First-place award goes to Post-Tribune

Post-Tribune (Merrillville) photographer Scott M. Bort's photo "Hawks" received first place in the general news category in Division 6 of the 2010 Better Newspaper Contest. The category's original first-place photo by Gregg Gearhart of The Times (Munster) was disqualified because it wasn't taken during the designated contest period.

The HSPA Foundation learned Monday an award-winning photo submitted in the 2010 Better Newspaper Contest did not fall within the designated time period.

The Rules Committee rescinded the first-place finish for Best General News Photo in Division 6 given to Gregg Gearhart of The Times (Munster) for “Funeral” and awarded it to Scott M. Bort of the Post-Tribune (Merrillville) for “Hawks,” formerly the second-place photo in the category. 

The Indianapolis Star’s Matt Detrich photo “Respect” will move from third to second place in the division.

When it was brought to HSPA Foundation’s attention that the photo did not run between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010, director Karen T. Braeckel immediately contacted The Times.

“They checked their records and realized the error,” Braeckel said. “They apologized and said they would return the award.”

The Times Managing Editor Paul Mullaney said, “The Times regrets the unintentional error made by our newsroom contest committee, and we agree the entry should be dismissed.”

Braeckel said the Foundation and Rules Committee will review procedures to try to prevent this type error from occurring in future contests.

The change does not affect the standings in the General Excellence award for Division 6.