Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

April 8, 2013

JDP staff garners state press awards

Progress staff reports
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville Daily Progress was honored with two awards during the 2013 Texas Associated Press Managing Editors convention this weekend.

"Winning in such a competitive division is an honor," said Editor Amy Brocato Pearson. "I'm glad our staff was recognized for their hard work and efforts.

Reporter Ben Tinsley won second place in specialty reporting for his in-depth coverage of Lon Morris College's bankruptcy and liquidation proceedings.

"I'm humbled by this honor," Tinsley said Monday. "It's really rewarding to be recognized for this on the state level. I couldn't have done it without the guidance of my editor, Amy Brocato Pearson. I consider these stories to be a team-up between Amy, me and the many readers who kept calling and emailing and urging us to keep digging into Lon Morris. I can't tell you how many times I heard readers say, 'We've had nothing about silence about Lon Morris for so long!" Sources kept springing up, pointing me in new directions at — as my editor characterized it —  the carelessness, negligence and avarice of the way the bankruptcy proceedings were handled. Equally difficult to reconcile was the possible fraud and definite money mishandling in the proceedings. I learned a lot about the human condition and the greed surrounding the dollar bill."

Tinsley, 46, is a 1991 graduate of Tarleton State University in Stephenville. He has spent over 25 years as an "in the trenches" hard news reporter for newspapers in over four states, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Dallas Morning News, the Amarillo Globe-News, the Galveston County Daily News, the Las Vegas Business Press and the Odessa American, among others.

Former reporter Marivel Resendiz also won a second place award in the "short features" category for her heart-warming account of a Jacksonville canine who was a blood donor for other dogs. Resendiz, a 2011 graduate of Texas State University,  is now the features editor at the Kerrville Daily Times.

"Ben doggedly pursued the Lon Morris story with a lot of quiet support but also some very vocal opposition," Pearson said. "Marivel was always able to inject personality and warmth into whatever she wrote."

The Jacksonville Daily Progress competed in the Division 1, Class A category, for daily newspapers with a circulation of 9,999 or fewer.