COLUMBIA, MO For the second year in a row, the Delano Herald Journal (DHJ) received first place in its circulation class for best local news coverage in this year’s National Newspaper Association (NNA) Better Newspaper Contest.
Judges’ comments included: “An excellent community newspaper regarding ‘local news coverage.’
“Broad range of topics, from births and obits to city hall, school lunches and sports. Local columnists and editorial cartoonist. Records from police and sheriff blotter to emergency responses. Lots and lots of local names and faces.
“Not as skillfully or artfully assembled as some of the other entries, but a solid, hefty package of local news from all over the county.
“I bet your subscriptions don’t expire until your readers do.”
DHJ sports editor Matt Kane was recognized with a second-place award in the “best sports story” category for a story he wrote on the Aho family of Cokato, titled “Band of Brothers,” originally published in the DHJ’s sister newspaper, the Dassel Cokato Enterprise Dispatch.
Judges’ comments included: “This story oozes human interest. Quite unusual, if not unique, to have 24 consecutive years with brothers playing on the same high school team.
“Reader interest enhanced by the writer getting interesting facts and good quotes from the parents and others. Story ties together well and is an interesting read.”
In June, Kane also received a first-place Page One Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for the same story.
NNA Contests and Awards Committee Chair Jeff Farren, president and publisher of Kendall County Record Newspapers Inc. in Yorkville, IL, announced and congratulated the contest winners in an award notification e-mail. The “winners reflect the high quality of publications represented by the association,” Farren said.
There were 1,777 entries in the Better Newspaper Contest and 375 entries in the Better Newspaper Advertising Contest, for a total of 2,152 entries.
A total of 544 awards were won by 140 member newspapers in 41 states.
Winners will be recognized at an awards reception Saturday, Sept. 14, during NNA’s 127th Annual Convention and Trade Show at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, AZ, Sept. 12-15.
The local newspaper, established by Herald Journal in Delano in September 2006, won second place in 2010 for best local news coverage in its circulation class.
In 2011, the newspaper also received an honorable mention in the general excellence category in its circulation class, as well as a second-place award for best sports section in its circulation class. Last year, the newspaper also received a third-place general excellence award in its circulation class.
DHJ Managing Editor Ryan Gueningsman and newspaper staff have also won a number of awards from the Minnesota Newspaper Association.
Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association is the voice of America’s community newspapers and the largest newspaper association in the country.