The Meadville Tribune has earned four awards in the Pennsylvania Newspaper Asso-ciation’s statewide Newspaper of the Year general excellence contest.

The Tribune, along with Carlisle’s The Sentinel, was second only to Lansdale’s The Reporter for awards in the under 20,000 daily and Sunday circulation division.

The Tribune garnered a first-place award for layout and design, and second-place awards in:

–– Newswriting excellence;

–– Best use of photography; and

–– Special section.

The purpose of the Newspaper of the Year contest is to recognize outstanding newspaper work, with the emphasis on overall excellence, according to the association.

It’s designed to give a newspaper the opportunity to showcase the efforts of its entire staff. Every entry submitted receives written comments from the judges, and those critiques are used to improve the newspaper as well as attract new readers.

“I am very proud of the Tribune staff and their accomplishments,” said Tribune Publisher Sharon Sorg. “It is rewarding to see the talent and dedication they put into bringing our community a quality product each and every day recognized on a statewide level.”

Pat Bywater, the Tribune’s executive editor, added, “It is gratifying to get this kind of affirmation from a panel of expert judges, particularly in a contest focused on general excellence. The results show that we have a depth of talent and high standards we strive to achieve daily.” He noted that this is the second year in a row the Tribune’s award total in the contest has placed it first or second among newspapers in its category.

Wednesday’s announcement marks the second time this year The Meadville Tribune has won statewide awards from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. In April, the Tribune earned a first-place award for investigative reporting in the 2007 Keystone Press Awards for individual excellence.

Reporter Keith Gushard and Bywater were honored for their work on a series of reports titled “Ethanol: Is it feasible?”

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