By Gabe Licht
At the Minnesota Newspaper Association Convention Jan. 30, Delano Herald Journal Sports Editor Matt Kane claimed four awards in the 2018-19 Better Newspaper Contest.
His awards were as follows:
• First place for sports reporting in the class for non-daily newspapers with circulation between 1,501 to 3,000.
• First place for human interest story in the same division.
• First and second place for photo story in the same division.
For sports reporting, the judge wrote “Loved the AJ Toews story and his NFL championship ring; also enjoyed the hockey team story and its connections to the 2017 team. Well done in-depth story and provides a connection with readers.
His article “Storyteller” about Mitch Kezar’s 50 years in the photography industry won in the human interest story category.
“From the lede to the end, the writer obviously enjoyed his topic and showed it by his turns of phrase. A joy to read.”
Kane even got credit for something the judge doesn’t typically like.
“I dislike long sentences, but who could dislike this?: ‘Fifty years to the day after walking through the doors of the Thief River Falls Times, June 8, 2019, at his cozy home in Delano, Kezar and a large gathering of friends celebrated his career with a hog roast and enough memory-spurring libations to make all photojournalists appreciative of auto focus,’” the judge wrote.
His “One Shining Moment” photo story featuring the Final Four took first place.
“This story has everything:Moments between players, expressive player reactions on the court, creative shots of fans, and overall impressive framing,” the judge wrote. “What a fantastic photo story of an obviously exciting basketball game. Good job!”
Regarding the second-place entry titled “Precious Metal: The Stanley Cup Tours Delano” featuring Toews, the judge wrote “Great variety of photos! I particularly like the use of angles and framing with sincere happy faces. Posed photos even work in this story because they are accompanied by other candid shots that capture the feeling of having the Stanley Cup in the neighborhood. Awesome work.”