State Press Awards Luncheon set Aug. 27

Tennessee newspaper excellence will be recognized with awards in the 2021 University of Tennessee (UT)-Tennessee Press Association (TPA) State Press Contests that will be presented at a luncheon on Friday, August 27, at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs Hotel.   Sixty-nine TPA member newspapers have won at least one award in the Contests. Registration form. Event information

Winning newspapers were notified by email in May of the categories in which they will receive awards.  List of newspapers to receive at least one award in 2021.

In addition to the presentation of the awards, TPA President Daniel Richardson will pass the presidential gavel to TPA’s 2021-22 president, who is slated to be Rick Thomason, publisher of the Kingsport Times-News and the
Johnson City Press.

The luncheon cost is $55 per person.

UT has co-sponsored the State Press Contests since 1940 by providing the plaques, certificates and coordination of the awards presentation. A UT official will present the awards. Event details and registration information are available at

Members of the New Jersey Press Association judged the State Press Contests this year.  TPA members judged the New Jersey Press contest as part of the associations’ reciprocal agreement.  There were 79 newspapers that entered the contests with 1,208 total entries.

The Franklin Cool Springs Marriott Hotel is offering a discounted rate of $149 to event attendees. Reservations should be made no later than Thursday, Aug.5. To take advantage of this rate, please contact the hotel at (615) 261-6100.

Franklin is in the Central Time Zone

11:30 a.m.  Registration

Noon Luncheon

12:45 p.m. TPA Presidential Installation

1:15 p.m. Awards presentation

2:15 p.m.  Group photographs

TPA Ad/Circ Ideas Contest Awards announced on Sept. 25

The Tennessee Press Association announced the winners of the 2020 Ideas Contest (for Advertising &.Circulation) on Friday, September 25.

Grainger Today of Bean Station took the Best of Show award for its 2019 Tomato Festival special section.   The Paris Post-Intelligencer received the First Runner Up award for its black and white ad entry for the Southside Café. The Morgan County News received the Second Runner Up aware for its Back to School Time entry in marketing materials.

The farragutpress received the most awards at 36 with 16 of those being first places.  The Greeneville Sun received 22 awards and the Chattanooga Times Free Press received a total of 20 awards.

In all 517 entries from 26 TPA member newspapers were judged by members of the Georgia Press Association.

Link to the list of winners in excel:

Link to the awards slideshow of winning images:

Artie Wehenkel, advertising director of The Greeneville Sun and chairman of the TPA Advertising Committee, announced the awards during the virtual presentation.

Tennessee State Press Contests Awards announced

Website featuring winning entries:

List of winners with captions and entry credits

Newspaper publishers, editors, writers, and designers won top awards today (Sept. 24, 2020) in the Tennessee Press Association’s 2020 newspaper contest cosponsored by UT, which has been a part of the annual event since 1940.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Johnson City Press, the Leaf-Chronicle (Clarksville), the Knoxville Ledger, and the Hamilton County Herald (Chattanooga) won the top general excellence awards in their respective divisions at the association’s ceremony, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Points were awarded for each entry, and general excellence honors were based on the newspaper’s total points in their division.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press and the Bristol Herald Courier each won 10 first-place awards. The Tennessean (Nashville) received eight first-place awards and the Knoxville Ledger received seven first-place awards.

Among the many stories from 2019 cited for excellent work, contest judges highlighted several papers for their coverage of the Sumner County slayings in April 2019, which left seven people dead and one injured.

As part of the annual contest, newspapers winning first-place awards in the categories of editorials, best single editorial, and public service received $250 prizes from UT’s Edward J. Meeman Foundation. The Tennessean won three awards this year, one for each category.

The Meeman Foundation was established in 1968 at UT to fund the contest, provide professional critiques of journalists’ work, and support journalism students and educators.

Reciprocal judging is done with another state’s association. This year, the Georgia Press Association judged 1,341 entries from 72 of the Tennessee Press Association’s 129 member newspapers.

Read the full results of the contest.


Charles Primm (865-974-5180,

Robyn Gentile (865-584-5761,

2020 Summer Convention canceled

The TPA Board of Directors voted on July 17 to cancel the Sept. 24-25 convention that was to be held in Pigeon Forge.  The State Press Contests Awards presentation will be held virtually on Thursday, September 24 at 3:00 p.m. EDT.

The Advertising and Circulation Ideas Contest Awards will be presented virtually on Friday, September 25.  TPA will be working to set up some webinars on topics for the newsroom, advertising and circulation.

Richardson is new TPA President

Daniel Richardson, publisher of the Carroll County News Leader and group publisher of the eastern division of Magic Valley Publishing Co., is the new president of the Tennessee Press Association.

Daniel Richardson TPA’s President for 2020-2021

He was elected on July 17 during the Concurrent TPA Board of Directors Meeting and Business Session.

Daniel is the youngest son of Dennis and Lisa Richardson, with Dennis having founded Magic Valley Publishing Co. in 1983. Daniel is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a 2012 graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin. He resides in Camden with his wife, Lena, and three daughters. He is a member of the Camden Church of Christ and the Camden Rotary Club.

Protect Freedom of the Press

Americans are facing an unprecedented threat, and the information you provide is saving lives. That story needs to be told.

The Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University  has developed a national campaign featuring a diverse group of Americans and this message about journalism: “Reliable Information When We Need it Most.” These ads have been configured for print and online, in multiple sizes and are available for immediate download at

Ken Paulson, director of The Free Speech Center has also written a companion guest column you may want to use detailing how COVID-19 is threatening the future of newsgathering. The lead: Three handy tips for coping with COVID-19: Wash your hands frequently. Wear a mask outdoors. And subscribe to a local newspaper or website. The column can be found at