T-G, writers receive state award

Friday, March 19, 2010
Elaine Williams, right, south central region coordinator for the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth, presents Making Kids Count Media awards to the Times-Gazette (represented by editor Kent Flanagan, left) and individually to lifestyles editor Sadie Fowler and reporters Mary Reeves and Brian Mosely. (T-G Photo by John I. Carney)

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth has honored the Times-Gazette and three of its staffers -- Mary Reeves, Brian Mosely and Sadie Fowler -- for the newspaper's coverage of children's issues.

The T-G was awarded the Making Kids Count Media Award for small market print media. The award was announced at the commission's Children's Advocacy Days event held March 9 at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville; Reeves, on her way to accept the award that day, had a flat tire, and so south central regional coordinator Elaine Williams, who had nominated the newspaper for the award, brought the plaques -- one for each of the three individuals, and one for the newspaper -- to Shelbyville on Thursday.

Williams, who is responsible for the 13 counties of the south central district, said she submitted 70 Times-Gazette stories with her nomination form and identified even more than that. Topics included in Williams' submission included the Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, the county school system, health and safety, poverty, homelessness, juvenile justice, child abuse, mental health and even humorous columns about family life.

"In this day and time, news is not always positive, but the articles by these reporters always promote positive outcomes," said the remarks delivered during the awards ceremony. "The efforts by reporters Mary Reeves and Brian Mosely and Lifestyles Editor Sadie Fowler have contributed to an increase in both volunteer recruitment and funds raised by child-serving agencies, and the public has been educated by other stories. Reeves also writes a column where, with humor, she shares the problems of family life with her readers.

"It just stood out as a collective effort," said Williams on Thursday.

"This is a remarkable accomplishment, especially since the Times-Gazette was selected through an independent process that did not involve the newspaper submitting an entry," said T-G editor Kent Flanagan. "The reporters and the community are to be commended for putting a high premium on promoting and protecting youth."