N-G named state's best paper in its class for third straight year

N-G named state's best paper in its class for third straight year

SPRINGFIELD — For the third consecutive year, The News-Gazette was named the state's best newspaper in its class by the Illinois Press Association.

As sweepstakes winner among medium-sized newspapers, The News-Gazette retained the Mabel S. Shaw Memorial Trophy with 28 awards, including seven first-place finishes: best website (staff), sports section (Matt Daniels and staff), original column (Julie Wurth), feature writer (Wurth), spot news photo (Rick Danzl), newspaper design (Mike Goebel and staff) and government beat reporting (Johnathan Hettinger). The News-Gazette's website — news-gazette.com — has been voted the state's best three years running.

"What's most rewarding is the validation that our three-plus-year push to produce entirely local news section fronts — 364 days a year, filled with content readers can't get anywhere else — is a winning formula," Editor Jeff D'Alessio said. "We're only going to ratchet that up in the months to come, when our radio team joins the downtown newsroom."

In the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors contest, The News-Gazette — competing in the largest circulation category — placed third in the sweepstakes voting behind the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. Of the 11 awards claimed, three were firsts: sports breaking news (Daniels and staff), sports column (Loren Tate) and spot news video (John Dixon). Also, The News-Gazette was runner-up as Innovator of the Year (High School Confidential), marking the third consecutive year with a first- or second-place finish.

"With an online audience that is growing by the day, innovation is critical to our growth," said Jim Rossow, News-Gazette Media's vice president for news. "That we continue to receive recognition for our multimedia and social-media approach reflects the progress we've made — with plenty more in store."

News-Gazette Community Newspapers won 46 awards in the IPA contest. Leading the way: the Ford County Record (26), which finished second in the race for the David B. Kramer Memorial Trophy as the state's best small-sized weekly newspaper. Editor Will Brumleve won first-place awards for school board coverage and news reporting (single story).

In the IPA's advertising contest, The News-Gazette won first place for best classified section (staff). The N-G won 10 other awards, including second place for advertising excellence (staff) and shared page/signature page (staff) and third place for static online ad (Lisa Lotz), community focus special section (Lotz), newspaper-designed insert (John Grygiel), house ad (Cassandra Schowengerdt), marketing campaign (staff) and holiday ad (staff).

At the Illinois Broadcasters Association annual contest on June 8 in Springfield, WDWS 1400-AM's Tim Ditman and Michael Kiser teamed to win first place (medium market) for best series or documentary program. Carol Vorel finished second in hard news feature.

In the IPA editorial contest, The News-Gazette won second-place awards for general excellence (staff), feature writing (Noelle McGee), sports news (Bob Asmussen), investigative (Wurth), government reporting (Wurth), school board coverage (Nicole Lafond), single-page design (Niko Dugan), headline writing (George Dobrik), sports feature (Anthony Zilis), special section (IlliniHQ basketball yearbook), innovative project (Rossow), editorial cartoon (Lyncoln Delporte, Dan Corkery) and illustration (Delporte).

Third-place awards included government reporting (Mary Schenk), news series (Schenk, Hettinger) and best promotion of public's right to know (D'Alessio, Tracy Crane).Honorable mention awards included illustration (Goebel), innovative project (D'Alessio), school board coverage (McGee) and community service (Tom Kacich, Crane, Marcus Jackson, McGee, Deb Pressey, Paul Wood, D'Alessio).

In Division A (weekly):

— The Ford County Record's Brumleve was second in government beat reporting, feature writing, investigative/enterprise reporting and headline writing; third in public's right to know and single page design; and honorable mention in government beat reporting, editorial page and coverage of taxation. Sports editor Andrew Rosten placed second in sports section, sports column, sports photo and single page design; third in sports feature and headline writing; and honorable mention in single page design and headline writing. Also, contributor Ryan Minion won a first-place award in the general news photo.

— The LeRoy Farmer City Press won 12 awards, including first place in: sports news (Jerry Nowicki), sports section (staff), public's right to know (Nowicki) and investigative/enterprise reporting (Nowicki).

— The Mahomet Citizen won three awards: first in sports feature (Jason Brown), third in general excellence and honorable mention in sports column (Fred Kroner).

— The Piatt County Journal-Republican won honorable mention for sports news (Andrew Helregel).

In Division B (weekly):

— The Rantoul Press won four awards, including first place for sports section (Zack Carpenter). Carpenter also placed second in sports feature and third in sports news.

The Colorado Press Association judged the more than 3,000 editorial entries.

In the IAPME contest, The News-Gazette placed second in sports breaking news (Asmussen) and sports feature (Zilis) and third in breaking news (Schenk), spot news photo (Dixon), editorial writing (Jim Dey, Corkery) and best use of social media (Rossow and staff).

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dolores wrote on June 19, 2017 at 12:06 am

doesn't say much for the competition. 

dolores wrote on June 19, 2017 at 12:06 am

doesn't say much for the competition.