SIERRA VISTA — Herald/Review Media was honored Thursday during the Arizona Newspaper Association’s Better Newspapers Contest, earning top awards in its division, nine first-place awards overall and 28 awards total.

The Herald/Review took first place in General Excellence for both advertising and news gathering, as well as having four individual journalists winning a total of 12 awards.

The newspaper also took a clean sweep in the “Best sustained coverage or series” category, with reporter Lyda Longa earning first place for coverage on asylum seekers, Alexis Ramanjulu taking second place for coverage of Sierra Vista Unified School District and Shar Porier taking third for reporting on issues surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mark Levy earned a first-place award for best feature photograph and was recognized for multimedia storytelling and news photography as well.

“This recognition for the hard work and dedication of our journalists is certainly rewarding, even though we’re not in this business to win awards,” said Herald/Review Managing Editor Andrew Paxton.

“I’m fortunate to work with a talented team of individuals who care about local stories, whether they are about important issues such as water or the border, or showcasing high school sports and the people who make our community special,” he added.

One of those journalists, Herald/Review Sports Editor Alexis Ramanjulu, won four individual awards, including recognition for news coverage as well as sports reporting.

“Honestly it was surprising and shocking to see my name on the list of winners,” she said. “I usually just check the list to see how the paper does and my coworkers do. So seeing my name once, yet alone four times, was a pleasant surprise. I am happy I was able to represent the Herald/Review in this awards competition.”

Several advertising campaigns produced by the Herald/Review sales staff were also recognized by the ANA, including first place awards for best color ad and best public service ad, among others.

“Earning first place in general excellence for both advertising and editorial is a testament to the dedication the staff at Herald/Review Media has to providing fair and balanced news coverage for Cochise County as well as serving our local businesses with affordable marketing plans that get results,” said Publisher Jennifer Sorenson.

“In my 27 years in the news industry, I have never experienced a team that works so well together,” she added. “No matter what department they are in, they have a cohesive focus and passion to provide the best news, information and customer service to our subscribers and advertisers.”

The Arizona Daily Star and the Casa Grande Dispatch were awarded Newspaper of the Year for dailies and non-dailies, respectively.