Star-Observer wins several WNA awardsThe Hudson Star-Observer was among several dozen Wisconsin newspapers honored for its editorial and advertising content at Wisconsin Newspaper Assocation’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.
The Hudson Star-Observer was among several dozen Wisconsin newspapers honored for its editorial and advertising content at Wisconsin Newspaper Assocation’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.
Awards were presented near the conclusion of the press association’s annual 155th annual convention, held at the Radisson Conference Center near the Oneida Casino by Green Bay.
The conference was entitled “Wisconsin Newspapers: Our Great Story” and brought together presenters to provide professional development to weekly, daily and college newspaper reporters, editors, ad directors and publishers.
Among features at the conference was an Associated Press exhibit entitled “The American President,” a collection of documentary images pulled from the AP’s collection of more than 10 million photos. The conference also provided a venue for a debate between long-serving Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson and challenger Judge Randy Koschnick. The debate was Web cast live and made available to all Wisconsin newspapers.
Other sessions focused on Web site branding, managing change for news and sales staff, maintaining First Amendment responsibilities amid digital migration and more.
Cathy Williquette, Brown County register of deeds, received WNA’s Freedom of Information Badger Award for her commitment to helping citizens access public records through her office. Further, Williquette played an important role in helping state newspapers obtain real estate transfer records for publication.
Last year’s recipient of the traveling award was Roger Leque, River Falls’ chief of police.
Tom Schultz, editor of the Watertown Daily Times, was installed as WNA’s new president. Steve Dzubay, publisher of the Hudson Star-Observer and River Falls Journal, moved from board secretary to third vice president.
Gary Rawn, former publisher of the Prescott Journal, was among six newspaper people inducted as “golden members.” Rawn recently sold the newspaper and resigned from WNA’s board.
Wally Smetana, longtime editor of the Dunn County News and a graduate of then-River Falls State Teachers College, was inducted into WNA’s Hall of Fame, along with Marie F. Berner, 97, current publisher of the Antigo Daily Journal. Smetana retired as editor in 1992 but continues to work part time, penning a weekly column and covering the local political scene.
The gathering culminated with presentation of awards at a Friday evening banquet. This year’s Better Newspaper Contest drew 2,9073 entries from more than 140 of the state’s approximately 300 weekly and daily newspapers.
Judging the contest this year were members of the Texas Newspaper Association. Entries came from coverage and advertisements which were published in late 2007 and the first nine months of 2008.
The Green Bay Press-Gazette was named daily newspaper of the year, while the Coulee News of West Salem earned Newspaper of the Year honors among weeklies.
Among the winners:
First Award – Hudson Star Observer: (“Our View” – Doug Stohlberg): Bold commentary, solid logic, supporting facts, reasonable conclusion – your editorial style contains all the elements of excellent community journalism.
First Award – Hudson Star Observer: (“Santa greets” – Margaret A. Ontl): This pictures captures the excitement of a child at the holiday season. Very well done.
Second Award – Hudson Star-Observer: (“Moving wall” – Jon Echternacht): Some powerful images, but the one that makes it all work is the man at the wall – Great photos, great reproduction – very well done!
Second Award – Hudson Star Observer: (Becki Lamar, Douglas Stohlberg): Good, strong leads, very good use of artwork and great photos. A real close second.
The Star-Observer earned a first-place award for its circulation promotion program that invited readers to renew or enter new subscriptions, and a portion of their subscription fee would be gifted to the local school of their choice. Shelly Hansen of River Falls was the designer who created the piece.
Sister papers of the Star-Observer also won a number of awards. They include:
River Falls Journal
General Excellence, third; Spot News Photo, third; Headlines, third; Local Sports Column, second; and Sports Photo, first.
New Richmond News
Open Record/FOI Award, second; local column, second; Enterprise/Interpretive Reporting, second; Headlines, second; and several advertising awards.
Pierce County Herald (Ellsworth)
Most Improved Newspaper, honorable mention.