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22CM editorial team wins seven national awards

Pictured is assistant editor Chris Bashaw’s photo “Gifts of Song,” which earned an honorable mention in the National Newspaper Association’s 2014 Better Newspaper Contest. Chris Bashaw/22nd Century Media
Staff Report
2:02 pm PDT July 8, 2014

22nd Century Media, the parent company of The Malibu Surfside News, has won seven national writing awards through the National Newspaper Association’s 2014 Better Newspaper Contest.

The award-winning pieces were authored by editors across the company’s Malibu and North Shore and Southwest Chicago suburban branches and were recognized in a variety of categories.

The first-place entries came from 22nd Century Media’s North Shore Managing Editor/Wilmette Beacon Editor Joe Coughlin and The Northbrook Tower Editor Dayna Fields.

Coughlin’s feature story, titled “Starry Night,” shared the tale of Winnetka native Katie Chang’s road to stardom on her way to becoming a professional actress.

Fields took home top honors in the category of Best Humorous Column for her editorial “Getting back in the saddle at spin class,” which comically detailed her pain and angst while surviving a spinning class — alongside her enthusiastic co-workers — at a local YMCA.

Southwest Suburban Managing Editor/former Homer Horizon Editor Bill Jones won second place in the Best Feature Series category for “Getting past the preconceptions.” The series told the stories of various churches within Homer Glen.

Third-place winners were Malibu Surfside News Senior Editor Ashleigh Fryer in the Best Feature Story category for “Malibu musical savant finds voice through music”; Malibu Surfside News Managing Editor Heather Warthen for her feature story “Whole lotta filmmakin’ going on” in The Orland Park Prairie; and Coughlin for his photo essay “Skylights.”

Malibu Surfside News Assistant Editor Chris Bashaw received honorable mention recognition for his feature photo “Gifts of song”.

22nd Century Media Chief Creative Officer Shannon Mashek said she’s proud of the company’s editorial staff for its recent accomplishments.

“Local content has always been the focus of 22nd Century Media publications. Our editors are dedicated to our mission of providing communities with engaging, informative and relevant content,” she said. “Having that content recognized by a national organization reaffirms that dedication and our ability to positively impact our communities.”

22nd Century Media publications competed against 192 other NNA members in 40 states in the contest.