RF Journal honored at state conventionMADISON -- The River Falls Journal picked up five first place awards -- three in news and two in advertising -- at the Friday Feb. 24 Wisconsin Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest awards at Middleton.
MADISON -- The River Falls Journal picked up five first place awards -- three in news and two in advertising -- at the Friday Feb. 24 Wisconsin Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest awards at Middleton.
The Journal earned the prestigious "General Excellence" award for its overall quality of news, opinion, advertising quality and readability.
This top award is given to one newspaper in each of three weekly circulation categories. The Journal competes in the largest category, competing against some 40 other newspapers this past year.
"This may not be the prettiest paper in the division but my gosh, it offers readers an enormous amount of news," one of the judges from the Illinois Press Association commented. "Big, thick editions just chock full of well-written news, features and sports content.
"Great team effort serves this community very well," the judges said.
Journal editor Phil Pfuehler and the news staff also received a first place for its editorial pages.
The judges wrote: "Pluses include local cartoon, lots of letters and officials' addresses. Columnist writes about folks in town instead of (his) own kids. Editorials sometimes include photos and make a point."
Sports Editor Bob Burrows earned a first place for a feature story and photos about the late Don Page that ran on the Journal's front page ("Everybody knew his name", Sept. 23, 2010).
The judge said: "Really touching piece that pulled at the heart strings without going over the top. Showed the impact one man can make on a college community and the region it touches. Only piece I had to read twice because I liked it so much..."
Burrows also claimed a third place for a spot news photo ("To the rescue") downtown that showed a River Falls Ambulance truck stuck during a blizzard.
Wrote the judges: “Snow bogs down emergency vehicles too. Nice picture of good Samaritans pushing an ambulance through a snow-clogged intersection.”
In advertising, the Journal earned a first place for "Multiple Advertiser Spread" for a layout that promoted the 13th annual River Dazzle event after Thanksgiving in downtown River Falls.
"Pretty pages. Great color, nice organization with the big ads together and the small ads around the list of events ... superb creativity!" the judge commented.