Fran Maye, editor of the Kennett Paper, and Chris Barber, editor of the Avon Grove, won professional Keystone Press Awards this week.

Maye captured second place for Newsbeat Reporting for a series of articles he did on the Spring Brook Barn controversy. Maye broke the story last year about how a non-profit facility in Pocopson was in danger of closing because of zoning violations. After Maye’s stories were published, the facility received tens of thousands of dollars in donations, and local contractors offered their services for free. Maye used social media to grow audience well beyond Chester County borders.

Barber earned a second place award for editorial writing. She won for three editorials: one on the anti-massacre movement, one on her opinion of Chester County’s annual homeless count, and another entitled Paul Revere, in which she told of how Maye was the only journalist in the county who kept Kennett Square residents informed when a water main ruptured on a Sunday morning. Kennett Square residents were without water for days.

Maye and Barber have been journalists for more than 35 years and both have won scores of professional writing awards.

The Keystone Press Awards reinforce excellence by individuals in the newspaper profession, by recognizing journalism that consistently provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers, and faithfully fulfills its First Amendment rights/responsibilities. Further, the Keystone Press Awards stimulate journalists to improve their craft and ultimately improve their community.

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