Coastal Point sweeps awards at annual MDDC contest

Date Published: 
June 20, 2014

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: This photo, featuring magician Jay Read and an obviously-amused Keagan Crotty, won ‘Best in Show’ at the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association Awards for 2013.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: This photo, featuring magician Jay Read and an obviously-amused Keagan Crotty, won ‘Best in Show’ at the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia Press Association Awards for 2013.In case you’ve ever wondered what other people think of the Coastal Point, your local newspaper has again won big at the Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia (MDDC) Press Association awards.

The annual awards are peer-reviewed, honoring the best in editorial and advertising, from local publications like the Coastal Point to larger metropolitan dailies, such as The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. Coastal Point is judged in the in the non-dailies division, circulation of 10,000 to 20,0000.

“It’s always exciting to see our employees get recognition for the hard work they put in week in and week out, bringing the local area the best news coverage and newspaper design,” said Shaun Lambert, Point technical director.

“I think we’ve had some success in this competition over the years because we have really talented people who are focused on what they do, and who truly care about this community,” Point Editor Darin McCann said. “That passion and talent stands out to the judges.”

When Coastal Point staff left the awards, they saw a familiar photo. The MDDC issued a new publication honoring all winners, and the cover image belonged to Coastal Point’s Chris Clark.

The news photo “Surprise” had won Best in Show.

The photo pops because of “the reactions of the magician and the young boy as the red ball magically appears in the lad’s hand,” Clark said. As a bonus, you get “all of mystified faces of the onlookers.”

Clark also scooped second place for Feature Photo and Sports Photo.

The sports photo “Skimboard spray” shows a woman weaving through the water, which impressed Pointees and MDDC judges alike. Coastal Point featured it on the cover of the 2013 calendar, which then won Best of Category for advertising’s Best Innovative Concept / Wild Card.

There are news categories, like Public Service, for which Laura Walter won for coverage of Selbyville water quality.

“Those stories Laura wrote on the water problems in Selbyville were important,” said McCann. “This was a story that really could have shifted to the ‘blame game’ for a lot of reporters, but Laura stayed focused on getting these people help instead of pointing fingers.”

MDDC also has fun categories, like Best Headline, which Tripp Colonell won for “No separation for ‘church and skate,’” a feature about a church’s skate park.

First-year reporter Colonell also won Best Profile Story for “Former Bethany lifeguard buys a ticket to adventure.”

That story changed his perspective “on a lot of things.” Winning first place shows that “other people out there that were just as affected by it,” Colonell said.

“I wanted people to know that there are some things in the world that are bigger than yourself and your own problems, and I hope that this story relayed that message.”

Maria Counts earned second place for a feature story on “Operation SEAS the Day,” a respite program for wounded military personnel that this entire community has rallied around.

“Maria has a lot of range for a reporter. She is just as comfortable writing a feature story on veterans being recognized by a grateful community as she is grinding away at a courthouse for weeks at a time covering a major news story,” McCann said. “She takes a lot of pride in what she does, and it’s nice to see her get the recognition she deserves.”

Shaun Lambert earned second place for Page 1 Design, celebrating Indian River High School boys’ soccer team championship.

Lambert’s photos and layout of a summer rainstorm also took second for Feature Page Design.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Shaun since 2003, and the fact that he continues to get better, and gain more knowledge, speaks to the man he is,” said McCann. A gifted artist who still selflessly grinds away at the mundane tasks, “it’s fun for him to have creative license on a page design to put all that knowledge to work. … We’re just very lucky to have him here.”

Besides printing the weekly newspaper, Coastal Point publishes special magazines, winning Best Niche Publication for “Going Green on Delmarva” and earning third place for “The Story of Fenwick Delaware.”

In summer, reporters and ad representatives sweat over the Little League World Series, publishing this year’s Best Special Section, “Homeplate.”

Coastal Point once again cleaned up in the advertising category for non-dailies over 15,000.

Together, Art Director Bob Bertram and graphic designer Tom Maglio swept the entire award categories for Real Estate, Food, Community Service, Institutional, House Promotion (with Clark’s help), Jewelry & Accessories and Best 10-lbs. of Stuff in a 5-lb. Bag.

“Strong ad design is one of our hallmarks,” said Publisher Susan Lyons. “It’s a part of the product that I have always felt strongly about. We want to give our advertisers the best ad that we possibly can.”

Besides sweeping all three places for Best Color Retail Ad, Bertram’s artwork was an MDDC Sweepstakes Award winner, one of four newspapers to get such an honor.

Bertram earned 13 awards, including 5 first place, prompting McCann to call him “the man.”

“He combines natural talent with maniacal preparation and care, and he’s simply the best at what he does. Anywhere,” McCann said. Combine his guidance, patience and “ridiculous talent, and you have someone special.”

Maglio won 14 awards, including 7 blue ribbons.

“Tom’s just scratching the surface on where he’s going to ultimately be as an artist,” McCann said, complimenting his hard work and talent. “He’s another young star we have here, and he’s committed every day to getting better and better.”

Santa Claus made a cameo in last year’s papers, encouraging people to “Shop Local.” Santa, Bertram and Clark earned second for Best Advertising Campaign.

“It’s easily the best job I’ve had, with the best bosses,” Lambert said. “Darin and Susan have been serving the local areas for many years and they strive to provide the best news product in the area, and it shows. They hire the right people for the job and it really shows.”

With a team mentality that overrides “our massive egos,” McCann joked, “everyone is willing to set those aside and do what’s best for the paper. … It goes to show that if you put in the work, and you are fair with people, good things happen.”