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A newspaper you can be proud of

I had the opportunity this past weekend to make a trip to our beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast for some business and pleasure.

I grew up on the Coast and my family still calls it home, so it was nice to get the chance to visit with them, but I also was honored to attend the annual Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest awards luncheon at the Golden Nugget casino in Biloxi. It was a chance to hob-nob with my peers, most of whom I have known for years.

It’s a unique bond print journalists have with one another and to “talk shop” or just talk about one another’s family was enjoyable. But the main reason I was there, along with editor-in-chief Alex McDaniel and sports writer Davis Potter, was to represent the Oxford EAGLE and our outstanding editorial staff.

It was very rewarding to watch our award-winning newspaper garner recognition with 20-plus MPA awards and once again distinguish itself as just one of three daily newspapers in Mississippi to receive the prestigious General Excellence award.

I am truly blessed to manage a staff that includes veteran reporters like senior staff writer Alyssa Schnugg, who continuously produces award-winning articles each and every year. And what more can be said about “The Mascot,” Bruce Newman? Year after year, his photos rake in awards in both Sports and News categories. And our Sports staff of Davis Potter and Jake Thompson again had a tremendous year in being honored as one of the best in Mississippi.

And publisher David Magee’s emotional personal column about the tragic death of his son William and the dangers of addiction was very deserving of a first place award in a category I was fortunate enough a year ago to win.

Our newspaper takes pride in serving our community, and a second place award in the Community Service category was very rewarding. I hope our readers know how much all of us here care about the job we do each day in working for you. Awards are nice and being recognized is rewarding, but the true honor is producing a newspaper each day that you can be proud of.

I also hope you are thankful for having a local daily newspaper to turn to six days a week and a website that offers around the clock coverage. I thought about that during Saturday’s MPA event as one of the newspaper’s I was fortunate to launch in Jones County earned awards despite just recently to cease publication.

The staff at The Chronicle are as close as family to me and I watched many of their names called for awards they weren’t there to receive, which made Saturday’s event bittersweet for me. Kudos for a job well-done, Chronicle.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.