Journal earns state awards at conventionMIDDLETON -- The River Falls Journal picked up three second place awards, two for news coverage and the third for overall general excellence March 1 at the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest awards near Madison.
MIDDLETON -- The River Falls Journal picked up three second place awards, two for news coverage and the third for overall general excellence March 1 at the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest awards near Madison.
The Journal received a second place “General Excellence” award for its overall quality of news, opinion, advertising quality and readability.
The award is given to one newspaper in each of three weekly circulation categories. The Journal, which took first place last year in this category, falls among the largest, competing against some 40 other newspapers this past year.
“Very solid paper. Lots of local news, nice use of color, good Page 1 designs and local editorials with attitude,” said judges from the Missouri Press Association. “Some very good, locally focused papers in this class. Very close competition. At least half the entries were just a tick from placing,” the judges added.
The Journal and editor Phil Pfuehler also received a second place for its editorial pages. This is a section of the paper that the Journal has received many awards, including for first, in the past.
Reporter Debbie Griffin earned a second-place award for a Feb. 23, 2012, front-page feature, "Visitor brings gift of a lifetime," about 93-year-old Bernetta “Bernie” Probst, a Lutheran Home resident, and a surprise visit to her on Valentine’s Day from Marine Sgt. Aaron Fuller, a soldier and close friend of her grandson who was killed in 2006 by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
Wrote the judges: “This was written by a skillful writer who kept the emotion of the story strong but didn't drown in it. Everything was right on.”
Also at last week’s convention, WNA members installed Kent Eyman, publisher at the Beloit News, as new president.
Eyman replaces Steve Dzubay, publisher of the Hudson Star-Observer, River Falls Journal and New Richmond News. Dzubay remains on the board of directors for another year.
A UW-River Falls senior was one of the recipients of $1,500 Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation scholarships during the convention.
From North Mankato, Minn., Ashley Goettl is a senior at UWRF majoring in journalism, communication studies and political science.
Goettl was recognized Thursday, Feb. 28, during the convention’s Student Awards and Professional Networking Luncheon.
Goettl has been editor-in-chief of the Student Voice, the UWRF student newspaper, the past two years. Before that she served as a page editor and columnist.
Goettl is also a member of the UWRF softball team, which has won the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship for the past two seasons. She does play-by-play for the campus radio station, WRFW, and upon graduating in May, Goettl hopes to work for a community newspaper with the goal of someday running one.
The Journal’s three sister publications also won WNA awards:
Hudson Star-Observer picked up two first place awards for advertising and seven additional second- and third place awards for news coverage and advertising excellence. Among its various awards was recognition for its “Now Playing” entertainment page, a local photography spread that developed into a 2012 Hudson wall calendar, and the 2012 St. Croix Business Review.
- New Richmond News picked up first-, second- and third-place awards for its print and website news coverage, plus a first for best advertising special section called “Local Heroes 2012,” a section highlighting area firefighters, ambulance EMTS and law-enforcement officers. The advertising team took a second for its 2012 St. Croix County Fair special section.
- Editor Jeff Holmquist earned a second place in the Open Records/Freedom of Information category with an editorial called, “News gets the heave-ho.” The editorial, about the New Richmond Chamber of Commerce and a News’ reporter being asked to leave an open meeting set up so chamber officials could seek input about FunFest programming.
Said the judges: “The breezy, accessible editorial upheld the importance of openness even among nongovernmental bodies. The chamber wanted to talk about a public event but it didn’t want a true public discussion…”
- Pierce County Herald (Ellsworth) won a third place for sports pages and several advertising awards, including one first.
The 2012 Better Newspaper Contest included 3,003 total entries from 126 newspapers. Eligible entries were published between Sept. 1, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012.
WNA's membership includes 31 daily and 192 weekly newspapers. The Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA) was established in 1853 and is among the oldest press associations in the world.
Created by and for Wisconsin's newspapers, WNA exists to strengthen the newspaper industry, enhance public understanding of the role of newspapers, and protect basic freedoms of press, speech and the free flow of information.