ORANGE BEACH — Gulf Coast Media won 14 awards at the 2023 Alabama Press Association Media Awards, including a top-three finish for best overall sports coverage, a sweep in the business writing …
ORANGE BEACH — Gulf Coast Media won 14 awards at the 2023 Alabama Press Association Media Awards, including a top-three finish for best overall sports coverage, a sweep in the business writing category and first-place awards in writing, photography and social media.
This year, 58 publications entered 1,920 submissions in the annual contest that recognizes everything a local newspaper produces, from writing and print design to special magazines, photography, video and use of social media across divisions for statewide to hyper-local outlets. The North Carolina Press Association membership judged the entries.
"The awards, both in quantity and category range, to me represent the true nature of what we're doing here at Gulf Coast Media. We're a small team, but we work hard and can put on any hat needed to get the story and tell it in a medium and on the platforms our readers want to consume," said Kayla Green, GCM executive editor. "I'm so proud of our newsroom's ability to adapt to constant challenges and changes and can't wait to see what we can bring to the community over the next year."
Sports Editor Cole McNanna and Lifestyle Editor Melanie LeCroy, both first-place winners this year, represented GCM at the 2023 APA Summer Convention over the weekend at Perdido Beach Resort.
McNanna, in his first year with GCM after years working in Boston and Texas, won first place in the sports photo category for a stretching catch from Fairhope's Ben Moseley. For more on that photo, read McNanna's column. His use of social media also won first place.
He placed second for use of video that was longer than two minutes for an interview during GCM's 2022 Football Media Day with Elberta High School and placed third for overall sports coverage in GCM's division.
LeCroy won first place for best business story with her reporting on Southern Chili Lab, the "culinary mad scientists" who "ferment up a spicy storm in Orange Beach." She also placed second in the same category for reporting on local restaurants and food trucks riding the roller coaster of food cost uncertainty.
These are LeCroy's first APA awards. Previously writing specifically for The Islander, this is the lifestyle editor's fourth year with GCM.
The business writing category sweep was completed with a third-place win from former managing editor Allison Marlow for a story on Tanner Hammond, known locally as Mushroom Man Tan. Marlow, who went on this year to work for the Baldwin County Legislative Delegation, also won third place in feature writing for her look into the 1904 lynching of Reuben Sims.
Micah Green, chief digital officer at GCM, rounded out the rest of the awards. He received three second-place awards for a elongated look at the Stars and Stripes hot all balloon ahead of the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, feature photo; the Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation Professional Rodeo, news photo; and steer wresting practice with Drew Clukey, photo essay. He placed third three more times for a look at the Fort Mims massacre re-enactment, feature photo; a glimpse inside Our Lady of the Gulf on Ash Wednesday, news photo; and the March to May tournament in Gulf Shores, sports photo.