WARREN - "A gem" is how judges described Tribune Chronicle photographer R. Michael Semple's photo from inside a Warren courtroom that won first place in a statewide contest Sunday.
Semple's photo was one of three first-place awards claimed by the Tribune Chronicle news staff for 2012 work. The Ohio Associated Press also awarded the news staff 10 other second- and third-place awards.
Semple's photo, titled "Guilty," depicted a stunned defendant fighting off deputies after a guilty verdict was read in court.
Award-winning Tribune Chronicle photo
This photo, taken by R. Michael Semple, won first place as the Best General News Photo for 2012 in the Ohio Associated Press contest.
In their comments naming the picture the best General News Photo for 2012, judges described the photo as "powerful." They also commented, "Photographer really nailed it. Courts can be boring sometimes, and this shot is a gem."
Tribune staffer Bonnie Hazen also collected her first-ever AP award, a first-place plaque for a compilation of headlines she wrote in 2012. Judges described her work as "excellent."
Another first-place award went to the staff for its special section in honor of the newspaper's 200th anniversary last June. Judges called the number of locally written stories "impressive" and suggested readers "will treasure it for years to come."
"It's a tribute to the work the Tribune Chronicle has provided to its readers for the past two centuries," judges wrote.
Other statewide awards handed out Sunday at a luncheon in Columbus included:
Brenda J. Linert, 2nd place, Best Business Writer;
Joe Landsberger, 2nd and 3rd place, Best Illustration;
Mike McLain, 3rd place, Best Sports Columnist;
Virginia Shank, 3rd place, Best News Writer;
Joe Gorman, 3rd place, Best Breaking News; and
Doug Livingston, 3rd place, Best Investigative Reporting.
Staffwide awards also went to the Tribune newsroom for:
Best Special Sports Section, 3rd place; and
Best Community Service, 2nd place for Veterans Day coverage; and 3rd place for 200th anniversary coverage;
Sixty-seven daily newspapers submitted 2,742 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2012.
Entries were judged by editors from The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C., Division V; the Naples (Fla.) Daily News, Division IV.
The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,500 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States. Members of AP include 85 daily newspapers in Ohio.
The Tribune Chronicle competes in Division IV against other Ohio newspapers with average daily circulation of 25,000 to 74,999.