Rivertown Newspaper Group wins multiple state honorsAPPLETON -- The River Falls Journal’s sister publication, the Hudson Star Observer, earned a first place for "General Excellence" at a Feb. 11 awards presentation of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association's annual convention.
APPLETON -- The River Falls Journal’s sister publication, the Hudson Star Observer, earned a first place for "General Excellence" at a Feb. 11 awards presentation of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association's annual convention.
Last year it was the Journal that picked up this top award for general excellence among weeklies in the highest circulation category.
And for the second year in a row, The New Richmond News, another sister publication of the Journal, picked up second place in the coveted "General Excellence" category.
Editor Phil Pfuehler and the Journal’s news staff earned a first place for their editorials -- a conclusion the judges based on a series of submissions of editorials published during 2010:
“Straight to the point, good facts, no ambiguity. The taxpayers should be proud of their local paper,” wrote the judges.
The first-place award was for these editorials: “(St. Croix) Jail lawsuits indicate lack of leadership;” “Plenty of your money to burn” (about Pierce County’s decision to buy a two-house lot for $360,000 that was sold months earlier for $35,000 and assessed at $169,000); and “For the athletes, this organization needs to lose its authoritarian grip” (about the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s heavy-handed tactics that prevented reporters from taking pictures at high school tournaments).
Key editorial contributors were Judy Wiff and Bob Burrows.
Wiff, regional editor for Rivertown, also won a second place award for “Reporting on Local Government” for these stories headlined: “St. Croix Jail claims cause hike in county’s liability coverage costs”/ “Woman sues, claiming sexual assault in jail”/ “Opportunity? Or waste of tax dollars. County pays $360,000 for property that was purchased for $35,000.”
The judges wrote: “Wow! What an interesting case at St. Croix jail. Good in-depth reporting and surely of local concern. The reporter did a very good job of detailing what went on.”
Burrows, Journal sports editor, also took a second for his feature on local hockey great Karyn Bye Dietz, called “From Olympian to stay at home mom.”
The judges wrote: “Good personal story. Got to know the subject intimately.”
The Journal’s sales/design staff of Melissa Peloquin, Becki Lamar and Shelly Hansen won an advertising second place award for “Best Idea.” The series of ads recognized was for River Falls Chiropractic.
The Pierce County Herald won a first place for “Best Niche Publication-Out of Newspaper” for an information package created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery.
Included were a 68-page history book and complimentary CD of historic photos and stories, which were given to creamery patrons and offered for sale to the public.
The WNA Better Newspaper Contest garnered 2,787 entries, with 130 papers taking part, including about 100 that are weeklies.