Carmage Walls Commentary Prize

Carmage Walls Nominations: "under 50,000" circulation (group 2)


This annual award, to be presented during the joint SNPA-Inland Annual Convention, Oct. 6-8 in Chicago, Ill., recognizes outstanding commentary on local issues. It encourages thoughtful, courageous and constructive editorial page leadership on issues specifically relevant to each newspaper's primary readership.

The prize was named for the late Benjamin Carmage Walls whose newspaper career spanned seven decades. Walls primarily owned community newspapers and advocated strong, courageous and positive editorial page leadership.

Following are 11 entries submitted in the "Under 50,000" circulation bracket.  Judges in this category should narrow the entries to the top 4.  Those four entries, together with the top four from two other sets of entries, then will be evaluated to detemine the winners in this bracket. 

After your panel has narrowed the entries to the top four, you are invited to participate in the judging of the final "best of the best" bracket, if you would like to do so.  If you are willing to read the top entries from the other two brackets and take part in the call to determine overall winners, please email

Thank you for your help in judging this year's contest!

Entry #1:
Mike Clark - The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla.

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    • Jacksonville belongs on U.S. civil rights trail

Entry #2: Chris Cobler - Victoria Advocate, Victoria, Texas

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    • U.S. steeped in open government tradition
    • Let's stop revolving door in D.C.
    • Judge sinks Calhoun port's legal arguments
    • Public asset shouldn't be used for private gain
    • Sunshine required to expose shadow government
    • Port puts on show at public's expense

Entry #3: Corey Friedman - The Wilson Times, Wilson, N.C.

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    • An invitation to speak, sealed with red tape
    • Tell school board that you deserve the right to speak
    • Hopefuls, incumbents can fix broken policy on our school board
    • Speaker restrictions pose pivotal test for Wilson school board
    • New day for Wilson school board dawns as new member joins
    • School board to Wilson parents: We're listening

Entry #4: Michael Gorman - The Courier (Houma, La.) and the Daily Comet (Thibodaux, La.)

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    • Are we serving the students or the politicians?
    • Change could be coming, like it or not
    • Here's a chance to have your say
    • The numbers tell a promising tale
    • Tuesday held lessons for those who will listen
    • Picture this: fewer people spending your money

Entry #5: Mark Gregory - The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs, Ark.

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    • City's lack of transparency leaves citizens in the dark

Entry #6: Franklin Harris - The Decatur Daily, Decatur, Ala.

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    • Sessions fired for doing right thing
    • Sessions still Trump's punching bag

Entry #7: William H. (Dink) NeSmith Jr. - The Press-Sentinel, Jesup, Ga.

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    • Hurricane Florence proved storm's predictions
    • We must continue standing up for Wayne County
    • Keep lumps of coal (ash) out of their stockings
    • Chickens coming home to roost' on toxic coal ash
    • Arm-twisting nothing new under Gold Dome
    • Every day should be Earth Day

Entry #8: Jon K. Rust - Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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    • Grieving for Maryland newspaper
    • Newspaper seeks reader input on new draft policy
    • Softening online scourge of long-past indiscretions
    • Southeast Missourian joins Google in test to elevate civility
    • 2018: Cape, Jackson move forward with big stories, milestones
    • Google, FTI, LMA select SE Missourian as 1 of 10 in North America; reporter sought

Entry #9: Michael A. Smith - The Galveston County Daily News, Galveston, Texas

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    • Whose interest is government serving on game rooms?
    • For game rooms, there's aiding and abetting aplenty

Entry #10: Gerry Tritz - Jefferson City News Tribune, Jefferson City, Mo.

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    • Communication needed for prosecutor problem, not a charter change

Entry #11: Richard Whiting - Index-Journal, Greenwood, S.C.

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    • Education lottery windfall should fund education
    • Windfall to taxpayers a wasteful effort
Carmage Walls Commentary Prize


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