Standard-Radio Post brings home awards from STPA


Paper finishes second in regional ‘large weekly’ contest

The Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post placed second in the South Texas Press Association’s (STPA) annual newspaper contest.

“STPA is the largest regional press association in the nation, and to finish second among the largest weekly papers is an honor,” said Ken Esten Cooke, publisher. “The Standard-Radio Post has always had a great reputation throughout the state of being a solid community paper.”

The awards were given during the STPA’s annual spring convention, held last weekend in Kerrville at the YO Ranch Hotel.

Lisa Treiber-Walter won two individual awards, taking third place in “Journalist of the Year,” and second place in “Photographer of the Year.”

The paper placed first in community service for its examination of a teen drug overdose death and its look at drug use among teens.

“I am very pleased about the community service award, even though there are no points awarded for it. We took a tragedy, and did our best to shine a light on a real problem,” Cooke said. “The newness and lethal nature of this particular drug stunned the community and served as a wakeup call for many of us who are parents of school-aged children. We feel like our coverage helped foster a community conversation, one that is not always comfortable.” 

The Standard-Radio Post was given awards in these categories, followed by judges’ comments:

News writing — 1st place — Lisa Treiber-Walter’s stories on a teen drug overdose. “Nicely done on difficult event. Lead keeps reader in it.”

Editorial writing — 2nd place — Ken Esten Cooke’s editorials on why Texas Jail Standards Commission advocates for more space with so many empty beds statewide, and why the state’s raise in the speed limit on rural roads is a bad idea. “Good points. What editorial writing should be.”

Display Advertising — 1st— Staff-produced work for Fredericksburg Realty, a Real Estate feature page and an ad for Superior Services. “Very nice!”

Sports photos — 2nd — Matt Ward/Ken Cooke — “Good job capturing the action.”

Lifestyle pages — 2nd — “Clean layout — something for everyone. No fillers, all news copy.”

Serious column — 3rd— Ken Esten Cooke’s columns on Enchanted Rock as a retreat, and another on the the Trayvon Martin case. “Gutsy subject, clear writing.”

Feature writing — Honorable mention — Ken Esten Cooke’s story on local cotillion classes.

Special section — 1st— Fredericksburg Visitors Guide. The paper’s first foray into magazine format in the fall of 2013. “Love it. Very nice.”

Community service — 1st— Stories and editorials dealing with aspects of teen drug use. “Outstanding. Very good use of all sections of the paper and good follow up stories.”

Journalist of the Year — 3rdJ — Lisa Treiber-Walter. “Good variety of work.”

Photographer of the Year — 2nd — Lisa Treiber-Walter. “Great track photo. Powerful imagery in drug bust photo.”

The Rockdale Reporter, owned by the Cooke family and published by Kathy Cooke-Martin, finished in first place, just outpacing Fredericksburg, followed by a tie in third place by the Frio-Nueces Current and the Pleasanton Express.

This year’s STPA contest was judged by members of the Louisiana Press Association.

“We take these contests as an opportunity to see where we can improve,” Cooke said. “So, while we are pleased with our result, we will continue to do our best to give this community the paper it deserves.”

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