Your Newspaper Earns MNA State Recognition
The official newspaper of Roosevelt County brought home many top honors, more than in recent memory, during this year’s Montana Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
“We thank our readers and advertisers for their continued support of us,” Darla Downs, publisher of the Northern Plains Independent and Community News, said. “Those are the people that we are in this business for, and we couldn’t accomplish these honors without their belief in us.”
The Northern Plains Independent, which serves the Wolf Point area, competes in the Division 2 category for weeklies. The Community News, which serves the Culbertson area, is part of the Division I competition.
Downs enjoyed great success in advertising design categories as she captured first-place honors in Division 2 for ad to sell or promote merchandise black and white and best newspaper promotional ad.
In Division 1, Downs earned first place for best marketing campaign and best ad to sell to promote services in color.
Downs received both the firstplace and second-place awards for best breaking news photos in Division 2 for her coverage of house fires in Wolf Point.
Other second-place honors for Downs included best promotional ad for Division 2, best marketing campaign for Division 2 and best ad to sell or promote merchandise in color for Division 2.
Third-place honors for Downs were best ad to sell or promote merchandise in color for Division 2 and best ad to sell or promote services in black and white for Division 2, Editor Bill Vander Weele won top honors for best column writing in Division 2 for a column regarding the importance of community journalism and best sports column writing for Division I for a column highlighting how Class C football is special.
Vander Weele and Downs teamed up to win the Division 2 award for best investigation journalism for a series of stories covering former Roosevelt County attorney Frank Piocos not being eligible to run for election. They also won second place for best editorial in Division 2.
Vander Weele received second- place honors for best feature photo in Division 1. The photo, “Best Friends,” was of a young girl happily visiting with Santa Claus. Vander Weele also earned second place for best portrait photo in Division I for his photo of Froid High School student Kaylee Olson with her grand champion steer.
“My thought was that Bill was going to add a lot to our publications, and he has during the last couple of years,” Downs said. “The increased coverage he has provided has been exciting for myself and our readers.”
Vander Weele added third-place honors for best sport page layout for Division 2, best sports column for Division 2, best news photo for Division 1 and best sports photo for Division 1.
Editor James Walling earned first place for best breaking news photo in Division 1. The photo featured fire departments heading to a grass fire near Sugar Top Hill.
Sales representative/designer Kerry Cash earned second place for best ad to sell or promote merchandise in black and white for Division 2 and best ad to sell or promote services in color for Division 1. She also received the third-place award for best ad to sell or promote services in color for Division I.
The Community News earned first place for best website in Division I.