concern for the community. The series ties together a variety of aspects of the school system’s dysfunction and presents them clearly and with fairness to all.”

“Every journalist should want to be connected to a project like this. It has outrage, pathos, characters. It reveals a terribly abusive state-sanctioned system. It pushes for change. It is clearly written.”

“Adam uses Twitter the way it should be used. News, photos and humor combine to connect with his community. He can show reporters at much larger newspapers how to use Twitter.”

“Chris takes the time to make his tweets special. And his followers and the communities he covers have responded.”

“Every one of Brian’s tweets is unique. His tweets are a clinic for any journalist – in a large or small market – on how to use Twitter. There is news, interaction and humor. Wonderful entry and a clear winner.”

“I applaud the effort, as I know smaller papers (I’m one) struggle with budget and time. So this is deserving for getting in the game.”

“Love the fast facts in the photo gallery. … Very attractive. The how-to video was good … Good effort and nicely packaged in print, too.”

“Quirky, smirky, engaging. What’s not to love? Humor is a powerful unifier and this set of activities makes me want more. It’s a little like taking the fun newsroom banter out into the real world.”

“This is exceptional documentary photojournalism that is executed quite well and composed perfectly. Versatility across subjects is also great.”

“This small portfolio packs an amazing punch. The photos are perfectly composed and a visual treat and show great versatility.”

“I’ve seen a lot of extraordinary prep football sports photo shoots in my career and this ranks up with the best of them not only for the incredible amount of planning that went into the shoot but really the execution of these photos. What’s more amazing is there are so many varied approaches in the same pool that it never feels stale.”

“Easy to see his passion for the World Cup come across on his pages. Great covers on World Cup, Health & Fitness and good details on packing the information on “Exercises for Target Areas” and Fitness Trackers packages. He is clearly the best of this category.”

“Great sports cover and the infographic has great attention to detail as well. In a strong category of entries, ultimately the ability to make the entire newspaper better with the strong redesign wins out.”

“There’s a nice simplicity to the covers both in terms of hierarchy but also in visual storytelling choices and in the case of the Wage Gap cover the use of the numbers tied to the images. In a big category, these simple and effective designs stood above the crowd.”

“John Anderson writes about a lot of sad stories, judging from his contest entries. But he does so in an engaging, personal way, even when writing about a national personality such as Robin Williams.”

“I love a good news columnist, one who mixes a lot of solid news facts in with his or her opinion, and Will Richmond does that very well.”

“Cecil Hurt knows his beat, and he knows how to write, which is a potent combination. Top-notch columns that strike a lot of chords.”

“This editorial writer forcefully reminds government leaders that they are doing the people’s work. The editorials go right at public officials, with phrases such as “government is supposed to be responsive to the people” and records “belong to the residents.” It’s clear by the entries that this newspaper is a watchdog for the people.”

“The editorials are well reported, persuasive and show a strong connection to the community. Good job of holding public officials accountable – particularly the takedown of the school board – and laying out solutions to community problems.”

“Smith tackles the thorniest of subjects, including one of the South’s iconic images – the Confederate flag – and does so courageously. The writer nails it again with completely honest writing on a subject vitally important to newspapers and the public – access to public records and the ability to hold public officials accountable. Again, a well-crafted and well-reasoned editorial that should inspire readers to action. He also points out quite ably the silliness that surrounds political gaffes.”

“The two basketball player profiles are handled well. Writer clearly knows the kid who signed with Indiana and knows how to go deep into a subject when the occasion calls for it.”

“Each entry is strong. The profile of the basketball player who fought back from hip surgery reveals the life lessons taught by sports. The 50-year mystery of the woman placing flowers on a star athlete’s grave is a sure talker in the town. The 50-year look-back at breaking the color barrier in Legion baseball is well-reported and the timeline adds nicely to the package.”

“Clearly, the best in a very large field. All of the entries show depth and intelligence. The Chris Ball feature brought tears to my eyes. The Title IX reporting was hard-hitting. The range of work is what you want to see in a sports writer of the year.”

“A nice array of features here. I particularly liked the local Sesame Street connection. Interesting, well written stuff.”

“Oh, how I loved all of these features. What sets them apart are attention to detail. Who would have thought to describe the veteran before he went off to war decades ago? Nice touch.”

“Graceful, detailed writing on a variety of subjects.”

“In the category of news writing, Frank Mulligan stands above the rest when it comes to the writing. With colorful detail and conversational tone, he virtually compels readers to pick up his stories.”

“Maria Papadopoulos takes on meaty topics with enterprising reporting and compelling writing. She draws on the inherent emotion in these stories without being overly dramatic. These are topics that people generally don’t want to talk about, which is exactly why journalists need to help lead the conversation by setting a fact-based foundation.”

“Justine Griffin’s first-person report on egg harvesting is so different, so deep in detail, and such a good story that it alone pushes her to the top of a very competitive field. It’s a gutsy move to undergo a risky procedure and write about virtually every detail. For enterprising work and excellent writing, Justine Griffin draws our applause.”

“With strong, newsy front pages and an inviting, community-focused Page 2, this is a good-looking newspaper that keeps its readers informed about both community issues and their neighbors.”

“The Enterprise newsroom is a demanding, relentless environment, requiring reporters and photographers to meet the almost constant imperatives of covering a multicultural urban center, rife with gang warfare, drug sales, violent crime and murder, juxtaposed with a surrounding suburban market of mainly white, middle-class small towns.”

“This newspaper’s connections with its community are deep, broad, meaningful and engaging.”

This editor “thinks like a publisher, acts like a marketing director and exudes the enthusiasm of a newsroom intern.”