By Brett Milam
Garth Shanklin, sports editor of The Clermont Sun, won two awards from the Ohio News Media Association’s annual Hooper Weekly Award. The program recognizes the best weekly newspapers in Ohio.
Shanklin won third place for original columns and second place for sports coverage. The awards were given out on Feb. 8, 2018.
“I just try to cover whatever I can,” Shanklin said. “I try not to play favorites, I want each school to feel like they’re covered about the same as the other schools in the county, and I’d like to think that I’ve accomplished that. But without the coaches and the athletic directors, I couldn’t do any of it, so I’d like to thank them.”
Regarding his weekly feature, “Athlete of the Week,” Shanklin said sometimes he gets nomination from parents and coaches, which is always preferred.
“If nobody sends me a nomination, then I look at two things: I look at the performances from the past week to see if any stand out and I look at the schools themselves to see if it’s been a while since a particular athlete from a school has won one,” he said.
One thing Garth wishes he could do more of in his sports coverage is writing feature stories. He said he enjoys doing it and did a lot of in college, but he hasn’t had the same sort of time to devote to it. He hopes to change that in the spring, he said.
As for writing his columns, he just writes whatever interests him or what’s being hotly debated in Cincinnati.
“Usually it’s just a way to write about other things than high school sports, while still somehow still trying to tie into the Clermont County area,” he said.
Shanklin said his favorite bit of coverage in the last year was the Williamsburg softball championship win. The Lady Wildcats defeated Danville 3-2 to win the Division IV softball state title, the first team title in school history on June 3, 2017.
“You can’t go wrong covering a state championship,” Shanklin said. “I’m from Cincinnati, I’ve been born and raised here my entire life and we haven’t won anything, so getting to see how the Williamsburg community reacted to winning the championship, that was pretty cool.”
Editor’s Note: Shanklin was also at Goshen High School on Feb. 20 to talk to high school students about a potential career in journalism. Anyone who attended that presentation or anyone else in the county interested in a career in journalism can also contact the editor of The Clermont Sun at firstname.lastname@example.org for career advice and any other questions you may have.