• Senior Reporter Greg Finan Jr., left, and Publisher Matt Aiken were in attendance at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel as they accepted nine Georgia Press Association Awards on behalf of The Nugget. Photo:  Brittany Leeds

The Nugget nabs nine Georgia Press Awards

The Dahlonega Nugget nabbed nine Georgia Press Association Awards last week, including top honors in Editorial Writing and a first place finish for Greg Finan Jr.’s Sports Column.

Judges also recognized The Nugget’s Investigative Reporting during the year of 2015 with a third place finish in the weekly division.

Publisher Matt Aiken and Finan attended the award ceremony on Jekyll Island Friday evening and came back with a stack of much appreciated accolades. 

“We’re not in it for awards,” said Aiken “But they’re still really very fun to win. And it feels good because they’re the product of the true team effort of all the hardworking Nugget employees.”

Finan was responsible for four of the Nugget’s nine awards as he also walked away with first and third place for Sports Column, third place for overall Sports Page and third place for Sports Photo. 

“Wonderful entry,” said the GPA judge of Finan’s column. “Columnist balances humor with obvious understanding of the subject matter.”

The design talents of John Bynum were recognized as well, as the Sports Page category and Editorial Page (which was awarded third place) is based on both content and layout.

For actual editorial writing, The Nugget was awarded the first place H.H Dean Trophy for pieces that detailed the newspapers’ frustrating attempts to reach the VA Hospital on the phone; a declaration of religious tolerance in a time when the First Amendment has been put to the test; and a plea for the county and city governments to drop their ongoing lawsuit.

“These editorials are well thought out and relevant,” said the judging panel. “They actually say something and take a stand.”

In the Investigative Reporting category, The Nugget was recognized for a series of 2015 stories that included Sharon Hall’s in-depth look at the county’s struggles to meet American Disabilities Act requirements; Aiken’s feature on injured war hero Andrew Sullens’ fruitless attempts to receive a new prosthetic leg from the VA hospital and Finan’s follow-up story on the mysterious fish kill at Yahoola Creek.

“It’s a third place finish,” said Aiken. “But this is the category that I’m most proud of. This kind of thing is why we need real newspapers.”

The Nugget also won second place for Web-Based Project for the Crowded Office Concert, a reoccurring online concert in which local artists are invited into The Nugget office to play their original content.

Aiken also won second place in the Humorous Column category.

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The Dahlonega Nugget

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 36,
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Phone: 706-864-3613
Fax: 706-864-5812