2014 Better Newspaper Editorial Contest winners



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Second Place

Springtown Epigraph, Azle, Texas. Entry Title: football pass breakup. Credit(s): Mark K. Campbell. Judges' Comments: "Great shot at just the right time. Amazing detail and energy caught in action."

Third Place

The Ozona Stockman
, Ozona, Texas. Entry Title: Hey umpire, I'm safe. Credit(s): Joe Hernandez. Judges' Comments: "Nice job catching the emotion as they all wonder if he is safe or not."
Best Sports Section/Page, Daily & Non-daily Division

First Place

The Washington Missourian
, Washington, Missouri. Entry Title: Washington Missourian Sports. Credit(s): Sports Staff. Judges' Comments: "Two-man staff puts metro dailies' much larger staffs to shame. This duo covers everything in sight and does it well, not hurrying it into print. Every story is flush with quotes from players and/or coaches. Strong photo accompaniment to the major stories. They knock each story out of the park."

Second Place

Polk County Itemizer-Observer,
Dallas, Oregon. Entry Title: Polk County Itemizer-Observer (Feb. 27, Oct. 30). Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "Exemplary sports section for a community newspaper. Major league coverage of scholastic sports. Eye-popping 4c front page, and wonderful b&w layouts complete section. Good, strong writing. Great photo accompaniment to stories. Championship work."

Third Place

The N'West Iowa REVIEW, Sheldon, Iowa. Entry Title: Best Sports Section. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "Thorough coverage of local scholastic sports. Excellent writing and terrific page composition with strong photo elements."


Honorable Mention

The Ellsworth American, Ellsworth, Maine. Entry Title: Best Sports Section. Credit(s): Staff.
Best Sports Story, Daily & Non-daily Division, circ. 9,000 or more

First Place

Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Entry Title: Demise of a franchise. Credit(s): Alex Riley. Judges' Comments: "Great lede. Enjoyed the flow of the story and how you lead into it from the beginning. Pictures accentuate the story and you chose a good way to illustrate details of the story with a sidebar."

Second Place

The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Entry Title: Grand Finale. Credit(s): Derek Levarse. Judges' Comments: "Nice lede. The writer's style makes you feel like you are at the game witnessing everything as it unfolds. Also like the conversational style throughout."

Third Place

The Manhattan Mercury, Manhattan, Kansas. Entry Title: Wildcats edge Sooners 6-5 in 9th for league title. Credit(s): Grant Guggisberg. Judges' Comments: "Love your lede and how you take the reader through what is happening. Crisp writing with enough detail to make this more than just a story about a game."
Best Sports Story, Daily & Non-daily Division, circ. less than 9,000

First Place

Polk County Itemizer-Observer, Dallas, Oregon. Entry Title: Nicole Watkins, "School of hard knocks". Credit(s): Nicole Watkins. Judges' Comments: "What a compelling story! Excellent writing, well researched, solid data, and wide variety of sources, both document and interviews. Quotes used well to keep flow of story going. This really brings home the national issue of concussions in sports, especially youth sports, and shows that the impact is in your community, not just on the college or pro playing fields. Tremendous human interest and reader appeal to this story. The graphics and sidebar information add greatly to the presentation and comprehension of the large amount of information contained in the story. Outstanding."


Second Place

The Bernardsville News, Bernardsville, New Jersey. Entry Title: Better than perfect/ Ridge High football team undefeated. Credit(s): Kelly Fenton. Judges' Comments: "Comprehensive story with a supporting sidebar story. Winning a state championship carries with it natural reader appeal and human interest. This story achieves more than being an exciting account of winning the title game; the writer does a commendable job of providing information on how and why the team was undefeated and winner of the state title. Well written with insight from both players and coaches. Adding to the presentation is the sidebar providing an interesting look at a part of the team that often does not receive as much attention or credit as it probably should—the offensive line. Good work. Sometimes, stories just end, but this one has a memorable quote as the story wrap-up: "We kept our heads small, but our dreams big."

Third Place

Leelanau Enterprise, Lake Leelanau, Michigan. Entry Title: A night to remember…Lakers rally. Credit(s): Mike Spencer. Judges' Comments: "The writer nabs the readers' attention immediately and then leads them through the final seven seconds of drama that led to an overtime victory. Nice use of mingling quotes in with second-by-second account of the closing action. Remainder of story holds together well and the thrill-of-victory theme clearly has strong reader appeal and human interest. Last-second victory is one of the attractive elements of sports, and this story does a good job of capturing that moment."

Honorable Mention

Leelanau Enterprise, Lake Leelanau, Michigan. Entry Title: Suttons Bay girls softball. Credit(s): Mike Spencer.


Honorable Mention

Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Santa Clarita, California. Entry Title: Hitting Home. Credit(s): Dan Agnew.

Honorable Mention

The Hinsdalean, Hinsdale, Illinois. Entry Title: Seventh-grader makes an altruistic assist. Credit(s): Ken Knutson.
Best Use of Color, Daily & Non-daily Division

First Place

Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Entry Title: Wyoming Tribune Eagle June 8 & Aug. 21. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "This entry demonstrates how to use color effectively, even when there is a lot of it. Color is represented in photos, headlines and text boxes. The overall effect draws the reader into the publication."

Second Place

The N'West Iowa REVIEW, Sheldon, Iowa. Entry Title: Best Use of Color. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "Crisp and clear color provides an immediate draw for the reader. Good use of balance for a professional effect."

Third Place

The Livingston Parish News, Denham Springs, Louisiana. Entry Title: March 21, September 26. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "Dynamic color provides multiple entry points for the reader. Overall effect is crisp and clean with color providing just the right touch."

Honorable Mention

Arizona Capitol Times, Phoenix, Arizona. Entry Title: AZ Capitol Times -- best use of color.

Best Use of Photographs, Daily & Non-daily Division

First Place

The Allegan County News, Allegan, Michigan. Entry Title: Use of Photographs. Judges' Comments: "Makes the other contestants pale in comparison. Very talented staff."

Second Place

The North Scott Press, Eldridge, Iowa. Entry Title: Best Use of Photos. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "Good fire photos."

Third Place

Claremont Courier, Claremont, California. Entry Title: Claremont Courier newspaper. Credit(s): Kathryn Dunn, Steven Felschundneff. Judges' Comments: "Love the portraiture shots! Color shots are good when used and black and white shots add charm. Obvious grasp of a camera and layout!"

Honorable Mention

Vilas County News-Review, Eagle River, Wisconsin. Entry Title: Best Use of Photos/two full papers. Credit(s): staff.
Best Weekend Edition, Daily & Non-daily Division

First Place

Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, Iowa. Entry Title: Best weekend edition. Credit(s): Journal staff. Judges' Comments: "Easily a top choice. Other people need to take lessons from you!"

Second Place

Antelope Valley Press, Palmdale, California. Entry Title: AV Parks, Av community Concerts. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "Too tight need a little more air between stories and pics. More dominant pics would make this a top placer."


Third Place

Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Entry Title: Wyoming Tribune Eagle - March 10 & October 6. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "Do not like blue and red headlines, but places third in good color photographs and very unique layout."

Honorable Mention

Wise County Messenger, Decatur, Texas. Entry Title: March 23 and October 19. Credit(s): Wise County Messenger Staff.
Community Service Award, Daily & Non-daily Division

First Place

The St. Louis American, Saint Louis, Missouri. Entry Title: St. Louis American Foundation. Judges' Comments: "This is a really tough category because civic-minded newspapers are involved in worthy community causes from coast to coast. Newspapers by definition provide community service with diligent coverage of events in their communities. Certainly every entrant in this category went well above the norm for its community, so I had to look for something apart from a newspaper just doing a really great job. With that in mind, I could not ignore the $300,000 in scholarships provided by the St. Louis American. Not content to just build newspapers, the American is obviously dedicated to investing in the future of its community and journalism for generations to come."

Second Place

The Ellsworth American, Ellsworth, Maine. Entry Title: Ellsworth 250. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "The 68-page section celebrating Ellsworth's 250th anniversary is a historical document members of the community will treasure for generations. The newspaper went above and beyond to celebrate not just the anniversary, but 250 years leading up to it. Well done."


Third Place

Vilas County News-Review, Eagle River, Wisconsin. Entry Title: Warm The Children-Community service. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "I can think of no better community service than to clothe children, a cause this newspaper staff undertakes with minimal fanfare for their publication, raising $65,000 helping to warm 550 youth."

Honorable Mention

The Galena Gazette, Galena, Illinois. Entry Title: Honor Flight. Credit(s): Hillary Dickerson and Paul Gothard.
Excellence in Typography, Daily & Non-daily Division

First Place

The Allegan County News, Allegan, Michigan. Entry Title: Typography. Judges' Comments: "Easily a first place winner leaves the competition in the proverbial dust. Excellent!"

Second Place

Wise County Messenger, Decatur, Texas. Entry Title: April 27 and October 16. Credit(s): Wise County Messenger Staff. Judges' Comments: "Very graphically appealing. Makes me want to buy the paper, jump right in and read the article."

Third Place

Sioux City Journal, Sioux City, Iowa. Entry Title: Excellence in Typography. Credit(s): Journal staff. Judges' Comments: "Very dynamic, good layout."

Honorable Mention

The Times - Blooming Prairie, Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. Entry Title: Excellence in Typography. Credit(s): Staff.

Freedom of Information, Daily & Non-daily Division

First Place

Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Entry Title: Series of stories/editorials on UW public openness. Credit(s): Staff. Judges' Comments: "This was a difficult category judge, as all of the entries showed a commitment to the public's right to know about the public's business. Each newspaper should be acknowledged for its efforts to shine a light on the public process and to stand up for the public's right to information. The Eagle did an exceptional job in reporting this egregious violation of the open meeting laws, and should be held up as an example to publications of any size to stand up for the public's right to public information despite the unfavorable response from fellow newspapers and efforts to thwart’s the public's rights by the state legislature. This is a fight that is far from over."

Second Place

Arizona Capitol Times, Phoenix, Arizona. Entry Title: AZ Capitol Times -- FOI. Credit(s): Evan Wyloge and Hank Stephenson. Judges' Comments: "The staff of the Capitol Times should be commended for the depth of the reporting put into this series and the use of public records to gather information about lobbying activities in the state of Arizona."

Honorable Mention

The Clarendon Enterprise, Clarendon, Texas. Entry Title: Clarendon Enterprise FOI Contest Entry. Credit(s): Roger Estlack.






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