The Gonzales Inquirer placed first in 10 of 15 possible categories en route to earning the coveted Sweepstakes award in the Texas Gulf Coast Press Association 2023 Better Newspaper Contest.
Results were announced Saturday, May 20, at the conclusion of the TGCPA convention, held at the Port Royal Ocean Resort & Conference Center in Port Aransas.
The Inquirer accumulated a total of 1,000 points overall to capture not only top honors in Division I, but to earn the most points of any newspaper participating in the contest in 2023.
“Today was a historic day for one of the most historic newspapers in the state of Texas,” Inquirer publisher Lew K. Cohn. “The Gonzales Inquirer has been a leader in the industry since it first came into being in 1853 and we are proud to continue that tradition 170 years later. Our goal is always to give our community and our advertisers a newspaper they can not only be proud of, but one that represents what makes Gonzales County exceptional with something for everyone.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Austin Lewter from the Texas Center for Community Journalism, who judged the contest for TGCPA.
“I can’t find anything missing from this paper,” Lewter wrote in naming the Inquirer first in General Excellence, one of the 10 categories in which the Inquirer claimed top honors. “It’s a complete package. Wonderful work. Great layout. News and sports reporting are wonderful. There is something here for the entire family.”
The Inquirer also won the Farris Block Memorial Community Service Award for its efforts to help better inform voters about local elections, especially through holding not one, but two political forums in 2022 that were livestreamed on Facebook as well as open to the public. One was held in conjunction with the Gonzales County Republican Party for candidates for countywide office, while the second was for the City of Gonzales mayoral race and Gonzales ISD Board of Trustees.
“This is a great example of why community newspapers are so important,” Lewter wrote. “Great work.”
The Inquirer also took first place in Editorial Writing (Lew K. Cohn); Serious Columns (Betty Cohn), Feature Photos (Lew K. Cohn and Vandy Van Epps), Sports Coverage (Van Epps, the late Louis Decker and Lew K. Cohn); Feature Writing (Lew K. Cohn and Van Epps, with an editorial assist from Betty Cohn); News Writing (Lew K. Cohn); Headline Writing (staff award); and Best Website (staff award).
The newspaper also finished second in Special Section for the 2022 Discover magazine and second in Display Advertising.