Best Community Newspaper (2009)

The Seabreeze News

Too many community newspapers like to portray the places they cover as they would like them to be rather than as they really are. Not so The Seabreeze News. Publisher Gator Miller and Editor Steve Hoyland are muckrakers in the classical sense, and most issues feature investigative reporting of vital import to "Sunny San Leon," their two-fisted little "quaint drinking village with a serious fishing problem." In June, the paper broke the story about neighboring Texas City's secret plan to saddle the small unincorporated town with a huge sewage treatment plant; the month before that, the paper probed into the affairs of a local developer. But it's not all Woodward and Bernstein in the Seabreeze. There are plentiful fishing reports, humorous nuggets buried in the classifieds, and a police blotter complete with plenty of mug shots and smart-ass asides. And then there's "Dear Steve from Sunny San Leon," Hoyland's curmudgeonly Dear Abby-style mail-in column that has the potential to cause the spontaneous combustion of anyone with a shred of political correctness to them.