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Savannah Morning News named best newspaper in Georgia

The Savannah Morning News/ won 40 awards Friday night at the Georgia Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Awards. The honors covered work by staff and freelancers for 2016.

For the second straight year, it won the General Excellence Award, the state’s top newspaper, in a category competing with Georgia’s largest newspapers. GPA presented awards in 37 categories to 73 newspapers across the state.

The Morning News swept the Community Service category, taking all three top places, for its staff work on Hurricane Matthew and crime coverage and individual work by reporter Jan Skutch on Memorial University Medical Center.

Staff journalist Brittini Ray was named the Georgia Press Association Emerging Journalist of the Year, an award dedicated to journalists in the early years of their career. Ray, a public safety reporter, also won first place in hard news writing and shared a third place award with staff reporter Jenel Few for investigative work. Few won first and third places for education writing, as well.

Staff photojournalist Josh Galemore’s work won nine awards, including Photo of the Year for his photo of mourning firefighters at the funeral of Savannah Fire Department Master Firefighter Michael Curry.

“It’s a wonderful compliment for the news team of reporters, editors and freelancers here who work so hard to bring high quality journalism to our readers,” said Susan Catron, executive editor.

“Our team works diligently to provide a complete and thorough report on our community and its happenings each and every day across our print and digital platforms,” said Michael Traynor, publisher of the Savannah Morning News and

“We are proud to be honored with the many awards presented to us by the press association. It is a great acknowledgement of our efforts to keep the public informed with relevant and credible information.”

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Awards list

First place

Community Service, staff work for Hurricane Matthew

Photo essay, Dash Coleman

News photo, Josh Galemore

Sports feature photo, Josh Galemore

Sports column, Nathan Deen

Education writing, Jenel Few

Religion writing, Leslie Moses

Hard news, Brittini Ray

Serious column, Jane Fishman

Lifestyle feature column, Ben Goggins

Layout and design, staff

Editorial page

Special issues, Our Savannah

Magazine, Savannah Magazine

Lifestyle coverage

Second place

Community Service, staff

Feature photo, Steve Bisson

Photo essay, Adriana Iris Boatwright

Sports photo, Josh Galemore

Sports feature photo, Josh Galemore

Spot news photo, Josh Galemore

Photo portfolio, Josh Galemore

Business writing, Mary Mayle

Feature writing, Leslie Moses

Editorial cartoon, Mark Streeter

Lifestyle feature column, Kris Monroe

Special issues

Sports section or pages

Third place

Community Service, Jan Skutch

News photo, Josh Galemore

Sports photo, Josh Galemore

Education writing, Jenel Few

Investigative reporting, Brittini Ray and Jenel Few

Editorial cartoon, Mark Streeter

Lifestyle feature column: Josh Peacock

Editorial page

Editorial writing

Local news coverage