The 2014 Better Newspaper Contest packets are being prepared this week, so expect them to arrive at your paper very soon. Sometimes the packages get misplaced in large newsrooms; so if you don’t see one at your paper, check with the editor or drop us an email and we’ll try to straighten things out.

Here’s a recap of a few changes we’ve announced previously.

New categories have been added to Sports: Game Story, Sports Profile, Sports Section, and Sports Page Design.

There will be two General Excellence Awards presented in all circulation divisions: Print and Digital. The digital award replaces the Best Website awards.

The Best Newspapers in Education (NIE) Idea category has been changed to Best Youth Engagement. However, NIE sections are still eligible under the revised rules.

A Food Story entry has been added to the Writing category. In previous years, many food articles were entered under Arts/Lifestyle Feature.

Best New Revenue Idea has also been added to the Advertising category. This could include something outside of in-house sales or promotions such as participation in community events or trade shows.

All stories and photos will be submitted online this year with articles in a PDF format.

However, tear sheets of sections and pages (Specialty Page, Sports Section, Supplement, etc.) will still be required.

So please read the instructions carefully and send us your best work!

Alicia Tuttle of Augusta has joined the advertising team at the Kennebec Journal as the creative services assistant.

Tuttle was the graphic designer/office manager for The Capital Weekly for six years, where she was responsible for creating and designing advertisements, supplements, layout design for the weekly publication, processing press releases, customer service, payroll processing and assisting with day-to-day office operations.

She is a graduate of Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale and is currently pursuing her associate’s degree in graphic communications from Central Maine Community College.

The Maine Department of Public Safety has stopped issuing media credentials, according to spokesperson Steve McCausland.

The laminated cards were issued for several years and often made it easier for reporters and photographers to get access to crime scenes, fires or serious accidents.

However, McCausland said that since there were very few reporters requesting them in recent years, the service was dropped.

From Jim Romesko.com: Digital editor-at-large David Newhouse put out a memo during the last cold snap with tips on covering extreme winter weather.

“How often should you update a forecast?” he writes. “Whatever number probably just crossed your mind, double it. The most successful sites update a storm’s approach obsessively …”

Here’s one interesting point about school and business closings and cancellations that may be helpful to dailies that update their websites frequently.

The old view: TV does them, so why should we?

The new view: People look to us as their primary storm news source; and besides, it’s quicker to look them up online than to wait for the TV anchor to get to your school.

James Sanville, a retired assistant production director for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram who had passions for reading and technology, died Jan. 8 after a brief illness. He was 79.

Mr. Sanville began working for the newspaper as a delivery boy in Portland. At the age of 16, he got a job in the mailroom. For many years, he worked in the stereotype department, which made the lead plates used to print each day’s newspaper on the presses. He also worked in advertising as a makeup person, laying out the position of advertisements on each page of the newspaper.

Mr. Sanville, a 47-year employee of the Guy Gannett Publishing Co., retired in 1996 as assistant production director. He also served on the South Portland Board of Appeals. He was also a member of the Portland Elks Lodge.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jaqueline, and three children.

(Courtesy of the Portland Press Herald)

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