Gazette editor, assistant editor take top honors in AP contest


COLUMBUS, Ohio — For the second year in a row, The Delaware Gazette has claimed multiple awards in the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors (APME) newspaper contest, the AP announced Tuesday.

The Gazette, which competes against 39 other publications in Division I, earned two first-place awards: Managing Editor Joshua Keeran received top honor in the Best Headline Writer category, while Assistant Editor Gary Budzak placed first in the Best Public Service category.

In the Best Headline Writer category, the judges wrote, “A good headline should entice readers into the story, say a lot in a few words, and show readers the headline-writer is on the tone of the story. Joshua Keeran accomplishes all three with clever, witty, pithy headlines that instantly brings readers in on the fun.”

A winner of multiple AP awards over his career, Keeran placed second last year in the Best Headline Writer category.

A Delaware resident since 2011, Keeran holds a B.A. in journalism from The Ohio State University. He began his journalism career in 2004 as a reporter at the Urbana Daily Citizen, a sister paper of The Gazette. In September 2017, he began working at The Gazette, where he was promoted to managing editor in February 2018.

In the Best Public Service category, Budzak submitted 20 articles he wrote on the “We’re in This Together” online course offered by Ohio Wesleyan University in 2020. The course looked at the coronavirus from an academic perspective as professors from many disciplines taught what they knew about prior pandemics and what they knew about COVID-19.

“Drawing on the expertise of local university faculty, this series offers readers detailed looks at many facets of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as its impacts,” judges wrote.

Budzak, who holds a B.A. in journalism from The Ohio State University, has won awards for his work at The Columbus Dispatch and ThisWeek Newspapers. He was previously the managing editor of The Sunbury News. Budzak lives with his wife in Westerville.

In addition to the first-place awards, The Gazette placed third in the Best Special Sports Section category for its 2020 Fall Sports Preview, which featured detailed stories and photos by Sports Editor Ben Stroup on the county’s seven high school football teams. The section also featured schedules for all fall sports teams.

Fifty-two daily newspapers submitted 1,418 entries in the Ohio APME contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics, and photos from 2020.

Entries in Division I were judged by editors from the Petoskey (Michigan) News-Review and the Alpena (Michigan) News.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing newspapers and broadcast stations in the United States.



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