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Wichita Eagle Honored for BTK Coverage

The Wichita Eagle’s coverage last year of the BTK case – from the killer’s arrest through his incarceration in the El Dorado Correctional Facility – received the 2005 Burton W. Marvin Award from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas.

In deciding the award, judges said that “The Eagle simply owned the BTK story” despite a judge sealing records and bans on comments from police and city officials.

The Eagle earned top evaluations from judges in all five criteria: commitment to public service, professional execution, effective information gathering, accuracy and significance to readers.

“In more than one instance,” one judge wrote, “The Eagle had been a conduit to the police when the BTK killer had sent information to the newspaper. Virtually everyone in the newsroom touched this coverage in one way or another.”

“We are very grateful to KU for recognizing a body of work that we are very proud of,” said Sherry Chisenhall, the Eagle’s executive editor. “It was almost an entire staff effort. It was a difficult story to cover. It means a lot to us to have this recognition and honor.”

The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News
Wins Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Award

The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News won the 2005 Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Benchmark Award, which recognizes the Knight Ridder newspaper with the year’s highest overall ranking for business achievement.

The Sun News outranked others in such monthly measurable benchmark statistics as operating profit growth, margins, daily and Sunday circulation growth, retail growth, classified growth and improvements in reader satisfaction.

In 2005, the paper expanded its TMC (Total Market Coverage) product, and continued to move aggressively into neighboring Brunswick County, N.C.

This is the seventh time The Sun News has earned the award. The paper won in 2004, as well as in 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998. A large replica of the award was “retired” in Myrtle Beach after The Sun News won it for the first time in 1998.

Knight Ridder Executive Elected to Lead NABJ
Bryan Monroe, Knight Ridder assistant vice president/news, was elected president of the National Association of Black Journalists. He will serve a two-year term. Previously, he was the NABJ’s vice president/print.

Monroe said that he would like to have every chapter adopt a high school in their area now that high-school students are allowed to join NABJ. He also urged the organization to take control of its own destiny. “The best way to predict your future is to invent your future,” he said.

Newspapers Announce Distribution Agreement
The Belleville News-Democrat and Edwardsville Intelligencer have joined together in a distribution arrangement that provides Intelligencer subscribers with the News-Democrat’s Sunday edition at no extra cost.

The Intelligencer, owned by the Hearst Corp., publishes an afternoon newspaper Monday through Friday and a Saturday morning paper.

The agreement, begun on Jan. 29, will result in a circulation increase of nearly 4,000 Sunday papers for the News-Democrat and provide additional readership for its advertisers. “We may be extending our reach by as much as 25 to 30 percent on Sundays in Madison County, which is a big number,” said News-Democrat Publisher Jay Tebbe.

Tebbe said the practice is rare in the newspaper industry and was modeled after a similar agreement between two newspapers in Colorado. “I do think it is unique in the business,” he said. “ You have to have the right circumstances to be mutually beneficial.”

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