LIVE OAK — Tasked with designing eye-catching pages, Aimee Buckner’s work in 2017 caught the attention of CNHI’s judges.
Buckner, a page designer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press, was named the Designer of the Year in the annual Best of CNHI contest for Division III. CNHI, a subsidiary of Raycom Media, is the parent company of the North Florida papers.
Buckner’s winning entries included a front page following the inaugural Party in the Pines at Bienville Plantation in White Springs as well as three sports pages from Democrat editions.
One of the sports fronts kicked off the paper’s look back at the Suwannee Bulldogs’ four straight state championships from 1987-90. Another featured prominently the Lafayette-Branford rivalry and battle for “The Helmet.”
“We’re fortunate to have a talented graphic artist like Aimee on our team,” group editor Jamie Wachter said. “It’s great to see others take notice of the work she does in presenting our stories in an appealing way.”
In addition to the individual honor for Buckner, the Democrat, News and Free Press also won for Innovation in Digital Storytelling for its North Florida’s 2017 High School Football Road Map. The interactive story map took readers on a week-by-week preview of the prep football season, featuring the top games of the season for the Suwannee Bulldogs, Branford Buccaneers, Hamilton County Trojans and Lafayette Hornets.
“It was a fun little way to help get our digital readers, as well as ourselves, ready for the football season,” Wachter said.
The judging panel included eight CNHI editors and news executives, handing out Newspaper of the Year, Magazine of the Year, Public Service Awards and honors in seven individual categories as well as digital work for breaking news, social media and video.
Complete list of winners
Newspaper of the Year
Division I: Herald Bulletin, Anderson, Ind.
Division II: The Meridian (Miss.) Star
Division III: The Knoxville (Iowa) Journal-Express
Public Service Award
Division I: The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.
Division II: Goshen (Ind.) News
Division III: The Knoxville (Iowa) Journal-Express and The Pella (Iowa) Chronicle
Magazine of the Year
Division I: West Virginia South, Beckley (W.Va.) Register-Herald
Division II: Cape Ann, Gloucester (Mass.) Daily Times
Division III: Boomer, Washington (Ind.) Times Herald
Reporter of the Year
Division I: Wendy Holdren, Beckley, W. Va., Register Herald
Division II: Whitney Downard, The Meridian, Miss., Star
Division II: no winner
Designer of the Year
Division I: Zack Hartsog, Beckley, W. Va., Register-Herald
Division II: Kevin Burkett, Logansport, Ind., Pharos-Tribune
Division III: Aimee Buckner, Live Oak, Fla., Suwannee Democrat
Photographer of the Year
Division I: John Cleary, Anderson, Ind., Herald Bulletin
Division II: Paula Merritt, The Meridian, Miss., Star
Division III: April Barbe, The Jacksonville Daily Progress
Sports writer of the Year
Division I: Tyler Palmateer, The Norman, Okla., Transcript
Division II: Jacob Hoag, The Dalton, Ga., Citizen News
Division III: Patrick Hayslip, The Gainesville, Tex., Register
Editorial writer of the Year
Division I: Kathy Vos, Mankato, Minn., Free Press
Division II: Jeff Gerritt, Palestine, Tex., Herald Press
Division III: Kim Poindexter, Tahlequah, Okla., Daily Press
Columnist of the Year
Division I: Chip Minemyer, Johnstown, Pa., Tribune Democrat.
Division II: Susan Duncan, Jeffersonville, Ind., News and Tribune
Division III: Pat Finan, Knoxville, Iowa, Journal-Express
Breaking News Digital
Division I: Joplin, Mo., Globe, and the North Andover, Mass., Eagle-Tribune
Division II: the Meridian, Miss., Star
Division III: No winner
Innovation in Digital Storytelling
Division I: North Andover, Mass., Eagle Tribune
Division II: The Meridian, Miss., Star
Division III: Live Oak, Fla., Suwannee Democrat
Best Use of Social Media
Division I: Sunbury, Pa., Daily Item
Division II: Jeffersonville, Ind., News and Tribune
Division III: Tahlequah, Okla., Daily Press
Division I: Hadley Green, Salem, Mass., News
Division II: Matt Hamilton, Dalton, Ga., Citizen
Division III: Kristi Sanders, Washington, Ind., Times Herald