The Union Democrat won five top awards in the California Newspaper Publishers Association annual Better Newspaper Contest.
The awards were announced Saturday at CNPA’s annual newspaper conference, which drew many of the state’s newspaper executives to San Jose.
In its circulation category, The Union Democrat received a first-place award for best editorial comment, for an opinion piece calling on the Columbia Elementary School District board to resign.
Second-place awards were given for:
• Lifestyles coverage, featuring the work of lifestyles editor Margie Hiser and IT director/page designer Derek Rosen.
• Arts and Entertainment for The Weekender weekly entertainment publication and its editor, Gary Linehan.
• Investigative reporting, for stories related to a sex-abuse case at Columbia Elementary. The prize went to reporter Lacey Peterson, editor Craig Cassidy, deputy editor Ryan Campbell and former reporter Ashley Archibald.
• First Amendment/California Public Records Act reporting, for Peterson and Cassidy’s Columbia coverage.
The Union Democrat also won certificates of recognition in the following categories: photo essay, best special issue, news photo, business coverage, feature story and investigative reporting.
The Union Democrat competed against daily newspapers with circulations under 15,000.
The annual journalism awards were given for work done from Nov. 1, 2010 to Oct. 31, 2011.
The CNPA represents 800 daily, weekly and campus newspaper members and is based out of Sacramento.