The Victoria Advocate in Victoria, Texas, is the February winner of APME's Innovator of the month contest.
The paper is honored for "A Father's Strength,” an online section that educates readers about ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
APME's Innovator of the Year, now in its fifth year, is expanding in 2011 by naming an innovation of the month. Each monthly winner will be invited to enter the annual contest, which is open to all newspapers in the U.S. and Canada and is awarded at the APME conference in Denver in September.
"Victoria’s project is incredibly powerful and moving and worthy of recognition," said Bob Heisse, APME vice president and Innovations Committee chairman. "We're pleased at APME to put a spotlight on innovations at newspapers."
Here's how the entry submitted by Editor Chris Cobler described the innovation:
"Our entry is a special web section named, ‘A Father’s Strength.’ This series combines the power of print and online to better educate the public about ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
"The idea for ‘A Father’s Strength’ was developed after one of our interns, Drew Stewart, and a reporter, Erica Rodriguez, worked together on a story about Craig Fox and his battle with ALS. After working on this story, they brought back the idea for a documentary and print series. Several more stories about Craig Fox’s struggle and the support provided by his family were printed and also featured online.
"After the documentary was produced, we wanted a way to present the documentary, the stories written about ALS, as well as any additional information about the disease, all in one place, hence the creation of the online web section, ‘A Father’s Strength.’ "