SPRINGFIELD — The News-Gazette extended its unprecedented run as Illinois’ best newspaper in its class while its advertising department swept statewide honors.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Illinois Press Association awarded The News-Gazette the Mabel S. Shaw Memorial Trophy as the sweepstakes winner among medium-sized newspapers. Continuing a streak started in 2014, The News-Gazette was the only repeat champion among six division winners.
“This is a highlight of what has been a challenging stretch on so many fronts,” Managing Editor Mike Goebel said. “We’re proud of what we’ve been able to do and excited about what we still can do. The future is bright.”
In the IPA’s advertising contest, The News-Gazette won the coveted James S. Copley Memorial Trophy (all divisions) as well as the Division I trophy.
“We’re elated to have won these awards," Advertising Director Jackie Martin said. “The News-Gazette ad staff takes pride in what they do in helping their clients succeed.”
In the advertising contest, The News-Gazette won 41 awards, including first place in:
— Holiday ad (Steve Ennen); niche publication (staff); marketing campaign (staff); classified ad (Martin); special section (staff); one-time special section (staff); full color ad (staff); service/institutational ad (staff); and general advertising excellence (staff).
Forty-six newspapers submitted more than 500 contest entries.
“This proves that we have the total package,” News-Gazette Publisher Paul Barrett said. “We can tell and sell better than anyone else.”
Of The News-Gazette’s 31 editorial awards — most of any of the 14 newspapers in the division — six were for first place:
— News reporting series (staff led Mary Schenk and Ben Zigterman)
— Localized national story (Jeff D’Alessio)
— Community service (staff led by Debra Pressey and Anthony Zilis)
— Personality profile (Julie Wurth)
— Portrait/personality photo (Rick Danzl)
— School board coverage (Lyndsay Jones and Schenk)
In the sweepstakes voting, the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake claimed second place, the Quincy Herald-Whig placed third and the Peoria Journal Star was fourth. Other daily newspaper division winners included the Chicago Sun-Times (large) and The Southern Illinoisan (small).