LOUISVILLE — The Interior Journal has earned third place in general excellence for mid-sized weekly newspapers in 2012 from the Kentucky Press Association.
Veteran Sports Editor Nancy Leedy and Editor Ben Kleppinger each picked up multiple individual awards for their work and The Interior Journal website won third place for best newspaper website.
Leedy received first-place honors for Best Sports Story and Best Sports Page. She won Best Sports Story for her coverage of Lincoln County's Colin Hart repeating as regional tennis champion in May.
"This one wins because of the flow of the story and the detail," the judges wrote about Leedy's story. "Good job using quotes to tell part of the story."
Leedy earned best sports page or section for her layout of the May 24 IJ sports section, featuring photos from the 2012 KHSAA track and field and tennis championships.
"Liked the layout and the emotion in your photos," the judges said. "The pages draw you in."
Kleppinger took home a pair of firsts as well, winning in the Best Enterprise/Analytical Story and Best General News Photo categories.
Kleppinger won Best Enterprise/Analytical Story for his Aug. 23 article examining the impact of empty and abandoned houses on Lincoln County's property values.
The judges commented simply, "excellent reporting and narrative."
Kleppinger won Best General News Photo for a shot of Lincoln County beekeeper Tim Siler searching a hive for a queen bee while other beekeepers look on.
"I just like this photo," a judge wrote. "Nice composition. Out of all the entries, this photo stood out to me."
Kleppinger also received second-place honors for Best Investigative Story/Series for his stories covering the city of Hustonville's reluctance to release ordinances to the public after giving them first readings. The coverage culminated with state Attorney General Jack Conway ruling that Hustonville had violated the law by withholding the ordinances.
"FOI (Freedom of Information) rules!" the judges wrote. "Well done. Excellent investigative journalism."
Additional awards earned by the IJ include:
• second and third places in Best Graphic for Kleppinger;
• third place in Best Sports Photo for Leedy;
• honorable mention in Best Enterprise/Analytical Story for Kleppinger; and
• honorable mention in Best General News Photo for Leedy.
This was the second year in a row The Interior Journal won third place for general excellence in the mid-size weekly category. The paper also won third for general excellence in 2008 and 2006.
The Interior Journal's sister papers, the Danville Advocate-Messenger and Jessamine Journal, both claimed first place in general excellence in their respective categories.