LPA Better Newspaper Competition

The Advocate (Baton Rouge), The Times (Houma), the Daily News (Bogalusa), The Plaquemines Gazette (Belle Chasse) and the Southwest Daily News (Sulphur), earned Newspaper of the Year honors in their respective divisions at the 136th Annual Louisiana Press Association Convention in Lake Charles.

The designation for the Newspaper of the Year is based on the number of points earned in the Better Newspaper Editorial Competition and the Better Newspaper Advertising Competition for 2015 with awards being given in individual contests for first, second, and third places. The editorial contests range from news story writing to graphic design while the advertising entries were judged based on design, creativity and effectiveness. The Alabama Press Association judged both competitions this year. Fifty-eight newspapers, publications, and college/university student newspapers submitted 2,777 entries.

Earning sweepstakes awards in the editorial competition were The Advocate (Baton Rouge), the Daily Comet (Thibodaux), The Daily News (Bogalusa), the L’Observateur (Laplace), the Southwest Daily News (Sulphur), The Psychology Times (Baton Rouge) and the Capital City News (Baton Rouge).

Earning sweepstakes awards in the advertising competition were The Advocate (Baton Rouge), The Times (Houma), The Daily News (Bogalusa), the Gonzales Weekly Citizen (Gonzales), the Southwest Daily News (Sulphur), the Point of Vue Magazine (Houma), and The Slidell Independent (Slidell).

For its fight on behalf of the public's right to know, please congratulate The Advocate (Baton Rouge) for earning this year's Freedom of Information Award. When the board that oversees Louisiana State University set out to find a new chief executive, it came up with a novel way to keep its search secret.

State law mandates that the names of applicants be made public, so LSU decided to pretend that only one person applied for the prestigious post: the man who got the job, F. King Alexander. Everyone else, the board said, was a candidate but not an applicant. It took two years of fighting, but in 2015, The Advocate (Baton Rouge) prevailed in court and forced LSU to reveal the names of other candidates interviewed. That wasn't all The Advocate (Baton Rouge) won. The university was forced to pay all of the newspaper's legal costs for disregarding Louisiana's public records laws.

For a complete list of all winners, click here.