Key Media wins 15 first place awards, including third straight for General Excellence


LEE COUNTY — The Observer won a number of awards — including the top honors for General Excellence and Most Improved — from the Alabama Press Association (APA), which hosted its annual conference in Orange Beach last week. This marks the third consecutive year The Observer has received the General Excellence Award and Most Improved Awards.
“None of this would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of the staff, writers and photographers that make up The Observer team,” said Michelle Key, owner and publisher of Key Media, which produces The Observer, LIVE Lee magazine and Neighborhood Tour Homes and Real Estate magazine.
“We are a small organization, but we strive every day to serve the people of Lee County to the best of our ability. We would not be here today without our subscribers, advertisers and readers — I truly appreciate every one of them.”
Based on circulation and other criteria, The Observer falls into APA Division D. Awards are presented in three categories: Editorial, Advertising and Magazine. This year, members of the Hoosier State Press Association judged more than 1,700 entries submitted by the state’s newspapers and magazines.
In addition to the Division D General Excellence Award and Most Improved Award, The Observer won first place Editorial Awards for:
Best Lifestyle/Family Pages
Best Local Economic Coverage
Best Use of Photographs/Editorial
Best Spot News Story: “Her name is Amore” by Hannah Goldfinger and Kendyl Calvert
Best Sports News In-Depth Coverage: “War Eagle News” by Brandon Hughes, Robert Noles and Michelle Key
Best News Photo: “Remembering Amore” by Robert Noles
Best Use of Graphics or Illustrations: “Freedom!” by Michelle Key and Robert Noles
Best Use of Social Media: “The Observer Facebook”
Best Newspaper Website:
Also in the Editorial category, The Observer won second place for Best Production and Printing; Best Spot News Story: “A community grieves together” by staff; Best Business Story: “The Coffee Shop is in good hands” by Wil Crews; Best Local Sports Column: “Can Auburn add to the madness?” by Wil Crews; Best Photo Essay: “Take a big bite” by Robert Noles; and Best Podcast Series: “Lee County Listener – Listen to the Music” by Sam DiChiara and Garrett Martinez.
The Observer won third place for Best Layout and Design; Best Local Education Coverage; Best News Feature Story Coverage: “1,000 days and counting” by Wil Crews; Best Sports Feature Story: “Fishing for smiles: Zuggy Fishing using online platform to promote positivity” by Noah Griffith; and Best News Photo: “Freedom!” by Robert Noles.
In the Advertising category, The Observer won two first place awards:
Best One Time Special Section: “Lee County Fair” by Michelle Key
Best Advertising Campaign: “USA Town Center” by Michelle Key
The Observer won three second place Advertising awards: Best Classified Ad; Best Single Ad over ½ page, color: “Los Amigos” by Michelle Key; and Best Advertising Campaign: “Angel’s Antiques” by Michelle Key. The Observer won third place for Best Classified Page or Section, Best Signature Page and Best Single Ad ½ page and under, color: “Kidz World” by Michelle Key.
In the Magazine category, LIVE Lee won one first place award:
Best Business Feature: “Every Flavor, All the Colors” by Kendyl Calvert
LIVE Lee won two second place awards for the Best Sports Feature: “Spokes of Life” by Hannah Goldfinger and Best Advertising Campaign or Series: “Glynn Smith Chevrolet/GMC” by Michelle Key.