2014 Better Newspaper Editorial Contest winners

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NATIONAL NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION




2014

Better Newspaper Editorial Contest

WINNERS

(Winners listed A-Z by category).

Note: Winners must remain members in good standing with NNA through Oct. 2014 to remain eligible for this year’s awards.
Best Agricultural Story, Daily & Non-daily Division, circ. 6,000 or more

First Place

Farm and Dairy, Salem, Ohio. Entry Title: Out of sight, out of mind: Solar power makes sense on some farms. Credit(s): Chris Kick. Judges' Comments: "This is a both a great story for other farmers but also for the general public. It was well told and very interesting."

Third Place

Antelope Valley Press
, Palmdale, California. Entry Title: Fresh farm crops. Credit(s): Julie Drake. Judges' Comments: "This is a well written story."

Honorable Mention

Community Impact Newspaper - Leander/Cedar Park Edition,
Pflugerville, Texas. Entry Title: Lower basin suffers during drought. Credit(s): Joe Lanane.
Best Agricultural Story, Daily & Non-daily Division, circ. less than 6,000

First Place

The Journal, Crosby, North Dakota. Entry Title: Pipeline to Prosperity -- Spaghetti Western. Credit(s): Sydney Glasoe Carabello. Judges' Comments: "Clearly, this has high newsworthiness. A strong presentation of local aspects of a key national story with strong economic and environmental components. Several interviews and inclusion of data from multiple sources demonstrate solid research for the story. Grabs reader's attention immediately and compels reader to stay with the story. Overall picture not quite as rosy as early part of the story seems to imply, though it does delve into some of the negative or problem areas. A strong aspect of story is that it makes clear and understandable to the reader unfamiliar with the issue and what many of the problems and relationships are. I found this to be compelling reading."


Second Place

Litchfield Independent Review, Litchfield, Minnesota. Entry Title: Sparboe undeterred by regulatory headwinds. Credit(s): Andrew Broman. Judges' Comments: " With the national attention given to animal cruelty issues and this company having been spotlighted for mistreatment of its hens, the fact that the local plant is expanding and is making changes reportedly to include improved conditions is certainly news worthy. Obviously, this is a major business in the area—a paragraph or two on this would help the story—and that adds to the newsworthiness. The story is presented well and shows evidence of good research, both in backgrounding the company's problems and in interviewing sources for the key focus of the story, the company's expansion plans. The sidebar about public comment opportunity adds to the coverage."

Third Place

Buffalo Bulletin, Buffalo, Wyoming. Entry Title: Planners, Game and Fish give thumbs up to reservoir concept. Credit(s): Holly Kays. Judges' Comments: " Solid reporting. The potential economic effects of this proposed project give significant newsworthiness to the story. The reporter recognizes this and does a fine job of sourcing the story and compiling and presenting data to explain the depth and breadth of the issue. Issue is presented so that the reader can understand it. Good presentation of an important story. Story is well researched, and information presented is clearly tied to its source, which helps reader in evaluating the information."

Honorable Mention

Point Reyes Light, Inverness, California. Entry Title: Ranchers in crisis over tule elk. Credit(s): Samantha Kimmey.

Honorable Mention


The North Scott Press, Eldridge, Iowa. Entry Title: Inside Cinnamon Ridge. Credit(s): Scott Campbell.
Best Breaking News Photo, Daily Division

First Place

Palatka Daily News, Palatka, Florida. Entry Title: School Bus Crash. Credit(s): Chris DeVitto. Judges' Comments: "With this photo, Chris Devitto captured the trauma of this tragedy along against the background of the toppled bus. The two secondary photos added context. Superb job!"

Second Place

Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, Iowa. Entry Title: Rosemarie LaFleur holds granddaughter Sophie Nelson, 1, in her Sioux City yard Monday.. Credit(s): Dawn J. Sagert. Judges' Comments: "Dawn Sagert's photo of this worried woman says it all. When a manhunt is underway, everyone's on edge."

Third Place

Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Santa Clarita, California. Entry Title: Actor dies in SCV crash. Credit(s): Dan Watson. Judges' Comments: "Dan Watson's photo of the wreckage explains the danger of high speed that no words can describe."

Honorable Mention

Colby Free Press, Colby, Kansas. Entry Title: Fire strikes trailer park. Credit(s): Tony Pacelli.
Best Breaking News Photo, Non-daily Division, circ. 10,000 or more

First Place

The Livingston Parish News, Denham Springs, Louisiana. Entry Title: Sheriff's Valentine surprise. Credit(s): David Normand. Judges' Comments: " Photographer David Normand was in the right place at the right time to capture this image. A K-9 unit did its job, and Normand was there to show it to his readers. The public often hears of roundups of criminal suspect, but the story is best told when a newspaper photographer is there to get photos."


Second Place

The St. Louis American, Saint Louis, Missouri. Entry Title: Shot on his block. Credit(s): Wiley Price. Judges' Comments: " Paramedics are the heroes in this photo as they valiantly try to save Anthony Clark's life. Some papers wouldn't have run this photo of Mr. Clark, who died later at a hospital. We're glad the St. Louis American did, to show readers the tragedy of such shootings in a way that only a photo can."

Third Place

Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale, California. Entry Title: Fire threatens homes. Credit(s): Ruby Alvarado. Judges' Comments: "Ruby Alvarado's photo depicts the danger of wildfires, and the heroism of public safety personnel who much reach residents to get them out of harm's way."

Honorable Mention

Community Impact Newspaper - Frisco Edition, Grapevine, Texas. Entry Title: Deal will bring 91 acres of development. Credit(s): Krista Wadsworth.
Best Breaking News Photo, Non-daily Division, circ. 5,000-9,999

First Place

The Fayette County Record, La Grange, Texas. Entry Title: High Wire Act. Credit(s): Jeff Wick. Judges' Comments: "Fantastic crash photo caught at the right moment. This has all the makings of suspense and wondering if something could go drastically wrong. One of the most unusual crash photos I've ever seen. Kudos to the photographer for catching such dramatic action!"

Second Place

Wise County Messenger, Decatur, Texas. Entry Title: Long Walk. Credit(s): Joe Duty. Judges' Comments: "Excellent human emotion captured as sheriff escorts suspect away. The intensity of the case jumps out from all aspects of this photo. Photographer caught the action just at the right time."


Third Place

The N'West Iowa REVIEW, Sheldon, Iowa. Entry Title: Best Breaking News Photo - White Wolf Web fire. Credit(s): Josh Harrell. Judges' Comments: "The lighting in this photo sets it apart from most fire photos. The framing and lighting combine to make this a top-notch fire photo. Great work!"

Honorable Mention

Wise County Messenger, Decatur, Texas. Entry Title: Fiery Finish. Credit(s): Jimmy Alford.

Honorable Mention

The Transylvania Times, Brevard, North Carolina. Entry Title: Electrical Fire Guts Rental Home. Credit(s): Jeremiah Reed.
Best Breaking News Photo, Non-daily Division, circ. less than 5,000

First Place

Litchfield Independent Review, Litchfield, Minnesota. Entry Title: Buddy's rescue turns into a search. Credit(s): Jenny Berg. Judges' Comments: "I love the "Ying and Yang" of this photo - a group of big, manly fireman taking care of a small dog that clearly looks like it needed rescuing from the fire, it's panting and out of breath. Great photo, Jenny!"

Second Place

Iowa Falls Times-Citizen, Iowa Falls, Iowa. Entry Title: Buried Alive. Credit(s): Roger Lugo. Judges' Comments: "This could have easily have been first place had it not been for the type overset on the photo (something I usually save for feature photos, and even then, rarely...) Gives me the feel of a NY gossip tabloid. BUT, it is a fantastic photo, great job, Roger."


Third Place

The Imperial Republican, Imperial, Nebraska. Entry Title: High speed chase ends in arrest of two on multiple charges. Credit(s): Jan Schultz. Judges' Comments: "Wish I could have seen this in colour, but love the drama of the action in combination with the rain falling."

Honorable Mention

Polk County Itemizer-Observer, Dallas, Oregon. Entry Title: Pete Strong, "Fire on the farm". Credit(s): Pete Strong.

Honorable Mention

Litchfield Independent Review, Litchfield, Minnesota. Entry Title: Bus crashes into Litchfield house. Credit(s): Jenny Berg.
Best Breaking News Story, Daily Division

First Place

Journal-Courier, Jacksonville, Illinois. Entry Title: Five murdered in Manchester. Credit(s): Journal-Courier staff. Judges' Comments: " I could picture the news staff of scrambling to get the facts of and responses to this horrific shooting in a small town. More than any other entry this one conveyed the urgency of breaking news. The writing was perhaps not as polished in other entries, but obviously completed with a true newsroom spirit to hit the streets with as much as possible as quickly as possible."

Second Place

Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Santa Clarita, California. Entry Title: Actor dies in SCV crash. Credit(s): Cary Osborne. Judges' Comments: "The first of two consecutive days' coverage of the Paul Walker crash by the Signal, this entry provides excellent "what we know now" information — again, a good example of breaking news, complemented by Monday's follow-up coverage."


Third Place

Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Entry Title: Charges dismissed after DNA clears man. Credit(s): Kelsey Bray. Judges' Comments: " It's obvious a great deal of time and research went into covering Mr. Johnson's release. This a well-crafted, comprehensive review of the case, including comments from multiple sources. Really a great story in a tough category. Had five people not been killed in Manchester, subsequent placings of entries might have been altogether different."

Honorable Mention

Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, Yankton, South Dakota. Entry Title: Santee Sioux Honors Code Talker. Credit(s): Randy Dockendorf.
Best Breaking News Story, Non-daily Division, circ. 12,000 or more

First Place

The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Entry Title: Wilkes-Barre's deadliest year. Credit(s): Roger DuPuis/Edward Lewis. Judges' Comments: "Lots of research - great use of graphics and photos! Layout is fantastic; story is well-written. I just can't say anything negative about this entry. Superb!"

Second Place

The Examiner, Beaumont, Texas. Entry Title: DWI killer transfered. Credit(s): Clay Thorp. Judges' Comments: "What a great investigative story! Fantastic reporting!"

Third Place

Chino Champion, Chino, California. Entry Title: Demolition drama in Chino Hills. Credit(s): Marianne Napoles. Judges' Comments: "Talk about being in the right place at the right time! For the reporter to just happen to be there and get this story is remarkable. Love the front picture - it completely tells the story! Well-written; good story."


Honorable Mention

Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale, California. Entry Title: Powerhouse Fire. Credit(s): Claudia Lopez, Chuck Bostwick, Samantha MacConnell.
Best Breaking News Story, Non-daily Division, circ. 6,000-11,999

First Place

Hood County News, Granbury, Texas. Entry Title: I saw the tornado coming for us. Credit(s): Kathy Cruz. Judges' Comments: "What an amazing story! I got goose bumps reading the first paragraph, and they continued throughout the entire story. Great job of making me feel like I was right there - seeing and hearing the action. Absolutely terrific!"

Second Place

The Standard Banner, Jefferson City, Tennessee. Entry Title: Talbott man saved from burning home. Credit(s): Steve Marion. Judges' Comments: "What a great story! The lead immediately drew me in and you never lost my attention. The quotes were the perfect compliment to the story - nice job!"

Third Place

Cody Enterprise, Cody, Wyoming. Entry Title: ‘Nothing short of cold-blooded’. Credit(s): Heidi Hansen. Judges' Comments: "What an awful tragedy! The story had all the basics covered, but I would have liked a little more raw emotion."

Honorable Mention

The Brunswick Beacon, Shallotte, North Carolina. Entry Title: Justice for Jaronn. Credit(s): Jackie Torok and Renee Sloan.

Best Breaking News Story, Non-daily Division, circ. 3,000-5,999


First Place

Iowa Falls Times-Citizen, Iowa Falls, Iowa. Entry Title: Buried Alive. Credit(s): Sara Konrad Baranowski and Corey Meints. Judges' Comments: " This is a gripping story that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. The headline immediately caught my attention and kept me reading until the end. Writers did a fantastic job of providing quotes and details of a dramatic rescue effort. I love that the story is broken up into sections (may want to consider using sub heads at the top of those sections). Great sidebar story about training, etc. Wonderful team effort by solid writers!"

Second Place

The North Scott Press, Eldridge, Iowa. Entry Title: She's Gone. Credit(s): Scott Campbell. Judges' Comments: " Great job with working the personal angle into the lead of the story. I love how the story weaves together quotes from residents, eyewitnesses, fire officials, etc. Good use of drop quotes, sidebar stories. Excellent overall package of a horrible breaking news story that impacted many people."

Third Place

Hickman County Times, Centerville, Tennessee. Entry Title: Tornado rips up Coble. Credit(s): Bradley A. Martin. Judges' Comments: " Good job in highlighting eyewitness accounts to a terrible tornado. The writing is solid with a nice job of working in personal reaction from various sources. Interesting and impactful quotes used throughout the story to share the human emotion of what happened."

Honorable Mention

Daily Times Herald, Carroll, Iowa. Entry Title: 'We truly believe we saved her life'. Credit(s): Jared Strong.

Honorable Mention


Wise County Messenger, Decatur, Texas. Entry Title: Chase Ends Here. Credit(s): Jimmy Alford, Joe Duty, Brandon Evans, Todd Griffith.
Best Breaking News Story, Non-daily Division, circ. less than 3,000

First Place

The Imperial Republican, Imperial, Nebraska. Entry Title: Julie Hanes safe, her captor dead in kidnapping ordeal; Hanes already had protection order. Credit(s): Jan Schultz/Russ Pankonin. Judges' Comments: "Great in-depth story. Nice job of covering all perspectives, and giving good details and history leading up to this incident. Riveting story - I couldn't stop reading!"

Second Place

The Ark, Tiburon, California. Entry Title: Blackie's Pasture blast rocks Southern Marin. Credit(s): Teri Roney and Kevin Hessel. Judges' Comments: "I loved the lead! You did a really nice job of tying in a significant local event from the past, which made this story even better."

Third Place

Winters Express, Winters, California. Entry Title: Utter shock and horror. Credit(s): Debra DeAngelo. Judges' Comments: "While as reporters we always like it when stories come to us, this isn't exactly the way any of us would want it! You did a really nice job of covering the details of this case - though I would have liked just a little bit more information about just ‘who’ she was.”

Honorable Mention

Sangre de Cristo Chronicle, Angel Fire, New Mexico. Entry Title: Angel Fire plane crash kills four Texans. Credit(s): Eric Heinz.

Best Business Feature Story, Daily Division


First Place

Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, Iowa. Entry Title: Year after uproar, BPI still struggles. Credit(s): Dave Dreeszen. Judges' Comments: "Well-constructed, well-written, good graphic -- can't miss topic that touches everyone, regardless of where they live."

Second Place

Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, Iowa. Entry Title: Will this buble burst?. Credit(s): Dave Dreeszen. Judges' Comments: "Subheads would have reinforced structure. The reporter puts lots of legwork into his story, giving context and background to the event."

Honorable Mention

Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, Yankton, South Dakota. Entry Title: A Special Serving. Credit(s): Randy Dockendorf.

Note: No Third Place awarded in this division
Best Business Feature Story, Non-daily Division, circ. 6,000 or more

First Place

Community Impact Newspaper - San Marcos | Buda | Kyle Edition, San Marcos, Texas. Entry Title: Little America Miniature Horses. Credit(s): Wes Ferguson. Judges' Comments: "very good lede, easy to read, and unusual subject."

Second Place

Wilson County News, Floresville, Texas. Entry Title: Best Business Feature Story. Credit(s): Robert McDonald. Judges' Comments: "liked the idea, well written easy to read"

Third Place

News-Register, McMinnville, Oregon. Entry Title: Savage Apps. Credit(s): Molly Walker. Judges' Comments: "Would have been stronger with better lede, but story was an easy read and current timely topic"


Honorable Mention

Leelanau Enterprise, Lake Leelanau, Michigan. Entry Title: Wine makes a tasty profession. Credit(s): Alan Campbell.

Honorable Mention

Rochester Business Journal, Rochester, New York. Entry Title: Appetite for risk. Credit(s): Smriti Jacob.
Best Business Feature Story, Non-daily Division, circ. less than 6,000

First Place

Hendersonville Lightning, Hendersonville, North Carolina. Entry Title: Big Forest. Credit(s): Bill Moss. Judges' Comments: "Absolutely phenomenal piece of work from start to finish. This entry truly embodies what a business feature story should be. Rich and full of details, this story grabs the reader and leads them through until the end."

Second Place

Port Aransas South Jetty, Port Aransas, Texas. Entry Title: Schlitterbahn: Inside look at effort to build new water park. Credit(s): Dan Parker. Judges' Comments: "This is an in-depth look at a subject of interest to a wide variety of readers. What makes it stand out it is the richness of the details as the writer dives deep into the subject rather than providing a surface glance."




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