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The World 2014 ONPA awards

The World won 15 awards, including seven first-place individual and staff awards and third-place General Excellence in the Oregon Newspaper Publisher's Association's Better Newspaper Contest. Awards were announced Thursday night in Salem.

SALEM — The World took home 15 awards Thursday night in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association's 2014 Better Newspaper Contest. The ONPA presented the awards at the organization's Summer Publishers and Ad Directors Convention at the Salem Convention Center.

Among daily newspapers with less than 10,000 circulation, The World garnered third place in general excellence. First and second places in the under 10,000 circulation category went to the Corvallis Gazette-Times and the (Pendleton) East Oregonian, respectively.

"I'm incredibly proud of our news team," World publisher Jeff Precourt said. "Day after day they produce a fantastic product for our readers and it's exciting to see this confirmed through recognition at a statewide level."

The World's newsroom won 14 other individual and staff awards in 13 categories. Notably, reporter Thomas Moriarty and photographer Alysha Beck's coverage of the bombing at the Coos Bay Prayer Chapel won first place in Best Online Coverage of Breaking News, beating out both The Oregonian and the (Medford) Mail Tribune.

"This is just further validation, for me, of how excellent our entire news team is," executive editor Larry Campbell said. "We get validation of our work in so many intangible ways, like someone calling to thank us for keeping the horoscopes coming, or thanking us for the photo of their kid and his baseball team. Those are nice pats on the back, and we love to hear them.

"These awards are the tangible validation."

"Our cross to bear": The World's coverage of the Mingus Park memorial controversy

In March, Coos Bay city officials announced they had received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, demanding the removal of a cross atop a Mingus Park war memorial. Six months later, the region finds itself admid a wave of vandalism and bombings that has drawn the attention of the FBI.

COOS BAY — A leader of a Wisconsin-based watchdog group says the group will oppose any city government attempts to shield a contested memorial…

Other awards included:

  • Best Editorial, second place.
  • Best Educational Coverage, first place.
  • Best Enterprise Reporting, first place.
  • Best Lifestyle Coverage, first place.
  • Best Sports Story, third place.
  • Best Writing, second place.
  • Best Page One Design, second place.
  • Best Photo Essay, first and second place.
  • Best Sports Photo, second place.
  • Best Multimedia Element, first place.
  • Best Overall Website, first place.
  • Best Web Design, second place.

The World is one of three daily newspapers in Oregon operated by Lee Enterprises, including the Corvallis Gazette-Times, which took home 11 awards and the Albany Democrat-Herald, which won six awards. The World also publishes two weekly newspapers: The Umpqua Post in Reedsport and the Bandon Western World.

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Digital Editor Les Bowen can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 234, or at les.bowen@theworldlink.com or on Twitter: @NewsyLesBowen.​

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