The Hood County News garnered multiple honors in the North and East Texas Preass Association and West Texas Press Association annual newspaper contest. The HCN got nods for writing, photography and page design.

Newspaper colleagues honored the Hood County News with a number of journalism awards, including both Journalist and Photographer of the Year.

The North and East Texas Press Association awarded Kathy Cruz Journalist of the Year and David Montesino Photographer of the Year for entries in the 2020 Better Newspaper Contest among semiweekly newspapers in North and East Texas.

HCN Publisher Sam Houston was proud of his staff and the awards they received.

"I am hopeful our entire community recognizes we have a newspaper which has outstanding writing, photography, and coverage, and whose sole purpose is to serve them,” Houston said. “We take a great deal of pride in fulfilling our mission statement of being a community newspaper ‘that educates, enriches, and entertains’ and will continue to strive to be the best community newspaper in Texas. I congratulate my staff, and words cannot express the pride and respect I take in their accomplishments.

"Historically the 135-year-old Hood County News has been one of the most awarded newspapers in Texas. With the change of ownership and leadership at HCN, it is deeply rewarding to know our peers in the newspaper industry recognize the tradition continues with the quality work we currently produce."

Cruz, also named Journalist of the Year in the West Texas Press Association contest, said, “It’s always an honor to receive recognition from others in our profession. Just like almost every other industry, newspapers were greatly affected last year by the COVID-19 pandemic, and some were forced to shut their doors. The HCN never missed an issue, even when its longtime publisher retired and even while operating with a skeleton crew. After coming under new ownership last August, the HCN quickly went from barely surviving to thriving. At least in our neck of the woods, community journalism is still going strong.”

Other awards presented to the Hood County News:

North and East Texas Press Association

1st place – Page Design

1st place – Special Section

1st place – News Writing

1st place – Sports Coverage

1st place – Sports Photography

1st place – Sports Writing

2nd place – Headline Writing

3rd place – Feature Photography

West Texas Press Association

1st place – Column Writing, Kathy Cruz

2nd place – News Writing

2nd place – Features