The Ashland Daily Tidings scored six first-place awards and 12 awards overall in the 2012 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association (ONPA) contest.
The Mail Tribune took home 11 first-place awards and 20 awards overall.
The Ashland Daily Tidings competes against newspapers with circulations of 10,000 or less. The Mail Tribune competed in a category against newspapers with a circulation between 10,000-25,000.
The ONPA presented its 2012 contest awards to member newspapers and announced new officers and directors during the association's annual competition in Salem.
The awards included:
- The Mail Tribune staff was awarded second place for General Excellence. The Ashland Daily Tidings won third in this category.
- The Mail Tribune's annual "Our Valley" publication took first in the Special Section category.
- Reporter Mark Freeman took home first place in Best Business and Economic Coverage for his story of coastal fishing businesses that suffered in a tsunami.
- Reporter Paul Fattig won first place in the Best Feature: Personality category for his profile of a wounded solider. Daily Tidings reporter Janet Eastman won first for her story of an Occupy Ashland supporter. Wheeler won second for his story of a woman who supported the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
- Daily Tidings sports reporter Joe Zavala won first for his story about Ashland athletes competing against Japanese players. Zavala also won second in this category for his profile of a legendary Southern Oregon University wrestler.
- Former Mail Tribune reporter Paris Achen won second place in Best Educational Coverage for her story about school district budget cuts. Daily Tidings reporter Sam Wheeler won first for his story of a dog that helps disabled kids at Ashland Middle School.
- Wheeler won third in Best Enterprise Reporting for his coverage of the David Grubbs murder.
- Wheeler won third in Best Feature Story: General for his story of a woman who bakes a pie each day and gives it away.
- Reporter Sanne Specht took home first place in the Best Local Column category for her Southern Oregon Journal entries.
- Reporters Damian Mann, Mark Freeman, Ryan Pfeil and photo editor Bob Pennell won first place for Best Spot News Coverage for their Criado murders stories.
- Copy desk editors/designers Myles Murphy, Dave Sager and Eric Martin won first place in page one designs for their work on the Daily Tidings. News Editor Rob Galvin and copy desk editors/designers Steve Dieffenbacher and Eric Martin won second place in this category for the Mail Tribune
- Photo editor won first place in Best Graphics for his designs highlighting a series on Rogue Valley labor unions. Copy editor/designer Eric Martin won second place for his work on a series about Mexican drug cartels working in Southern Oregon.
- Bob Pennell won second place for Best Feature photo for his shot of a befuddled hen owner standing in his front yard. Photographer Jamie Lusch won third in this category for his shot of rafters running the Rogue River.
- Lusch won first place in the Best News Photo category for his shot of a little girl mourning at a local soldier's funeral. Pennell took home second in this category for his image of police working to save the Criado children.
- Pennell won second place in the Best Photo Essay category for his work on the Criado murders.
- Lusch won first place in the Best Sports Photo category for his shot of a Southern Oregon University football player taking a big hit.
- Mail Tribune website team members Anita Burke, Mandy Valencia and Ryan Pfeil took first place in the Best Overall Website category. The Daily Tidings web team of Burke, Valencia, Pfeil and Eastman won second place.
- Burke won second place in the Best Web Design category. She won first place in this category for her work on the Daily Tidings website.
- Pfeil won first in the Best Multimedia Element category for his documentary short "Tunnel 13," while Burke, Valencia and Eastman won first place in this category for the Daily Tidings website's Occupy Ashland timeline.
- Burke, Mann, Pennell and Pfeil took home first in the Best Online Coverage of Breaking News category for their work on the day of the Criado family murders.