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Courier wins multiple GPA awards
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The Coastal Courier this year won three awards in the Georgia Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, including best website in Georgia in the bi- and tri-weekly publications division.  
“ has been awarded ‘Best Website in Georgia’ in the weekly division several times, and it’s great to be voted No. 1 again,” Courier publisher Mark Griffin said.
“Our staff has really worked hard at creating strong online content, features and video and our online website is consistently getting between 40,000 and 50,000 total page views every week. We appreciate our online readers and look forward to offering even more local news and information online in the near future.”
In addition to versions of the stories that appear in print, the website features videos, photo galleries, discussion forums, an events calendar, a Gas Buddy page and in-depth sports coverage.
Award winners were recognized June 7 at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel during the group’s 127th annual convention.
The Courier also won its division in best online news project for the Hinesville 175th anniversary section’s online presentation, which was directed by web editor Pat Watkins and managing editor Hollie Moore Barnidge.
To recognize the 175th anniversary of the city of Hinesville, the Courier published a commemorative edition in September 2012 that featured pictures of the city’s past, first-person reflections on the city’s growth and a timeline of significant developments. Coastal Courier correspondent Debra Ayers Brown wrote the majority of the section, which also featured “Liberty Lore” columns by Margie Love.
“We had some stiff competition, but we’re glad to be awarded first place for online news project,” Griffin said.
The 175th-anniversary commemoration also featured a series of videos presented online at Hinesville natives recalled memories in their hometown, while area residents who frequently visited Hinesville also reflected on the trips, and educators who have worked with the Liberty County School System spoke about the area’s growth. Avid storyteller and former Liberty County Commission Chairman Jimmy Smith also shared his thoughts and memories.
It also featured photo galleries with photographs submitted by area residents.
Reporter Danielle Hipps received third-place recognition for business coverage that included an in-depth piece about the area’s retail development struggles published in November, a roundup of businesses to come and quarterly real-estate updates.

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