It was time again for the annual Osman C. Hooper Awards, when the Ohio News Media Association recognizes excellence in nondaily newspapers and The Barberton Herald did well.
The award ceremony was very different this year. The awards typically are part of the larger Ohio News Media Association convention in Columbus and is fit in with a day of seminars and workshops where local journalists can hone their craft. The pandemic put the brakes on that this year.
Instead, award recipients gathered on Zoom, where the presenters said more than once they hoped this would be the only virtual version of the ceremony they would every have. On checking in, they were all given a link to a video that announced the winners.
The Herald competes in Division A, the largest, and brought home five awards.
For In-Depth Reporting, The Herald’s three-part “A Matter of Black and White” series, by Bob Morehead, took third place.
“Heartening to see a small community join the national conversation about race in America – with their community news source facilitating the discussion,” the judges said.
Morehead’s “Refugees Revisited” took second place in the Local Feature category.
“An amazing opportunity to follow up with a family (20) years later is illustrated with clear writing and solid quotes,” the judges said.
In the Local Profile category, Morehead’s feature on the passing of local artist Ralph Hertzog took second place.
“Delayed lead,” the judges wrote. “Excellent anecdotes. Good insight from quotes of other sources. Good background information of person profiled. Good descriptions of work (art) done by person profiled. Unusual ending.”
Morehead’s “Ramblings by Robert” took first place in the Original Columns category.
“Robert’s columns speak for that so-called Silent Majority,” the judges said. “Not the Silent Majority of Richard Nixon’s time, but the Silent Majority that simply wants the trains to run on time, thinks less strategically and more logically and and just wants some peace. ‘Ramblings by Robert’ sings in that choir with a melody of good, solid writing and a harmony of empathy.”
The Herald’s fifth prize was a second-place finish for “Women Mean Business” in the Special Edition or Section category.
“I loved the bright colors and fun design,” the judges said. “I really like the idea behind this publication.”
The Women Mean Business magazine, started in 2005, is one of the Herald’s most popular sections ever. It features bios of the working women of the Summit County area. The paper gets more feedback on this publication than any other. The 2021 edition will be coming out in May. Call 330-753-1068 to find out how you can get in!