Beacon Earns Bragging Rights


KPA Award Winners Announced 


Kay Shaffer

The Ashland Beacon


   The Greater Ashland Beacon is proud to announce that several awards were bestowed on our incredible staff and contributors at the recent Kentucky Press Association Awards Winter Convention. Although the event traditionally brings those in newsprint together for a celebration and awards ceremony, this year, the winners were announced virtually due to social distancing and safety precautions. 

   “We were sad to miss seeing our peers and enjoying the conference this year, but could not be more proud and excited with the awards we received from the KPA this year,” said Philip Stewart, publisher of the Greater Ashland Beacon. Stewart continued, “We look forward to gathering next year, and in the meantime, will celebrate safely as we thank our team for an outstanding job in one of the most difficult years our country has seen in a long time.”

   Without further ado, the winners are:

   Second place for Best Columnist went to Jonathan Joy for his bi-weekly “Read Me a Bedtime Story” column. These tales bring imagination to the forefront, giving local children an outlet to be excited and inspired by newsprint as Joy spreads, well, joy, across the page for parents and their little ones to enjoy together. This week, find the column on C1 as it celebrates its fifth anniversary with The Beacon.

   The honor of Best Business Story was bestowed upon our own Emily Roush for her June 9 article that shared Time Warp’s business with us. This and other content can be found online at

   The March 10 edition of The Beacon took first place for Best Sports Story with James Collier’s “Heck Yeah Baby!” on B1. The KPA judges expressed that it was, “A good mix of play-by-play commentary with emotion and quotes.” The following week scored a win also, with Section C of the March 17 edition focusing on the Ashland Tomcats winning the regional basketball championship. Lora Stewart and Kimberly Smith took home first place for Best Sports Page Section because of their determination to make the section shine.

   Other sports-related wins included Ben Spicer nabbing third place on Best Sports Feature Story with “Hard Work and Faith Leads to 33-0” as well as several photographers scoring wins as The Beacon swept the sports photo categories. For Best Sports Picture: Charlie Billips, Philip Stewart and Larry Boggs grabbed first, second and third, respectively, in the category, with comments from the judges like “Wonderful timing makes this photo readers have to look at and say ‘wow,’” and “Great action at the of dust makes photo stand out.” As for Best Sports Picture Essay, Lora Stewart swept the category winning first, second and third place for her crazy ability to tell the whole story of a game with intense photos of games that standout like no other. 

   In social media, The Beacon again stole the show in the Best Use of Social Media or Multimedia. Jason Smith, Jeremy Holbrook and Philip Stewart earned first place with “Beacon Beats,” as the judges gushed, “Beacon Beats is a hit! Love the intro and logo… the community message is strong.” Second place was described as “A timely subject for the piece and connecting with a local provider (and a breast cancer survivor); both good moves that helped advance the story and outreach for both the media outlet and the health center.” Jason Smith’s Breast Cancer Awareness video with King’s Daughters Medical Center in October garnered that award. Third place was awarded to Philip Stewart and Jeremy Holbrook for a later outstanding episode of “Beacon Beats,” with the judges this time saying “Another good looking episode. Well done.” Best Video overall went to Jeremy Holbrook for his coverage of the Hager School Parade, which can be found, along with the other videos, by searching The Greater Ashland Beacon on Facebook. And this weekend, look for a new video that will highlight the people that earned these awards and the photos and stories they did it with. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for the premier. 

   As always, this newspaper could not be what it is without you, the community, supporting us. If it were not for our readers, advertisers, staff, volunteers and supporters, we would not be standing after the year that 2020 dealt us all. We thank you for hanging in there with us through the best and the worst that our area has had to face, and look forward to many more memories to come. If you have thoughts or suggestions, or simply something that you think the Free-kin Beacon should cover, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1.800.575.8199 today. 

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