ANNAPOLIS, Md. — APG News Reporter Rachel Ponder took home a first-place award during the Maryland, Delaware & D.C. Press Association Editorial Awards Luncheon at the Double Tree Hilton here May 12.
Ponder won for General News Photo in Category F: Non-Daily Print, Under 10,000. Ponder’s front-page photo, “Celebrating Military Youth,” in the April 26, 2016 edition, depicted a young child laughing merrily while being sprayed with blue cornstarch during the Month of the Military Child 2K Color Family Fun Run and Festival.
Ponder said the photo was about being in the right position at the right moment and that she was thrilled to be recognized with a first-place award.
“It’s an honor to receive the first-place award. There are many talented reporters and photographers in this region,” she said. “The run was an ideal event to photograph, the participants were having so much fun, I could tell by their joyful expressions on their faces as they ran past me. My goal that day was to get a photo that really captured the essence of the event.”
The prestigious awards are presented annually to MDDC member publications in Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The contests are judged by sister press associations in neighboring states. According to the MDDC website at www.MDDCPress.com, more than 2,000 entries in Editorial and Photography were submitted this year.
The APG News is eligible to compete in the civilian news contest because it is published by the Baltimore Sun Media Group and maintains a BSMG contractor staff of one assistant editor, two reporters and one part-time page designer.
Elizabeth Eck, BSMG Assistant Managing Editor, Targeted Media, said she was proud of the work exhibited by staff members throughout the organization.
“It is heartening and rewarding to be a part of a dedicated group of journalism professionals who constantly strive to work with diligence, excellence and to pursue the highest results,” she said.
APG News Editor Amanda Rominiecki said the win was indicative of Ponder’s willing-worker attitude and her appreciation of the APG community.
“For nearly a decade, Rachel has dedicated herself to supporting the APG community through her duties with the APG News,” Rominiecki said. “Through her journalistic lens, she has been witness to and documented countless moments in recent APG history – from community events and official ceremonies, to human interest profiles spanning every segment of Team APG.
“As we celebrate APG’s 100th anniversary, I could not be more proud of the recognition Rachel has received — and earned. It reflects her steadfast dedication and positive attitude that will forever be reflected in the historical archives of this publication and its predecessors.”
Ponder joined the APG News staff as a contract staff writer in January 2008 after graduating cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in Public Communications and Business Administration from Columbia Union College in Washington, D.C. This is her fourth MDDC award; her first in photography.
The other publications within Category F include The Arbutus News; The Baltimore Business Journal; Bay Times; Catonsville Times; Dorchester Banner; Kent County Times; Montgomery County Sentinel; Potomac Almanac; Seaford Star; The Afro American; The Dorchester Star; The Journal (Harrington); The Newark Post; and The Record.