JEKYLL ISLAND—Capturing 16 editorial awards, including eight first-place honors, The Oconee Enterprise earned second place in general excellence from the Georgia Press Association.

The awards, presented last Friday at the Jekyll Island Club, were for stories written in 2017.

Editor Michael Prochaska won first place in breaking news writing for his coverage of a murder trial. He also took home third place in editorial writing.

“I couldn’t be prouder of Michael in his first year as our editor winning the general excellence category,” said The Oconee Enterprise General Manager Maridee Williams.

Prochaska, reporter Katie Tiller and former reporter Kelcey Caulder earned first place in community service reporting for a series about the needs of law enforcement, firefighters and emergency personnel.

Tiller was awarded first place news photo, marking her first state journalism award of her career. 

“I love the emotion captured,” judges wrote of her photograph, which depicted a special education student sporting a football helmet and bursting with joy while playing with high school athletes.

Sports Editor Jeremy Johnson also won his first set of Georgia Press Awards with first place sports column, first place sports coverage, and a joint award for sports section with former Editor Ryne Dennis.

“Jeremy has a true knack for storytelling,” judges wrote. “Captivating and gripping.”

“I think that Katie and Jeremy have done a stellar job here,” said Williams. “They are so young, but they are so talented and enthusiastic.”  

Dennis was awarded first place sports feature photo, second place sports column and second place sports feature story.

The Oconee Enterprise was presented first and second place for editorial page with Chuck Cunningham earning third place for editorial cartoon.

The advertising staff at The Oconee Enterprise was honored with first place small-page ad for the Valentine Country Banquet Dance, first place online banner ad for Flowers Inc. and second place non-traditional for Oconee The Magazine.

“Tracy Harmon did a great job on a small-space ad winning first place,” said Williams. “That is a very competitive category with hundreds of entries.”

Graphic Designer George Windate created the first-place winning ads and also designs the editorial pages of the newspaper. 

For more on this story, see the June 14 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, go to oconeeenterprise.comor call (706) 769-5175.



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