I’m pleased to report to our subscribers and readers that the newspapers you loyally support were recently recognized as being among the best in South Carolina.
This past Saturday, the Horry Independent took first place in the general excellence division for newspapers with a circulation of 4,500 or more. This is one of the most prestigious awards given by the S.C. Press Association.
The judges who selected the Independent wrote: “extremely people-oriented newspaper. Extensive local news coverage with features and photos that readers will clip out and put on their fridge. Outstanding use of photos and graphics. Excellent sports coverage. Staff makes a real effort to cover what’s going on in the community.”
Since its inception nearly 38 years ago, the Independent has focused on meeting the needs of the communities it serves. We serve as a watchdog over government, reporting the actions taken by county council, school board and city council.
We faithfully report on sports and the achievements of our youth.
We support efforts to improve our communities. We spotlight the achievements of people doing remarkable, and unremarkable things.
So, I couldn’t help but feel proud when the judges in the 2017 SCPA contest chose the Independent for first place based on the values that have been part of our heritage since our founding March 25, 1980.
Much the same can be said for the Carolina Forest Chronicle, which placed second in the general excellence contest, and for the Myrtle Beach Herald, which placed third.
Sweeping the top three places in general excellence tells us we must be doing something right.
None of the awards would be possible without a great team and we are blessed to have some of the best journalists in the state.
Horry Independent Editor Kathy Ropp has been with the paper since its start and I doubt anyone knows Conway better than she does. A former journalist of the year, Ropp guides the news operation with honesty, a deep understanding of community and great compassion.
Charles Perry, editor of the Chronicle, is recognized around the state as one of the brightest young journalists around. His investigative reporting has been honored at the national level.
Our other reporters and editors, Janet Morgan, Viraj Naik, Ettie Newlands, and social media coordinator Lindsay Hickman, also won major awards at the press association annual meeting and I salute them for their outstanding work.
While it’s nice to win journalism awards, nothing is more satisfying than the words of encouragement and support we receive from those who read and advertise in our papers. None of our accomplishments would be possible without them.
Nevertheless, we can’t help but feel proud of the honors. It is particularly satisfying to know a story we wrote might be on your fridge!