WPT receives MPA award

From Staff Reports

The Webster Progress-Times was among award winners in the Mississippi Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest Editorial Division.

Awards were handed out Saturday at the MPA’s Multi-State Summer Convention in Miramar Beach, Fla.

Staff members Russell Hood and Charlotte Newman earned third-place honors for Investigative or In-Depth Reporting for their coverage of last year’s deadly tornado outbreak that struck Webster County.

Three tornadoes tracked across the county on April 27, 2011, resulting in one death (Mike Rogers of Ticky Bend) and major destruction, including that of East Webster High School’s campus in Cumberland.

Because of the resulting power outage on that production day, the Progress-Times had to move operations to its sister newspaper in Ackerman, The Choctaw Plaindealer, after Hood and Newman photographed tornado damage throughout the county. The next day’s issue, published as scheduled, included an article and numerous photographs of the devastation.

The Progress-Times received its award in the division for weekly newspapers having a circulation of 2,500-4,000. More than 2,200 entries from 60 newspapers were judged by volunteers from the West Virginia Press Association.