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Better Newspaper Contests

A SHOWCASE OF THE BEST WORK OF IOWA’S NEWSPAPERS Sponsored by the


TABLE OF CONTENTS CATEGORIES 02............. SPECIALTY 06............. EDITORIAL

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12............... INTERNET 13............ MARKETING 14................. WRITING 18...... PHOTOGRAPHY

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24. . ....... ADVERTISING

12 13 14 THE COVER Kidding around - A goat prepares to butt heads with another in a game of king of the bus as they stand on a 1944 Dodge school bus parked in a field at Wickerwood Family Farms near Baldwin, Iowa, on Monday, May 13, 2019. The photo featured on the cover, titled was taken by Jim Slosiarek of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It is the first place winner in the Daily II division of the Best News Feature Photo category. 2

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2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

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SPECIALTY

03 ��Distinguished Service Award 04 ��General Excellence 04 ��Harrison "Skip" Weber Investigative Reporting Awards 04 ��Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding 04 ��Young Iowa Journalists Awards 04 ��Bill Monroe INA Innovation Award

EDITORIAL

06 ��Editorial Pages 06 ��Front Page 06 ��Sports Section 07 ���Feature Pages 07 ���Coverage of Government & Politics 07 �� Coverage of Court & Crime 08 �� Coverage of Education

08 ��Coverage of Agriculture 08 ��Coverage of Business 09 ��Special Section 09 ��Community Leadership 09 ��Headline Writing 10 ��� Total Newspaper Design 11 ����Use of Graphics

INTERNET

12 ���Newspaper Website 12 ���Video 12 ���Slideshow 13 ���Blog by a Newspaper 13 ���Podcast 13 ���Use of Social Media

MARKETING

13 ���Newspaper Marketing

WRITING

14 ���News Story 14 ���Breaking News Story 15 ���Personality Feature Story 15 ���News Feature Story 15 ���Sports Story 16 ���Sports Feature Story

16 ���Continuing Coverage 16 ���Excellence in Editorial Writing 17 ���Series 17 ���Master Columnist 17 ���Sports Columnist

PHOTOGRAPHY 18 ���News Photo 19 ���Breaking News Photo 20 ��Sports Photo 21 ���Sports Feature Photo 22 ��News Feature Photo 23 ��Photo Story

ADVERTISING

24 ���Grocery/Food/Entertainment 25 ��Financial- Insurance or Other Professional Service 26 ���Furniture- FurnishingsApplicances or Hardware 27 ����Automotive- Boats- AircraftTires- Gasoline- etc. 28 ��Miscellaneous 29 ��Special Section

30 ��Series or Campaign Featuring Any Service or Merchandise 31 ���Idea For a Community Promotion or Event 32 ��Featuring Agriculture 33 ��Web Advertisement 34 ��Designer 35 ��Best of Class


DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS WERE HONORED WITH THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD DURING THE 2020 INA CONVENTION. THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD IS ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS GIVEN TO IOWA NEWSPAPER PROFESSIONALS. WINNERS ARE CHOSEN BY PAST DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD WINNERS BASED ON THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA: • The nominee must be an employee or former employee of or contributor to an Iowa newspaper or associated with a university, college or newspaper association having close ties with Iowa newspapers; • The nominee shall have contributed greatly to his or her newspaper, and to his or her community and/or the newspaper industry in general; • Longevity should have little effect on the nominee’s qualifications; • This award is open to all members of the newspaper staff.

NANCY STEBURG

KOSSUTH COUNTY ADVANCE Nancy Steburg began her career with a brief stint in the banking industry before making the leap to the newspaper business. She started in circulation, then bookkeeping; next she was the advertising manager and finally, the role she has held for more than two decades—general manager. Her commitment is unwavering. Many have longevity in their jobs, but few have the passion and enthusiasm of this individual. After nearly four decades, she still arrives to work well before office hours and often stays well past the close of business to ensure the newspaper and shopper are completely ready for printing each week. Leading advertising and graphics teams, her focus is always on producing quality products for the community. When it comes to organizational skills, hers are top-notch! She can answer any question you might have, whether its about an upcoming meeting, an even or a supply order. Detailed calendars are planned months in advance. She chases goals and can be heard encouraging her team, saying, “let’s go!” pushing them to reach higher in print and online sales. She has served on numerous community committees and her input is highly valued. She is not afraid of new projects and is willing to speak up when she sees a community project with some potential pitfalls! Steburg is the newspaper’s institutional memory and its connection to the community. No one knows more about where each has been. Through different owners and publishers, she has kept her eye on the newspaper and its financial success. She has dedicated herself to the newspaper, to the industry and to the community. She works to preserve the quality of the newspaper.

MARK WITHERSPOON IOWA STATE DAILY

Mark Witherspoon has been educating student journalists – and positively impacting the world of journalism – for 30 years. Not to mention the decade plus spent editing prior to teaching. During this time, he has taught and mentored over 3,000 student journalists. One of Witherspoon's great gifts is showing others how to see the world through the lens of a journalist – that in every situation there are two sides, there is something to be learned from every mistake, and that as a writer, you have both the responsibility and the ability to impact truth and justice in the world. It’s a noble, go-with-your-guts view of the world that, impacts all those around him. His students can be found scattered throughout the country, from anchors at CNN to writers at The New York Times to publishers in small town newspapers right here in Iowa. One thing that we hear time and again is how much he pushes his students. He demands growth from them. Demands excellence. The national awards they win together as a team is a testament to this dedication. Student journalists keep our recipient inspired. He sees the same mistakes made year after year by freshman students and never loses patience. His passion for free speech and freedom of the press is illustrated in the numerous awards he’s won in this arena. To have a conversation with him concerning the rights of the people is to commit the next hour of your life to passion, idealism, and resiliency of the best kind. By this individual’s own admission, his career is not a testament to sainthood, but one of someone who gets up every day and does better than he did the day before. It’s one of his most endearing qualities to his students, who are just starting to learn to do the same. He works hard, he works passionately, and he always keeps the Constitution close to his heart. He is, after all, a journalist.

2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

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GENERAL EXCELLENCE DAILY I - 14 ENTRIES

DAILY II - 7 ENTRIES

WEEKLY I - 22 ENTRIES

WEEKLY II - 27 ENTRIES

WEEKLY III - 21 ENTRIES

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan

First Place - Des Moines Register

First Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner

First Place - Storm Lake PilotTribune

First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review

Second Place - Carroll Times Herald

Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette

Second Place - Ackley World Journal

Second Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter

Second Place - Iowa Falls TimesCitizen

Third Place - Clinton Herald

Third Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald

Third Place - Gowrie News

Third Place - Hampton Chronicle

Third Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News

D1

D2

First place entries are displayed on each page with the designated class tag listed below:

D1

DAILY I

W1

WEEKLY I

D2

DAILY II

W2

WEEKLY II

W3

WEEKLY III

W1

W2

ENTRY CLASS DIVISIONS

DUPLICATE PLAQUE ORDERS

Daily Class I - circulation under 10,000 Daily Class II - 10,000 and greater Weekly Class I - 960 circulation and under Weekly Class II - 961-1,550 Weekly Class III - 1,551 and greater

Newspapers wishing to order duplicate contest award plaques may do so by calling the Iowa Newspaper Association at 515-244-2145. The cost of $50 per plaque will be billed to the newspaper.

W3 The 2020 Iowa Better Newspaper Contests were judged by members of the Virginia Press Association. This tab contains comments recorded by the contest judges. The Winners’ Tab was printed by the Webster City Daily Freeman-Journal. Winners of the General Excellence contest are determined by point accrual, therefore no comments are provided. See page 5 for the list of newspapers’ point totals.

SPECIAL RECOGNITION HARRISON “SKIP” WEBER INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING DAILY I - 1 ENTRY

YOUNG IOWA JOURNALISTS 6 ENTRIES

Robert Maharry, Grundy Center Register; Allie Hinga, Dubuque Telegraph Herald and Stephen Gruber-Miller, Des Moines Register

Marissa Payne, Iowa City Daily Iowan

DAILY II - 2 ENTRIES

Erin Jordan, Cedar Rapids Gazette

WEEKLY II - 3 ENTRIES

Dana Larsen, Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune

WEEKLY III - 3 ENTRIES

Russ Mitchell, Spirit Lake Dickinson County News

JAY P. WAGNER PRIZE FOR YOUNG JOURNALISTS Allie Hinga, Dubuque Telegraph Herald; Gage Miskimen, Southeast Iowa Union and Nick Moffitt, Kalona News

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2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

BILL MONROE INA INNOVATION AWARD 1 ENTRY

Cedar Rapids Gazette, Carroll Times Herald, Iowa Falls Times-Citizen and Mount Pleasant News


NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR Congratulations to the IOWA CITY DAILY IOWAN 2020 Newspaper of the Year!

PAST WINNERS

2019 - Des Moines Register 2018 - Des Moines Register 2017 - Des Moines Register 2016 - Des Moines Register 2015 - Des Moines Register 2014 - Des Moines Register 2013 - Carroll Daily Times Herald 2012 - Des Moines Register 2011 - Des Moines Register 2010 - Des Moines Register 2009 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 2008 - Des Moines Register 2007 - Des Moines Register 2006 - Des Moines Register 2005 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 2004 - Des Moines Register 2003 - It’s a tie! Des Moines Register - & Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 2002 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 2001 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 2000 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1999 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1998 - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune 1997 - Indianola Record-Herald & Tribune 1996 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1995 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1994 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1993 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1992 - Adel Dallas County News 1991 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1990 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1989 - Cedar Rapids Gazette 1988 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1987 - Cedar Rapids Gazette 1986 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1985 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1984 - Cedar Rapids Gazette 1983 - Davenport Quad City Times 1982 - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review 1981 - Iowa City (U of I) Daily Iowan 1980 - Burlington Hawk Eye 1979 - Eldridge North Scott Press 1978 - Cherokee Daily Times 1977 - Cherokee Daily Times 1976 - Iowa City (U of I) Daily Iowan 1975 - Burlington Hawk Eye 1974 - Burlington Hawk Eye 1973 - Cresco Times-Plain Dealer 1972 - Cresco Times-Plain Dealer 1971 - Alton Democrat 1970 - Algona Upper Des Moines

NEWSPAPERS’ CONTEST POINT TOTALS DAILY 1 AMES TRIBUNE........................................................... 16 CARROLL TIMES HERALD...........................................58 CLINTON HERALD....................................................... 43 FORT DODGE MESSENGER......................................... 31 IOWA CITY DAILY IOWAN........................................... 118 IOWA CITY PRESS-CITIZEN..........................................12 LE MARS DAILY SENTINEL............................................4 MARSHALLTOWN TIMES REPUBLICAN....................... 19 MASON CITY GLOBE GAZETTE....................................6 NEWTON DAILY NEWS.................................................14 OELWEIN REGISTER......................................................6 OTTUMWA COURIER.....................................................5 SPENCER DAILY REPORTER........................................20 WEBSTER CITY DAILY FREEMAN-JOURNAL.................17 DAILY 2 BURLINGTON HAWK EYE..............................................9 CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE.......................................... 80 DAVENPORT QUAD-CITY TIMES................................. 24 DES MOINES REGISTER.............................................107 DUBUQUE TELEGRAPH HERALD................................ 73 SIOUX CITY JOURNAL................................................36 WATERLOO COURIER.................................................. 31 WEEKLY 1 ACKLEY WORLD JOURNAL.........................................35 ALLISON BUTLER CO. TRIBUNE-JOURNAL................. 16 AURELIA STAR...............................................................3 CLARKSVILLE STAR.................................................... 16 CORYDON WAYNE COUNTY INDEPENDENT.................3 DAYTON LEADER.........................................................13 EAGLE GROVE EAGLE...................................................9 FOREST CITY SUMMIT-TRIBUNE...................................6 GOWRIE NEWS............................................................28 GREENE RECORDER.....................................................8 HAWARDEN INDEPENDENT/IRETON EXAMINER......... 47 HULL SIOUX CO. INDEX-REPORTER...........................23 INWOOD WEST LYON HERALD................................... 19 JEWELL SOUTH HAMILTON RECORD-NEWS................ 7 LA PORTE CITY PROGRESS-REVIEW.......................... 21 LAKE CITY GRAPHIC-ADVOCATE................................25 MANILLA TIMES............................................................2 MCGREGOR NORTH IOWA TIMES.................................5 NEW SHARON SUN.......................................................2 NEWELL BUENA VISTA CO. JOURNAL..........................4 PRAIRIE CITY PCM EXPLORER....................................22 WEST BRANCH TIMES................................................25

WEEKLY 2 ADEL DALLAS CO. NEWS..............................................4 AKRON HOMETOWNER...............................................23 AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL...................1 BLOOMFIELD DEMOCRAT........................................... 24 CALMAR COURIER........................................................6 CASCADE PIONEER.................................................... 16 CENTERVILLE DAILY IOWEGIAN.................................. 19 CORYDON TIMES-REPUBLICAN....................................2 ELDORA NEWSPAPERS.................................................3 HAMPTON CHRONICLE...............................................35 HARTLEY SENTINEL-NEWS......................................... 21 KNOXVILLE JOURNAL-EXPRESS...................................3 LAKE MILLS GRAPHIC...................................................9 PARKERSBURG ECLIPSE-NEWS-REVIEW......................2 PELLA CHRONICLE........................................................1 PERRY CHIEF................................................................4 POCAHONTAS RECORD DEMOCRAT............................8 RICEVILLE MONITOR RECORDER..................................9 ROCK RAPIDS LYON CO. REPORTER...........................44 SERGEANT BLUFF ADVOCATE.................................... 10 SHELDON MAIL-SUN....................................................13 SIGOURNEY NEWS REVIEW..........................................5 STORM LAKE PILOT-TRIBUNE.....................................65 STUART HERALD..........................................................8 SULLY HOMETOWN PRESS...........................................3 VINTON NEWSPAPERS..................................................9 WESTSIDE OBSERVER...................................................2 WEEKLY 3 BELLEVUE HERALD-LEADER........................................ 7 CLEAR LAKE MIRROR REPORTER.................................4 DENISON NEWSPAPERS...............................................9 DEWITT OBSERVER.....................................................14 DYERSVILLE COMMERCIAL...........................................8 ELDRIDGE NORTH SCOTT PRESS...............................48 HARLAN NEWSPAPERS................................................14 HUMBOLDT INDEPENDENT..........................................6 IDA GROVE IDA COUNTY COURIER...............................1 INDIANOLA RECORD-HERALD & TRIBUNE..................13 IOWA FALLS TIMES-CITIZEN.......................................52 JEFFERSON HERALD...................................................12 KALONA NEWS............................................................. 7 MAQUOKETA SENTINEL-PRESS....................................14 MONTICELLO EXPRESS.................................................1 SHELDON N'WEST IOWA REVIEW............................... 74 SIOUX CENTER NEWS................................................... 7 SPIRIT LAKE DICKINSON CO. NEWS...........................48 TIPTON CONSERVATIVE.................................................1 WAVERLY NEWSPAPERS............................................. 31 WILTON-DURANT ADVOCATE NEWS.......................... 10

Contests sponsored by the

2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

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BEST EDITORIAL PAGE DAILY 1 - 4 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Second Place - Spencer Daily Reporter Third Place - Newton Daily News

DAILY 2 - 5 ENTRIES First Place - Waterloo Courier

WEEKLY 1 - 3 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 6 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 3 - 8 ENTRIES

First Place - West Branch Times Comments: Nice presentation of the editorial with graphics and giving it primacy. The dates provide interesting tidbits for the readers.

First Place - Lake Mills Graphic Comments: Thoughtful editorials combined with a variety of features and graphics make this a lively page.

First Place - Eldridge North Scott Press Comments: This is a strong, robust page with some unusually strong writing. There are good columns, strong guest perspectives and clear efforts to engage readers. Official voices, particularly in the last sample, are welcome. This is a page that is a true community forum.

Second Place - Prairie City PCM Explorer Comments: Columns from staff members are presented equally in a balanced page.

Second Place - Des Moines Register Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette

Second Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Comments: This editorial page stood out because of the writing, both that of the editor and the columnists. Third Place - Bloomfield Democrat Comments: Intelligent commentary, a real service to the community.

Second Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: This page has depth, a thoughtful editorial voice and strong columns. There is reader engagement and a wide range of content for the section. Third Place - Dyersville Commercial Comments: This page may be less ample than some others, but the samples included a strong perspective in an editorial, strong column contributions and guest voices that would be of interest to the community. There was less reader engagement than in other entries, but this was a good mix and a fine page.

BEST SPORTS SECTION

BEST FRONT PAGE DAILY 1 - 10 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 15 ENTRIES

DAILY 1 - 10 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 10 ENTRIES

First Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Great looking publication. Clean, consistent and layout encourages readership. Feature graphics on lead stories add impact.

First Place - Hull Sioux Co. IndexReporter Comments: Love the feel of your front page. I can feel the emotion of each story by the headline, usage of fonts and images.

First Place - Marshalltown Times Republican Comments: Section front design made me say “wow” when I first opened it. Then the pages themselves contained a strong diversity of coverage, as well as good design.

First Place - Cascade Pioneer Comments: Not much separated the top three spots here. Each had solid local community sports coverage. I liked the inclusion of JV sports and the calendar here, which helped round out the section. Getting the “big” stuff is essential, but the “small” stuff really makes a difference.

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Great cover featuring Women’s basketball final. Both photography and typography work well together emphasizing the excitement being felt in the moment. Third Place - Spencer Daily Reporter Comments: Solid composition of elements. Clear entry point with the lead story and clean layout and limited fonts. Nice job on the template for the upper row ad placement, it can be challenging to design around that.

DAILY 2 - 5 ENTRIES First Place - Davenport Quad-City Times Comments: Excellent photos and strong headlines. Particularly like the front page on the flood. Eye-catching design. Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Great photos and use of graphics. Nice layout. Well balanced. Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Nice use of photos and well-balanced design.

Second Place - Lake City GraphicAdvocate Comments: Great layout and very easy to read. Third Place - Allison Butler Co. Tribune-Journal Comments: Amazing photography and layout. The pictures just make the whole article stand out. Very eyecatching.

WEEKLY 2 - 17 ENTRIES

First Place - Des Moines Register Comments: An attractive sports section that hooks you in with its elegant design, clever headlines, peak-action photos and engaging writing.

Second Place - Hampton Chronicle Comments: Creative use of graphics; nice variety of news and features. Inviting teaser section at top and sometimes on left side of page.

Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: This sports section distinguishes itself through sweeping local coverage. Pages are packed with capsules, roundups and photos.

Third Place - Sheldon Mail-Sun Comments: Nice highlighted feature articles, with solid graphics and headlines. Good photography and layout generally.

Third Place - Davenport Quad-City Times Comments: This sports section receives a tip of the cap for its feature writing and eye-catching design.

WEEKLY 3 - 17 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 4 ENTRIES

First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Eye-catching designs. These fronts stood out from the rest.

First Place - Ackley World Journal Comments: Nice balance of coverage and liked the use of breakout boxes. Definitely draws the reader in.

Third Place - Harlan Newspapers Comments: Great treatment sensitive subject.

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Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Nice clean look to this sports section. Really nice girls basketball special layout! Good variety of coverage.

First Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: Creative feature article headlines with attractive fonts and accompanying photographs. Clean layout, good use of news briefs and teasers at side and top of page, respectively.

Second Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: Balanced, clean layouts.

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Second Place - Webster City Daily Freeman-Journal Comments: Appreciated the distinctive section front design and additional elements throughout. Wrestling centerpiece was really strong! Nice variety of coverage.

2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

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DAILY 2 - 5 ENTRIES

Second Place - Centerville Daily Iowegian Comments: Nice, clean pages with good local content. The sections had a crisp feel and were easy to navigate. Third Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Comments: Thorough coverage-particularly of the state basketball title run. Stronger layout with better content organization would have elevated these pages from third place.

WEEKLY 3 - 16 ENTRIES First Place - Denison Newspapers Comments: Excellent work. Second Place - Humboldt Independent Comments: Good diversity in coverage. Strong section. Third Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen Comments: Strong design and coverage.


BEST FEATURE PAGE DAILY 1 - 4 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 9 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 7 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 3 - 6 ENTRIES

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Captivating stories propelled by well-designed pages and excellent photography. Like use of grey scale in haunted house story.

First Place - Gowrie News Comments: Everything works well together from design to variety of local focused news.

First Place - Akron Hometowner Comments: Winning mix of local news and an easy to read layout. The feature length “Water Woes” provided strong value and the vaping news was important for the public.

First Place - Bellevue Herald-Leader Comments: Great stories - everyone likes local history. Well designed pages

Second Place - Clinton Herald Comments: Cool design concept for a sports feature. Small font hard to read, and font for honorable mention names is larger than all-team names. Third Place - Spencer Daily Reporter Comments: Clean layouts and design. No real copy, just captions for photos that aren’t very strong.

Second Place - Greene Recorder Comments: Unique character to this history-driven feature page that I found interesting. Third Place - Prairie City PCM Explorer Comments: Good ideas for stories and strong photos.

Second Place - Hartley Sentinel-News Comments: Balanced, easily digestible layout and local news featuring a variety of age groups-- liked “News from the Neighborhood.” Third Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Comments: Nice wide format, good mix of photos and text.

Second Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Comments: Good diversity of story topics. Nice presentation Third Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Wow graphics on front pages. Loved the front designed like a baseball card.

DAILY 2 - 5 ENTRIES First Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Neat and well thought out. Second Place - Waterloo Courier Comments: Beautifully designed. Third Place - Sioux City Journal Comments: Nice magazine

COVERAGE OF GOV`T AND POLITICS DAILY 1 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Ames Tribune Comments: What every editor wants, a writer who knows the subject matter and can write with authority. Context and writing style make this a winner. Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Entry features stories people should be talking about, smartly written, balanced and thoughtful. Third Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Interesting stories that present the facts and let readers decide what they think.

DAILY 2 - 6 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register Second Place - Waterloo Courier Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette

WEEKLY 1 - 7 ENTRIES First Place - Forest City Summit-Tribune Second Place - Prairie City PCM Explorer Third Place - Clarksville Star

WEEKLY 2 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Comments: I was thoroughly impressed by the volume, scope and engaging quality of Dana Larsen’s government and politics stories. Great work!

WEEKLY 3 - 12 ENTRIES First Place - Eldridge North Scott Press Second Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen Third Place - Harlan Newspapers

Second Place - Cascade Pioneer Comments: Strong writing by Craig Purcell, and Dylan Kurt, as well as the organization of the newspaper made the Cascade Pioneer a contender. Third Place - Calmar Courier Comments: Mike Hohenbrink is doing a great job with this category, with good writing and broad coverage.

COVERAGE OF COURT & CRIME DAILY 1 - 7 ENTRIES

DAILY 2 - 6 ENTRIES

First Place - Iowa City Press-Citizen Comments: Wide variety of reporting skills on display here, skills every reporter should have from pulling documents to tracking down sources. Great example of nimble reporters.

First Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Meticulous reporting, skillful use of public records and amazing storytelling separates this entry from the pack. On-the-record accounts add strength and credibility to the Carter family saga. Fabulous photo galleries and multimedia.

Second Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Mix of breaking news, enterprise and soft features reveal a staff that can see value in wide variety of issues and makes them relevant Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Some long reads in here but great efforts on pretty heavy topics. Great sourcing.

Second Place - Davenport Quad-City Times Comments: Solid coverage of an array of public safety issues. The package about the emerging methamphetamine crisis shines. Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Deep reporting is the backbone of strong narratives. Top-shelf storytelling.

WEEKLY 1 - 2 ENTRIES First Place - Clarksville Star Second Place - Allison Butler Co. Tribune-Journal

WEEKLY 2 - 7 ENTRIES First Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Comments: The centerpiece of this story is the look at the man convicted of murder when he was a teen and later rehabilitated in prison

WEEKLY 3 - 11 ENTRIES First Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: Good, clear writing. Story about supervisor wanting citizens to be allowed to bring guns to court is especially well done. Second Place - Maquoketa Sentinel-Press Comments: Stories fit together nicely. Third Place - Eldridge North Scott Press Comments: Solid reporting and writing.

Second Place - Pocahontas Record Democrat Comments: Nice job of writing firstperson column about a congressman making national headlines in a way that does not sensationalize things. Third Place - Centerville Daily Iowegian

2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

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COVERAGE OF EDUCATION DAILY 1 - 6 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: What education reporting should be. Second Place - Iowa City Press-Citizen

WEEKLY 3 - 11 ENTRIES

Third Place - Newton Daily News

DAILY 2 - 6 ENTRIES First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Excellent writing and indepth coverage. Impressive. Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Interesting variety stories, strong writing.

Third Place - Hampton Chronicle Comments: Good coverage of a wide array of school issues. The only question remaining on the concussion story was what part does a child’s doctor plays in this.

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Third Place - Waterloo Courier Comments: Solid coverage. Well done.

WEEKLY 1 - 10 ENTRIES First Place - Prairie City PCM Explorer Comments: Strong features. Well done. Second Place - Newell Buena Vista Co. Journal Comments: I saw indications that your education coverage is complete -- not just the warm-fuzzy features. Third Place - Eagle Grove Eagle Comments: Good mixture of features and general education news.

WEEKLY 2 - 7 ENTRIES First Place - Hartley Sentinel-News Comments: Detailed coverage of what must have been a very difficult decision and steps involved in going forward. The Heartbreak story told the emotional side of the issue, plus included some poignant photos.

First Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen Comments: This entry rose to the top because it presented a wonderful mix of news stories and features, all crisply written and well-researched. It’s easy for the reader to get into whatever you’re writing, whether it’s the not-so-sexy topic of college entrance exams or the enjoyable tale of a therapy dog. Loved the line about Boz, that he never met a pencil he didn’t want to eat! Second Place - Eldridge North Scott Press Comments: Each entry in this package was well-done. The look at e-cigarettes was comprehensive and all-encompassing, and it was so nice to hear from students in the story about them packing sandbags. All too often, probably because of school PIOs, we don’t get to hear from the students we write about, so good job featuring them center stage. Third Place - Harlan Newspapers Comments: Wow! What comprehensive work and follow-through. It’s easy to see the hard task you faced confronting the allegations against the superintendent, and your stories chronicled what was happening each step of the way. I can’t imagine how much the school system and general public appreciated you addressing the problems and following through with the investigation.

COVERAGE OF BUSINESS DAILY 1 - 6 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 9 ENTRIES

First Place - Newton Daily News Comments: This author impressed with the depth of his reporting, the simple act of truly going to the places and hanging out with the people and the clear storytelling about how businesses come and go, as do people, and so communities change. Of course, if that was so simple, more folks would actually do it with the grace shown here. The stories are varied, but there are clear links, and the author never loses the perspective that these stories are about people. Any community would be lucky to have a journalist who tells its stories so well.

First Place - Hull Sioux Co. IndexReporter Comments: Good assortment of business coverage, with great use of visuals.

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: In a tough category to judge, the mix of strong features well presented and some excellent reporting, particularly on the dispute between the UI and a contractor, sets this staff package apart. Third Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: There is some very strong work here, particularly Mehl’s story on the collection business troubles, which had voices, conflict and real depth in the reporting. And it was just told so well. Presentation of stories was impressive, with excellent double-duty by Strong.

Third Place - Gowrie News Comments: Great use of photos and layout

WEEKLY 2 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Hampton Chronicle Comments: Liked the diverse topics and good storytelling. Second Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: Appreciated the editor note on manufacturing to help tell the story on the expanded partnership. Also thank you so much for putting a read box around the correct story to read. Third Place - Riceville Monitor Recorder Comments: Interesting topics and good writing!

WEEKLY 3 - 8 ENTRIES

DAILY 2 - 6 ENTRIES First Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: The Dubuque Telegraph Herald’s entries grabbed me on a number of levels. Some great headlines made for a nice start, then add a good variety of issues, engaging writing, good photos and good design. Second Place - Des Moines Register Comments: The Des Moines Register’s entries had a strong sense of place, as well as good writing, photography and design elements.

Second Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Comments: Interesting stories for a typical beat. The story about trying to beat the school to prison pipeline was insightful, especially the part about the kid stealing a sandwich. Who knows the motivation behind some behaviors that on the surface appear deviant.

Second Place - Ackley World Journal Comments: Very detailed coverage.

Third Place - Davenport Quad-City Times Comments: The Davenport Quad City Times hit some right notes with their scope of topics and good writing and photos, while also demonstrating a willingness to surprise.

First Place - Eldridge North Scott Press Comments: Both of these writers are master reporters, giving readers the details that connect local businesses to the community, and showing why they matter. Second Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen Comments: Good writing, attention to detail, makes business interesting to the reader. Third Place - Humboldt Independent Comments: A good selection of talented writers who show why business is news in any community.

COVERAGE OF AGRICULTURE DAILY 1 - 6 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: This was clearly the winner among a field of solid submissions. Each entry was well-written with multiple sources, detailed information and links for more info. To be honest, I hesitated at first, after reading the first-person piece about the trip downriver, but on the second read, it was clear that a lot of hard work went into that effort, including all the follow-interviews. Second Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: All the stories in this entry were enjoyable to read and done well. Good variety of subjects, several sources per story. I’m sure your readers enjoy your coverage. Third Place - Newton Daily News Comments: Your entries thoroughly explain to the reader what’s happened and its impact on farmers. Love the multiple sources and points of view. The story about farmers donating hay to those impacted by floods was great. And, wow, there certainly was a lot of rain in Iowa this spring! You made that perfectly clear.

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2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

DAILY 2 - 5 ENTRIES First Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Second Place - Des Moines Register Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette

WEEKLY 1 - 4 ENTRIES First Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Comments: Excellent features highlighting the centrality of agriculture to the community, with an emphasis on personalizing farmers and their experiences. Second Place - Clarksville Star Comments: Excellent coverage of the issues in farm communities such as weather and trade. Very thorough and well-reported and written.

WEEKLY 2 - 3 ENTRIES First Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Comments: Good attention from staff to agriculture issues. Second Place - Calmar Courier Comments: Solid coverage that serves the community well. Third Place - Stuart Herald Comments: Extension column added a strong local component to agriculture coverage.

WEEKLY 3 - 10 ENTRIES First Place - DeWitt Observer Comments: Accessible writing style, reporter clearly engaged by subjects. Stories were the right length to hold interest. Second Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen Comments: Personable writing style, solid commitment to covering agriculture. Part 5 on farms and the real estate market was especially strong. Third Place - Maquoketa Sentinel-Press Comments: Friendly, warm writing style. Stories hold interest, don’t go on too long.


BEST SPECIAL SECTION - EDITORIAL DAILY 1 - 20 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 8 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 3 - 18 ENTRIES

First Place - Marshalltown Times Republican Comments: Great tribute to the strength of the community.

First Place - Inwood West Lyon Herald Comments: Sharp looking and filled with information. Great graphics and clear art throughout.

First Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen Comments: Wonderful design and great stories. The readers will feel like they really got to know each of these women.

Second Place - Gowrie News Comments: A simple concept, with a solid theme carried throughout.

Second Place - Sioux Center News Comments: Smart section. Very informative and well designed.

Third Place - Lake City GraphicAdvocate Comments: Nice cover

Third Place - Maquoketa SentinelPress Comments: What a great tribute for these athletes. The spotlight stories are a nice touch.

Second Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Full of information and well designed. Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: A brilliant concept. It takes a brave staff to commit to something like this. Well done.

DAILY 2 - 7 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 24 ENTRIES

First Place - Waterloo Courier Comments: The breadth and depth of this section is breath-taking. Wonderful work.

First Place - Vinton Newspapers Comments: This edition celebrates 150 years, and I’d guess that’s about how long this took to put together. What an amazing accomplishment. I hope this special publication is included in every time capsule in the region. What a great gift to the community.

Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: An exhaustive section. Great and helpful for the community. Third Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Lovely publication with great stories and beautiful art.

Second Place - Hampton Chronicle Comments: Brilliant. Wonderful spread in the center, too. Great work. Third Place - Storm Lake PilotTribune Comments: Nice, compact section with lots of information. The sideways headlines are a great touch.

BEST HEADLINE WRITING

Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Thank you so much for telling this story, it’s so hard to believe we don’t have equality for the LGBTQ community. I’m so proud of the people involved to bring light to theses issues that should be non issues. What a great collaboration. It’s time that we as a society that we realize the LGBTQ community deserves the same rights as everyone because they are the same as us!

First Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Smart headlines that didn’t rely on cliches. I really liked “No Can Do.”

First Place - Ackley World Journal Comments: Good thought went into making the most of headlines in this entry. I liked “The big rock Kindness Mountain,” in particular. Good work!

First Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Comments: Solid wordplay draw readers into the story and stayed true to the subject matter. My personal favorites were “No need to cut a career short” and “Slippery spots in Doon oil report.”

First Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Great headlines in this paper. Some very clever ones, too. I really liked “Rising conerns,” “Area women tap into the outdoors,” and “Cranes change view of flyover country and “In for the long haul” Second Place - Waterloo Courier Comments: Headlines are thoughtful and fit the subject matter. I especially appreciated the wittiness of “Pedal Mettle,” “Local swimmers dive into national pool’ and “How do you Fair?” Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Smart use of headlines for the articles throughout the paper. I particularly enjoyed “No bones about it” and “Mums the word ...”

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: The Daily Iowan’s initiative to improve relations with constituent groups that feel disenfranchised demonstrates a willingness to hear the concerns of the community and take action to respond. Engagement works both ways, and this paper shows it understands that.

Second Place - Sioux City Journal Comments: A well told story of the journey of the USS Sioux City. It was nice to read about the journey, technology and pride of the people of Sioux City and an extra bonus when I read the ship's home lives in my home state! I now share the pride with you Sioux City!

WEEKLY 3 - 5 ENTRIES

DAILY 2 - 4 ENTRIES

First Place - Marshalltown Times Republican Comments: The Marshalltown TimesRepublican’s entry illustrates not only the courage of the staff in continuing to cover news in the wake of a natural disaster, but also exemplifies the unifying role a paper can play in its community. Plus, organizing a fundraiser and reaching out to nonsubscribers further demonstrates the paper’s solidarity with area citizens.

First Place - Des Moines Register Comments: What a great project! You are so right, everyone has a story! I am going to the website to see more of these stories!

WEEKLY 1 - 6 ENTRIES

Third Place - Le Mars Daily Sentinel Comments: Straightforward headlines left no doubt as to what to expect.

DAILY 1 - 3 ENTRIES

DAILY 2 - 3 ENTRIES

DAILY 1 - 3 ENTRIES

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Solid headline skills informed readers what to expect, then delivered.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

Second Place - La Porte City ProgressReview Comments: Headlines captured the essence of the articles perfectly. Good job! Third Place - Dayton Leader Comments: The headlines in this paper encapsulated the heart of what the articles are about.

WEEKLY 2 - 6 ENTRIES First Place - Hampton Chronicle Comments: Punchy, sharp headlines draw attention to the stories and give clear represenatation about what the reader can expect.

WEEKLY 1 - 3 ENTRIES First Place - Dayton Leader

WEEKLY 2 - 1 ENTRIES First Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune

WEEKLY 3 - 4 ENTRIES

Second Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Nice job using headlines to pique reader interest and staying on course with the subject matter. My favorites were “Soar Subject” and “Sobering Sentencing.”

First Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: Great to see the future of journalism, REAL NEWS, being held up!

Third Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: Headlines were to the point and set the tone for the content of the article. I thought “Waverly’s fireworks change a dud” showed the most clever use of word play and served the article well.

Third Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Comments: Great job!

Second Place - Maquoketa Sentinel-Press Comments: Great investigative journalism... SO important to our democracy. Especially now!

Second Place - Riceville Monitor Recorder Comments: Accurate and easy to read headlines provide clear context. Third Place - Sheldon Mail-Sun Comments: The headlines support the content of the articles in a straightforward way.

2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

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TOTAL NEWSPAPER DESIGN

D1

W3

W1 D2

W2

DAILY 1 - 5 ENTRIES

DAILY 2 - 4 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 8 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 7 ENTRIES WEEKLY 3 - 7 ENTRIES

First Place - Clinton Herald Comments: Nice placement of pics, fonts and other design elements. Design certainly catches the eye and makes readers want to know more.

First Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Love the smart use of dominant photos, white space and tasteful font changes. The overall make-up of this paper is impressive!

First Place - Inwood West Lyon Herald Comments: I really love the nice use of dominant art, graphic elements, feature story fonts and clean compartmentalized design of subject matter. You’re not afraid to try new things.

First Place - Centerville Daily Iowegian Comments: Clean layout with nice, large art. Smart info boxes engaging headlines and decks. Sports pages are especially strong.

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: I like the way this paper uses its design to capture readers’ intrest. Nice use of color, designs and other page elements. Third Place - Spencer Daily Reporter Comments: Attractive use of color, graphics and story packaging.

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Second Place - Sioux City Journal Comments: Clean, crisp design with thoughtful attention to graphic elements and photos. Use of white space is a plus! Nice work. Third Place - Waterloo Courier Comments: Appealing paper that does what good design is supposed to do -- encourage people to turn the page.

2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

Second Place - West Branch Times Comments: I like the smart use of various design elements that work well with each other through the product. Keep up the good work! Third Place - Hull Sioux Co. Index-Reporter Comments: Thoughtful use of various design elements is evident in the traditional news design. I like the crisp appearance of the overall design.

Second Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: This paper takes chances, which is great to see. The Briefs column on the front rail is a great addition to this paper. Good to see so many faces in the paper. Third Place - Hampton Chronicle Comments: Clean design. The Up Front column on A1 is helpful and well conceived.

First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Everyone else was playing for second place. This newpaper had clear, inviting design, with just enough white space. The layout and graphic elements of the front pages were smart and crisp. This paper is a joy to read. Second Place - Iowa Falls TimesCitizen Comments: The courage to slide the flag into the corner gives this paper a modern feel. The stories flowed well, but the most striking thing about this paper was the emphasis on info boxes throughout. It’s always a great idea to give readers clear entry points into the story. Third Place - Eldridge North Scott Press Comments: A solid paper, with strong design. The issues felt full without being overwhelming.


BEST USE OF GRAPHICS

D1

W3

W1 D2

W2

DAILY 1 - 6 ENTRIES

DAILY 2 - 3 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 5 ENTRIES WEEKLY 2 - 4 ENTRIES WEEKLY 3 - 3 ENTRIES

First Place - Le Mars Daily Sentinel Comments: Human trafficking and growth despite late start were exceptionally strong

First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Nice detailed graphics with a clear purpose.

Second Place - Spencer Daily Reporter Comments: Good love story design. Interesting standing logos for the series. Third Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Strong Catholic image and social media deer/ target/computer. Both were nice complements to the stories.

Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Very clean and clear, easy to read and understand. Third Place - Waterloo Courier Comments: Nice and simple and clear.

First Place - West Branch Times Comments: Election results were clear and simple. Revenues and expenses and the radar story were nice visual presentations of complex information. Well done. Second Place - La Porte City Progress-Review Comments: Second chances had a lot of information but it added to the story content. Third Place - Allison Butler Co. Tribune-Journal Comments: Gimmicks worked with lasting love and young riders. Try not to over crowd your design.

First Place - Akron Hometowner Comments: The “Water Woes” graphic was the single best one in this competition and helped this publication to first place. The bond/vote graphic at the bottom of the page would have been far more useful without the clip-art above it. The flooding and the tax graphics on the final page of the entry were useful, but a bit much to digest all at once.

First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Wow. Can I get these graphics in our papers? They’re not only visually appealing, but also instructive. These graphics enhanced and elevated their associated stories. The youth survey results graphic was extremely well done, but so too was the recycling and fire risk pieces as well. A strong, strong entry and clear winner.

Second Place - Hampton Chronicle Comments: The Freedom Rock graphic was the best one of this entry. The others, while clever had more of a clip-art feel. The chorale idea was nice (particularly with the photos in the film frames) but the bottom of the graphic with all the masks, etc... was just too distracting.

Second Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Comments: The lightning graphic was particularly good in this entry. These graphics were more subtle in some ways (the chain link fence in the animal rescue piece), but generally supported the stories in a way that did not distract the reader. The walleye graphic didn’t work for me, particularly since the fish hook seemed to be catching the fire hose spray in the unrelated story below. The kidnapping graphic was useful and the “two Jeffs” one as well.

Third Place - Sully Hometown Press Comments: The marathon graphic was clean and helpful, as was the grants graphic.

Third Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: The fair time graphic and the holiday graphic at the top of the page were more interesting to me than the election graphics.

2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

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BEST NEWSPAPER WEBSITE DAILY 1 - 4 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 4 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 4 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 3 - 9 ENTRIES

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Nice structure and prioritization. This is a website that’s built and curated for digital readers. Opinion is clearly labeled (thank you). Sports reign, I get it. But Iowa caucus information is comprehensive and well organized too.

First Place - La Porte City ProgressReview Comments: Love the feature graphics rotating at top of site and use of burgundy throughout. Clean design, easy to read and navigate.

First Place - Cascade Pioneer Comments: Great layout for this website. Easy to navigate the site and find information. Love the burgundy and black color scheme for the header and the sans serif font usage throughout the site. Easy to read website. Compelling large photos bring you right into each story.

First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Comprehensive, well organized, visually appealing. I’d check this website every morning if I lived in this community.

DAILY 2 - 3 ENTRIES First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Hooray for a news website that’s reader friendly! It’s easy to find different sections (and the important things like obits, puzzles and how to contact the paper). Photo galleries are big and easy to navigate. Since the site does not feature comments, adding a feedback box on article pages is a nice way to stay in touch with readers.

Second Place - Ackley World Journal Comments: Nice layout, easy to read and navigate. Like the use of large photos. Third Place - Hull Sioux Co. IndexReporter Comments: Nice layout

BEST VIDEO

Third Place - Wilton-Durant Advocate News Comments: Well-organized and comprehensive coverage of this community.

BEST SLIDESHOW

DAILY 1 - 9 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 3 ENTRIES

DAILY 1 - 7 ENTRIES

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Roman Slabach Comments: Great use of technology and video editing to tell a unique story.

First Place - La Porte City ProgressReview - Michael Whittlesey Comments: Informative piece on a very important topic.

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Katina Zentz Comments: Very nice compilation of action photos. Good job capturing all aspects of the game.

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Jenna Galligan, Katie Goodale, Brooklyn Draisey Comments: Great use of technology and engaging story. Could have used more B roll. Never actually introduces what happened to Mollie, just goes into talking about her. Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Ryan Adams Comments: Humorous story, wish there was running total/sound effects for correct vs. incorrect.

DAILY 2 - ENTRIES First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Jim Slosiarek Comments: Epenesa good mix of videos with strong voice over. Careful with out of focus. Could edit a bit tighter with redundant thoughts but generally holds attention all the way through. Would like to hear from one of the players or a parent. Second Place - Burlington Hawk Eye John Gaines Comments: Good use of still and video. The sound inside the plane was good in that it showed the old technology and the images of the flyover was a nice touch too. Third Place - Sioux City Journal Justin Wan Comments: Grandparents are so touching. Video clips of daily life, food and games -- help show the story. Heart story. Graphics were helpful in telling the story. Left me wanting to know more.

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Second Place - Lake City GraphicAdvocate - Tyler Anderson Comments: Fun look at the players’ reactions to their new uniforms.

WEEKLY 2 - 10 ENTRIES First Place - Perry Chief - Allison Ullmann Comments: Strong photography and reporting components to this video. Stood out over the others. Second Place - Adel Dallas Co. News Allison Ullmann Comments: This video showed the sports component in a different light by interviewing the fans. Great idea. Third Place - Perry Chief - Allison Ullmann Comments: Really enjoyed the photography in this video and was able to get a good sense of the event.

WEEKLY 3 - 16 ENTRIES First Place - Waverly Newspapers Anelia Dimitrova Comments: What’s not to like about this? Tells a great human story. Well done. Second Place - Jefferson Herald Brandon Hurley Comments: Great job. Third Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen - Sara Konrad Baranowski Comments: Enjoyed watching this.

2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

Second Place - Eldridge North Scott Press Comments: Liked the large image format at the top. Appreciated the direct link to Public Notices.

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Katina Zentz Comments: Nice assortment of photos. well done. Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Shivansh Ahuja Comments: Nice variation of photos. good capture of action.

DAILY 2 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Davenport Quad-City Times - Kevin Schmidt Comments: The emotion and urgency on all of the faces and inclusion of a lot of different views and angles made this gallery stand out from the bunch. Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald - Nicki Kohl Comments: A respectful treatment of a very difficult event. Third Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald - Dave Kettering Comments: This entry stood out from among the sports entries for its judicious editing - not putting in too many photos.

WEEKLY 1 - 2 ENTRIES First Place - La Porte City ProgressReview - Michael Whittlesey Second Place - Allison Butler Co. Tribune-Journal - Bethany Carson, Chris Barragy

WEEKLY 3 - 7 ENTRIES First Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Matt Heinrichs Comments: Great emotions on the faces of the athletes! Second Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Matt Heinrichs Comments: This entry placed for its judicious editing - it had the fewest photos of all the entries and yet had the most variety as far as sports go, incorporating coaches and fans as well as athletes. Third Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Dave Petrick Comments: The number of photos in this entry needed to be pared down, or it might have placed higher. But there were some very nice shots.


BEST BLOG DAILY 1 - 1 ENTRIES First Place - Clinton Herald - Scott Levine

DAILY 2 - 4 ENTRIES First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - Mike Hlas Comments: In some posts, there are strong elements of a blog -- facts, linking, data a reader would want. The writing is strong. The author sometimes gathers information from various sources and quickly curates it for the reader. A good mix. I did struggle with understanding whether some posts were print articles posted here. That was not unusual in this category.

BEST PODCAST

WEEKLY 3 - 4 ENTRIES

DAILY 1 - 3 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 3 - 3 ENTRIES

First Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Seth Boyes Comments: Great idea, nice execution. Wonderful art.

First Place - Spencer Daily Reporter - Randy Cauthron, Nate Shaughnessy, TJ Murphy, Justin Thomas Comments: I don’t care about Iowa high school or college football. You made me care. These were chaotic but fun conversations.

First Place - Jefferson Herald Brandon Hurley Comments: Funny opener, strong voice for podcast, and mostly clear audio with nice ambient sounds. Insightful and personal interview.

Second Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Russ Mitchell Comments: Clear voice takes on timely issues. Third Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Doris Welle Comments: Enthusiastic voice with passion for live performance.

Second Place - Waterloo Courier - Melody Parker Comments: The posts are well written and would be of interest to a specialty reader. As with other entries, it was hard to determine whether these posts originally appeared in print.

DAILY 2 - 2 ENTRIES First Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald - Staff Comments: There are ups and downs - audio quality has improved, the episodes are long. But these podcasts also aren’t afraid to discuss big topics and take listeners along for the ride.

Second Place - Eldridge North Scott Press - Scott Campbell, Erin Gentz Comments: Interesting host with a high quality introduction leading to an insightful and personal interview. Needed a little more editing. Third Place - Tipton Conservative - Ryan Stonebraker Comments: Good idea and focus, but audio was spotty and threw me off.

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA DAILY 1 - 4 ENTRIES

DAILY 2 - 3 ENTRIES

First Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Comments: Effective use of social media is about more than followers, although the Messenger has seen a growth in followers over the past year. What’s impressive is the engagement this publication gets out of its posts, understanding how often to post and how is a keen skill. That’s where the Messenger shines.

First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: It was smart to highlight a couple of great Facebook posts. They had a great voice and great engagement. That voice doesn’t carry through on a daily basis or in a consistent fashion, I wish it did. The Gazette gets a high number of social interactions out of its posts. Finding ways to engage with readers is the key to social media success.

Second Place - Clinton Herald Comments: The Herald started January with a huge spike in social media engagement and has been able to capitalize on it. This publication is very consistent, leading to growth and reader engagement.

WEEKLY 1 - 5 ENTRIES WEEKLY 2 - 2 ENTRIES WEEKLY 3 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Dayton Leader Comments: Wow an impressive amount of social media coverage. Up to date and very informative. Many sub-menus on Facebook leading you to all kinds of places. Advertisements on Twitter. Nice job. Second Place - McGregor North Iowa Times Comments: A lot of coverage locally. Keep it up. Third Place - Greene Recorder Comments: Love the ice breaking video.

First Place - Akron Hometowner Comments: Strong use of social media for a cross-section of interests should make it appeal to a wide audience. Use of social media to let folks know about emergencies should help the community feel in the know. Second Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: Excellent cross promotion of the print edition by using the front-page image. Use of social media as with the Facebook post soliciting photos of costumes and pumpkins is a good avenue for making people feel like they’re part of the news.

First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Fun content. I liked the election night video, but I especially liked the Instagram video of Josh Harrell and @damon.struve fighting with light sabers! Second Place - Clear Lake Mirror Reporter Comments: Good mix of news and sports. I especially liked Matt Heinrichs presence on social media platforms. Third Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: Good stuff. The YouTube On Assignment with Anelia is what tipped the scale for me!

BEST MARKETING DAILY 1 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Second Place - Carroll Times Herald Third Place - Carroll Times Herald

DAILY 2 - 5 ENTRIES First Place - Sioux City Journal Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette

WEEKLY 1 - 8 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 7 ENTRIES WEEKLY 3 - 13 ENTRIES

First Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner

First Place - Akron Hometowner

Second Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Third Place - Ackley World Journal

Second Place - Akron Hometowner Third Place - Westside Observer

First Place - Iowa Falls TimesCitizen Comments: Very well done. Nice design of the advertisement. Second Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Great idea. Can see how this would generate a lot of interest. Third Place - Ida Grove County Courier Comments: A great campaign that benefits both the paper and schools.

2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

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BEST NEWS STORY DAILY 1 - 50 ENTRIES

DAILY 2 - 32 ENTRIES

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Julia Shanahan Comments: Great reporting. What a crime against humanity that people can’t afford to live because of greed! Stories like this need to be told, healthcare and drug companies need to stop putting profit over people!

First Place - Sioux City Journal Garrett Looker Comments: Wonderful narrative and sensitive treatment of this young woman’s life and death.

Second Place - Ames Tribune Robbie Sequeira Comments: “Be Kind: Because everyone you look at, there’s something going on in their world, so just be kind. It costs nothing, Angela said”, Wow, powerful story and message! I hope stories like these help end stigma for these families who are already grieving and questioning and don’t need our judgment.

Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - B.A. Morelli Comments: Closed meetings are never good, and this story brought them into the light. Third Place - Des Moines Register - Jason Clayworth, Luke Nozicka Comments: Bringing an issue often hidden from the public into the forefront earned this entry a spot in the awards.

WEEKLY 1 - 15 ENTRIES WEEKLY 2 - 36 ENTRIES WEEKLY 3 - 36 ENTRIES First Place - Corydon Wayne County Independent - Jason Selby Comments: 103 year old good reporting, good background to provide information, broken up with quotes to support or add to the information. International story has local tie. Excellent. Second Place - Eagle Grove Eagle - Les Houser Comments: Cop camera just curious, why is the sports editor writing this story. Second, good job. Background supports why the need and quotes provide the explanation of what happened and why. Third Place - Eagle Grove Eagle - Kim Demory Comments: Breaking through -- good complementary stories showing the two sides. Good background, good quotes (be careful with quotes that are too long and take over story), leads are simple but inviting, and simple conclusions.

Third Place - Newton Daily News - Christopher Braunschweig Comments: Great article, love to see as front page news. People helping people instead of building walls. We are all people at the end of the day and it made my day to see a well written article about human kindness.

First Place - Centerville Daily Iowegian - Kyle Ocker, Colin Peters Comments: What amazing, in-depth reporting. From the details to the timeline to the impact, this story covers all the bases. Wonderful work.

First Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Russ Mitchell Comments: A very well written and interesting story showing that the difficulty that the justice system has when dealing with mental health.

Second Place - Hartley SentinelNews - Nicholas Pedley Comments: A beautiful story about a community torn apart.

Second Place - Eldridge North Scott Press - Mark Ridolfi Comments: An interesting story. Hopefully this young man will get the help he needs.

Third Place - Vinton Newspapers - Morgan McMullen Comments: Most people wouldn’t think you could write an amazing story about a bricklaying competition. Those people haven’t met Morgan McMullen. Great work.

Third Place - Kalona News - Jim Johnson Comments: A very detailed story documenting how special needs children can slip through the cracks

BEST BREAKING NEWS STORY DAILY 1 - 22 ENTRIES

DAILY 2 - 22 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 7 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 3 - 19 ENTRIES

First Place - Carroll Times Herald Annie Mehl, Jared Strong, Rebecca McKinsey Comments: Multiple sources and clear, concise prose distinguish this entry. The human element threads its way through the story and gives it strength and credibility. Ten photos enhance the storytelling.

First Place - Des Moines Register - Anna Spoerre

First Place - Sheldon Mail-Sun - Ty Rushing Comments: Lots of information on identifying corpses, but didn’t address whether the body appeared to have suffered any violence, like blunt force trauma to the head or gunshot wounds. Had there been any missing persons reported in the area?

First Place - Kalona News - Jim Johnson Comments: Outstanding coverage of the aftermath of a tornado. Great writing and reporting and photography. Interviews with a nice variety of affected citizens.

Second Place - Ames Tribune - Michael Crumb Comments: This reporter created his own luck by racing to a fire at a familyowned ice cream parlor. By doing so, he scored an interview with the devastated owner and took his own compelling photographs. Third Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Elijah Decious Comments: Swift action by the photographer to establish presence and capture peak-action photos of a rooftop fire at a prison. Thorough reporting.

Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Kat Russell Third Place - Sioux City Journal - Mason Dockter

WEEKLY 1 - 7 ENTRIES First Place - West Branch Times Gregory Norfleet Comments: Well written story describing how this community came together to help stranded motorists. Running the inside photo on the front with this story would have made the package even stronger. Second Place - Dayton Leader - Kendra Breitsprecher Comments: Good play-by-play of how this event unfolded and the effect on the town. Good use of supporting photos Third Place - Hawarden Independent/ Ireton Examiner - Katie Anderson Comments: Good breaking news story. It told what happened, how it started and what happened to the people involved. Watch those typos in cutlines - been there, done that.

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2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

Second Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune - Dana Larsen Comments: Who was the director and how long has she been there? There were several references to the director, but no name. Third Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Dana Larsen Comments: Interesting story.

Second Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Seth Boyes Comments: Great coverage of a man’s survival in ice and his rescue. Many heart-warming and compelling quotes. Third Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Seth Boyes Comments: Good coverage of opinions on both sides of a heated animal cruelty case that caught renewed fire when it hit Facebook.


BEST PERSONALITY FEATURE STORY

BEST NEWS FEATURE STORY DAILY 1 - 56 ENTRIES

DAILY 1 - 48 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 30 ENTRIES

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Kit Fitzgerald Comments: Great opening, well organized, smart writing, great use of quotes, well paced, the total package

First Place - Lake City Graphic-Advocate - Tyler Anderson Comments: Wonderfully unique story! Loved the graphics and photos. Great storytelling.

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Julia Shanahan

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Jordan Zuniga Comments: Makes a sports profile appealing to the masses without alienating readers with basketball terminology. The writer clearly spent time/did excellent job interviewing sources before putting pen to paper.

Second Place - Ackley World Journal - Becky Schipper Comments: This story really describes how Mr. Bear developed this hobby and the many ways he expanded on a childhood collection. Ms. Schipper’s story let me visualize the Bears’ house and all that it contains.

Third Place - Fort Dodge Messenger - Hans Madsen

Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Katelyn Weisbrod Comments: The lede: Elliot Stalter spent his semester picking up dead birds. Enough said!

Third Place - Eagle Grove Eagle - Kim Demory Comments: A unique story about a girl who took a negative and turned it into a positive. Very inspiring.

DAILY 2 - 32 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 41 ENTRIES

First Place - Des Moines Register - Tyler Davis Comments: What an unbelievably difficult category to judge! There were so many well-written and interesting features, but this saga of a soldier and Purple Heart recipient heading to prison stood out among the others. The research, the interviews with extended family members, VA officials and counselors and the rawness of it all shed light on such an important topic among today’s service members. Incredible job! Thanks for including info on how veterans can get help.

First Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune - Dana Larsen Comments: This story addressed a serious issue that is little discussed. The writer captured the person and the topic in a compelling way that, I have no doubt, captured readers’ attention, raised awareness and sparked discussion. One can ask for no more from a story in this category.

Second Place - Des Moines Register - Mike Kilen Comments: Wow! What a profile on Gov. Reynolds. I felt like I knew her life story and then some after reading this in-depth profile that looked at every aspect of her life. I would say the same thing about this story as someone said about the governor, it is truly Iowa nice. Third Place - Davenport Quad-City Times - Barb Ickes Comments: I could have placed half a dozen stories from this category in the third-place slot; there were so many well-done submissions, especially from the Quad-City Times and Cedar Rapids Gazette. This one, about Trudy Appleby’s uncle working to help other families with missing loved ones, pulled me in from the lead and held my interest throughout. We’ve all written, and read, stories about the impact such tragedies have on people, but this one was really well done.

Second Place - Hartley Sentinel-News - Nicholas Pedley Comments: This is a well-written story about the trials, tribulations and triumphs of a small child. The writer did not an excellent job of telling the story that caught the emotion while also clearly explaining what the child has had to overcome. Third Place - Hampton Chronicle - Greg Forbes Comments: Story lived up to the headline and was a compelling read about a hopeful seeking his chance to shine.

WEEKLY 3 - 43 ENTRIES First Place - Jefferson Herald - Andrew McGinn Comments: Riveting story that dug really deep. Second Place - Jefferson Herald - Andrew McGinn Comments: Fascinating story, well presented. Third Place - Dyersville Commercial - Mike Putz Comments: Interesting slice of life, well written.

BEST SPORTS STORY DAILY 1 - 44 ENTRIES First Place - Ames Tribune - Dylan Montz Second Place - Webster City Daily FreemanJournal - Troy Banning Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Adam Hensley

DAILY 2 - 26 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register - Cody Goodwin Comments: Well-balanced and well-researched story on an important topic. Second Place - Waterloo Courier - Jim Nelson, Doug Newhoff, Nick Petaros Comments: Another insightful and in-depth look at a significant subject and its potential impact. A good read Third Place - Des Moines Register - Cody Goodwin Comments: Captured well what this program means to the community.

WEEKLY 1 - 12 ENTRIES First Place - Allison Butler Co. Tribune-Journal Kristi Nixon Second Place - Ackley World Journal - Corey Meints Third Place - Clarksville Star - Kristi Nixon

WEEKLY 2 - 21 ENTRIES First Place - Riceville Monitor Recorder - Casandra Leff Comments: A well-written entry that included both the results of the tournament coupled with the in-depth back story. Second Place - Corydon Times-Republican - Jen Reed Comments: Good reporting in this entry from the side of the public schools. It borders on a column/ opinion piece or blog as opposed to a story. Reporting could have included the position of the private schools. Third Place - Hampton Chronicle - Kristi Nixon Comments: A good solid story.

WEEKLY 3 - 36 ENTRIES First Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Matt Heinrichs Second Place - Waverly Newspapers - Riley Cole Third Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review - Jacob Hall

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Brooklyn Draisey

DAILY 2 - 29 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register - Courtney Crowder Comments: Amazing story. Fantastic job of writing about a horrible ordeal in a way that was just shy of unbearable, allowing the reader to understand the horror of the victim’s experience without being overwhelmed by it. Great job reporting the details of the accused's past as well as the problem with the cottage food law. If this story doesn’t change those rules, nothing will. Superb. Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - B.A. Morelli Comments: I love this story so much. Nonjudgmental but doesn’t hold back on the complexity of homelessness. How fortunate you were to find someone as open as Ghost to maybe help people understand what it’s like to struggle with homelessness and drug addiction. You opened a window to a world to which few readers have access. Very well done. Third Place - Davenport Quad-City Times - Barb Ickes Comments: Wow! Very cool story. Nice job explaining difficult building concepts in a way that is easy to understand. Very relatable details about the workers’ personal stories. Fascinating story that exhibits the complexity and dignity of blue collar work that is essential to modern-day life. Outstanding reporting and writing.

WEEKLY 1 - 29 ENTRIES First Place - West Branch Times - Gregory Norfleet Comments: This story starts with a fun lede, told the full story and kept my interest until the end. Also, excellent writing. Second Place - La Porte City Progress-Review - Michael Whittlesey Comments: The jarring lede was perfect for this story. Our high school does something similar each year before prom and I think it makes a difference, as your piece said seeing an accident scene changes your perspective. Very solid writing. Third Place - Clarksville Star - Bethany Carson Comments: This was a very interesting story, especially in a year when DNA was also used to catch the Golden State Killer. Great writing and use of quotes. It’s a shame it was after his death but at least the family is together now.

WEEKLY 2 - 44 ENTRIES First Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter - Jessica Jensen Comments: This story timely dealt with a difficult subject, providing information that any reader could draw on to find help or get help for a family member of friend. Second Place - Riceville Monitor Recorder - Casandra Leff Comments: Wow. What a family. I judged it second because readers would have benefited from a bit more info on how to become foster or adoptive parents, but it was a good read. Third Place - Pella Chronicle - Emily Hawk Comments: D-Day became much more personal for readers as they learned about a hometown hero taking part in this giant invasion. I was caught up, and I believe that young and old in the community gained an appreciation for what took place 75 years ago.

WEEKLY 3 - 42 ENTRIES First Place - Harlan Newspapers - Bob Bjoin Comments: Excellent package of an issue that obviously affected numerous individuals and an entire community. I applaud including the information on how the report emerged and developed. You served your community well. Second Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Russ Mitchell Comments: A compelling article about an issue of critical importance. Third Place - DeWitt Observer - Staff Comments: This article drew the reader in from the beginning and educated her through a well-done narrative. 2020 IOWA BETTER NEWSPAPER CONTESTS

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BEST CONTINUING COVERAGE DAILY 1 - 10 ENTRIES First Place - Clinton Herald - Staff Comments: Sweeping coverage following the death and critical injury of two firefighters. Newspaper staff members swarmed the angles to capture the community’s grief. Second Place - Ottumwa Courier - Matt Milner Comments: Impressive watchdog journalism and pull-nopunches editorials that held public officials accountable. The newspaper stood firm when attacked by city officials. Third Place - Fort Dodge Messenger - Eric Pratt, Chris Johnson, Britt Kudla Comments: Compelling stories document the journey of an 18-year-old cancer patient. The story hit home with readers and a Major League Baseball player -- himself a cancer survivor.

DAILY 2 - 6 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register - Kim Norvell Comments: Nothing better than smash-mouth watchdog journalism, and this series delivers the goods. Exhaustive and tenacious reporting that includes the use of private and public records that exposes public corruption. The series led to tangible results -- resignations and criminal charges. A true community service. Bravo. Second Place - Davenport Quad-City Times - Staff Comments: Remarkable flood coverage that swarmed all the angles with stories, photos, art and multimedia. Human elements take center stage. Nice touches with vignettes and a quiz. Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - Vanessa Miller Comments: Clean and detailed reporting is what distinguishes this series of articles about the legal battle between the University Of Iowa and construction contractors.

BEST SPORTS FEATURE DAILY 1 - 50 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 20 ENTRIES

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - David Harmantas Comments: Makes you feel like you know the subject and person more after reading.

First Place - West Branch Times - Gregory Norfleet Comments: Well written piece. Enjoyed it. Great flow. Awesome lead. Clear, concise writing.

Second Place - Ames Tribune - Hayes Gardner Comments: Really cool way to incorporate data and history to a modern piece. Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Brooklyn Draisey Comments: Beautiful tribute.

DAILY 2 - 28 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register - Chad Leistikow Comments: This story captured the uncertainty of sports. A star athlete has his promising career ended by injury. The writer’s ability to bring out his subject’s resilience and character made for a great story. Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Tim O’Neill Comments: Great piece about a key member of any sports team, and one that rarely gets notice on the sports pages. Well done. Third Place - Des Moines Register - Daniel Finney Comments: Well written and a great story subject. It certainly brought home to readers the impact of Title IX on women’s sports.

Second Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Katie Anderson Comments: Great story. A little confusing at the beginning, but a very nice story. Third Place - Greene Recorder - Ross Hawker Comments: Good lead, nice flow. Just the right amount of info.

WEEKLY 2 - 18 ENTRIES First Place - Sergeant Bluff Advocate - Wayne Dominowski Second Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter - Nathan Broek Third Place - Hampton Chronicle - Kristi Nixon

WEEKLY 3 - 26 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen - Marissa VanWingen Comments: Nice job of personalizing the subject’s experience. The beginning contrasted her emotions well and led right into her full story. Second Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen - Justin Ites Comments: It can be a challenge sometimes presenting multiple viewpoints from the same subject when the subject is focused on three people. But this story does a good job of balancing all their voices. Third Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen - Corey Meints Comments: Sweet story about two brothers who share a common bond without letting their physical differences stand in the way. The story captured how much they enjoy each other.

WEEKLY 1 - 4 ENTRIES First Place - McGregor North Iowa Times - Audrey Posten Comments: Demonstrated well the vitality of the river to this community’s daily life and commerce. Good variety of photography (the mix of people and local landmarks affected by flooding). Second Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Katie Anderson Comments: Good ongoing coverage of a community project (collecting pop tops to benefit a charity), including a nice contribution from the student newspaper.

WEEKLY 2 - 2 ENTRIES First Place - Hartley Sentinel-News - Nicholas Pedley Comments: Series kept residents informed about the struggles this school district was facing and helped them understand why the status quo could not be maintained. Second Place - Hampton Chronicle - Greg Forbes Comments: This series should have made everyone proud of the students who engaged in the culinary competition. The one piece that I felt was missing was a better explanation of the dishes and what the students did to prepare them.

WEEKLY 3 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Eldridge North Scott Press - Mark Ridolfi Comments: Great reporting. The paper’s thoughtful treatment of a juvenile offender no doubt helped this reporter gain access to the child’s mother, enabling the paper to shed as much light as possible on a very traumatic event for this school and the entire community. The column about the teachers’ “praiseworthy” (unfathomably) evenkeeled response was spot on. Superb coverage. Second Place - Maquoketa Sentinel-Press - Staff Comments: Impressive, dogged effort to shed light on misdeeds by not one but two sheriff’s departments. Great use of public records requests. Well written and good use of timelines to make sense of a complicated series of events. Excellent! Third Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Russ Mitchell Comments: Heartbreaking story but one the community absolutely had to be informed about. First story was especially strong, capturing the boy’s inhumane treatment in a very gripping way. Well done. 16

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EXCELLENCE IN EDITORIAL WRITING DAILY 1 - 9 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 8 ENTRIES

First Place - Ottumwa Courier - Matt Milner Comments: Well-written, well-stated opinion pieces. Nicely done!

First Place - Bloomfield Democrat - Karen Spurgeon Comments: The author has a mix of watchdog editorial writing and reflections on why the work of journalism matters for our communities, and the arguments are understandable and relatable. Particularly the editorial about public access to an appointment process is exactly what a community paper should be doing with real estate under the banner of its editorial voice. The piece is an advocate for its community, as it should be. This editorial, especially, set this entry apart.

Second Place - Fort Dodge Messenger - Bill Shea Comments: Good topics and well-presented, if a bit on the short side. Third Place - Spencer Daily Reporter - Paula Buenger Comments: Columns on shootings and Steve King are very effective and well-written.

DAILY 2 - 7 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register - Andie Dominick Comments: Powerful, well argued. Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald - Brian Cooper, Amy Gilligan Comments: Important work, essential that someone is watching and calling officials out Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - Todd Dorman Comments: Holds government accountable, essential work.

WEEKLY 1 - 4 ENTRIES First Place - West Branch Times - Gregory Norfleet Comments: The West Branch Times provides three editorials that are all on education issues. Well done and nicely presented.

Second Place - Hartley Sentinel-News - Nicholas Pedley Comments: These related editorials are a rallying voice on an important local issue, and they give the reader an idea that the author had thoughtfully identified aspects of the issue that should be considered. This is a strong local voice for its community. Third Place - Hartley Sentinel-News - Nicholas Pedley Comments: I’ve read a number of works about redistricting, but never quite like this. This editorial, among other well written works, gives readers perspective about a larger issue through the lens of Iowa, which has a redistricting system that seems to work. This is in the greater public interest and the specific interest of locals all at once.

WEEKLY 3 - 10 ENTRIES First Place - Eldridge North Scott Press - Bill Tubbs Comments: Author goes far beyond good writing and intelligent commentary by relating local to national issues where relevant. Second Place - Eldridge North Scott Press - Mark Ridolfi Comments: Great clarity, respect for the reader. Wonderful writer. Third Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen - Sara Konrad Baranowski Comments: Well written, thoughtful.


BEST SERIES DAILY 1 - 15 ENTRIES First Place - Clinton Herald Charlene Bielema Comments: Nice personal story that could be told of any of the young men that took place in that infamous battle. Second Place - Spencer Daily Reporter - Staff Comments: An in-depth and thorough look at this very important topic. Third Place - Spencer Daily Reporter - Colin Van Westen Comments: A nice personal story to highlight the commitment of our veterans.

DAILY 2 - 13 ENTRIES First Place - Sioux City Journal Dolly Butz, Justin Wan Comments: The personal stories were very compelling. Nice job meshing the issue of grandparents raising grandchildren with the related issue of drug addiction, but noting there are families in other situations as well. Second Place - Des Moines Register - Jason Clayworth Comments: Great job getting interviews on an extremely difficult topic. Third Place - Des Moines Register - Lee Rood Comments: Thorough coverage from all angles - courts, business owners, government and more.

WEEKLY 1 - 10 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 9 ENTRIES

First Place - La Porte City Progress-Review - Michael Whittlesey Comments: A tremendous amount of research and information about a subject most people don’t want to hear about. The graphics and other sidebars really added to the package. What would have put it over the top would have been a first person account of someone who had been released and their efforts to get his or her life back together. However, finding a person willing to speak publicly about that is the trick. Second Place - New Sharon Sun - RD Keep Comments: An rare opportunity to record that piece of history from those who were there. Third Place - Eagle Grove Eagle - Kim Demory Comments: An unfortunate story for the superintendent and his family, but the reporter did a thorough job reporting the details about what it’s like to have your house burn down. The reporter did an excellent job getting the family to share the details of what must have been a terribly stressful experience.

First Place - Storm Lake PilotTribune - Dana Larsen Comments: Excellent writing about educational issues that are often underreported. Second Place - Sully Hometown Press - Deb Johnson, Jessica Maston Comments: Strong writing, interesting stories, good art and photography and layout. Third Place - Eldora Newspapers - Robert Maharry Comments: An insightful and in-depth look at a troubled community institution.

WEEKLY 3 - 4 ENTRIES First Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News - Russ Mitchell Comments: Reporter does a good job of putting one family’s anguish in the context of an inadequate mental health system. The legal side of the story is especially interesting.

DAILY 1 - 9 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 6 ENTRIES

First Place - Fort Dodge Messenger - Eric Pratt Comments: Pratt is an insightful writer with wonderful tributes to those in sports.

First Place - Bloomfield Democrat - Scott Spurgeon Comments: Thoughtful columns on significant issues.

Third Place - Ames Tribune - Travis Hines Comments: Well-researched and informed columns.

DAILY 2 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - Mike Hlas Comments: Great writing throughout. This is a columnist that even non-sports fans can relate to. Second Place - Davenport Quad-City Times - Don Doxsie Comments: This writer made me think, which is what a good columnist does. Third Place - Des Moines Register - Randy Peterson Comments: Good pieces focusing on local issues and personalities. Held my interest.

WEEKLY 1 - 4 ENTRIES First Place - Prairie City PCM Explorer - Troy Hyde Comments: “This & That” is a nice column that explores the human side of local sports and gives the author a platform for commentary. Nicely done!

DAILY 1 - 14 ENTRIES First Place - Mason City Globe Gazette - Jaci Smith Comments: Enjoyed every inch of Jaci’s columns. Second Place - Oelwein Register - Chris Baldus Third Place - Carroll Times Herald - Douglas Burns

DAILY 2 - 16 ENTRIES First Place - Sioux City Journal - Nick Hytrek Comments: In a category full of strong writing, Nick Hytrek’s work combined outstanding readability with broad-appeal topics. Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - Adam Sullivan Comments: I found Adam Sullivan to be very good at unpacking thorny issues. Third Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald - Amy Gilligan Comments: The lighthearted tone of Amy Gilligan’s was a nice counterpoint to all the hard news in this category, but her columns also included a good takeaway message.

WEEKLY 1 - 7 ENTRIES First Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Katie Anderson Second Place - Manilla Times - Janine Kock Third Place - Dayton Leader - Kendra Breitsprecher

WEEKLY 2 - 17 ENTRIES First Place - Bloomfield Democrat - Randy Evans Comments: His opinions backed up with factual information. The columns made me interested and I don't live in Iowa. Makes you think about certain issues in different ways. Second Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune - Dana Larsen Comments: Uses irony effectively and gives advice without seeming judgmental or preachy. Good sense of humor.

BEST SPORTS COLUMNIST

Second Place - Clinton Herald - Staff Comments: Kuehn is an eloquent writer who can convince even someone uninterested in sports to attend a game.

MASTER COLUMNIST

Second Place - Vinton Newspapers - Morgan McMullen Comments: Good first-person columns about a sports editor from Florida adjusting to Iowa. Third Place - Audubon County Advocate Journal Austin Heinen Comments: Author has a distinct voice and approaches writing a column like a sports-radio rant.

WEEKLY 3 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review - Scott Byers Comments: Good variety. Really liked the golf column. It was fun to read. Second Place - Jefferson Herald - Brandon Hurley Comments: Good job in capturing what Nick Nurse means to that community. Nice entries across the board Third Place - DeWitt Observer - Ross Eberhart Comments: Some humorous stories we all can relate to in so form. They were told in a light, airy way.

Third Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune - Mick Polich Comments: Interesting topics, especially liked the one on Thomas Jefferson’s bible.

WEEKLY 3 - 17 ENTRIES First Place - Eldridge North Scott Press - Mark Ridolfi Comments: The writing, structure, approach, etc., is simply flawless. I can away from each column with an understanding of the author, an issue or perspective through that strong lens, and wishing I could read more columns. The auditing column is local with a muscular point of view. Chops, logic, reporting. That’s the hat trick of this thing we do. The pot column has a simple approach in its juxtaposition, but the execution is spot on. And the emergency center column, which is the kind of column that might bore me, is just great. Tells the story, shows the illogic, facts, government foolishness and the close driving home the impediment to a story that should have been told. Great kicker. Any newspaper would be lucky to publish this sort of work. Second Place - Dyersville Commercial - Mike Putz Comments: The Hall of Fame memories column was a wonderful bit of storytelling, reflection and structure stitched together with clean writing. What a wonderful story in this author’s clear voice, and the concluding lines took the column to a special place that was bigger than sport, that reflects how the great memories are sometimes along a road we don’t even know we’re traveling. There are two social media columns that round out the package, and both are strong in different ways, using humor and wonderful lines. This author has a real voice and can write funny. It might have been nice to see more local issues or other voices revealed through the writing, but the perspective and writing were strong and consistent in the work. Third Place - Sioux Center News - Renee Wielenga Comments: This author impressed with topic selection and approach, as well as deft touches in the writing. The initial column about first and second children made what might have been a pedestrian column in someone else’s hands interesting through concrete details, a nice and simple turn in the middle and a strong close. The author addresses loss wonderfully in a column that might not have worked without discipline and craft. This was a very close category, but this author wrote stories I wasn’t sure others could tell with care. Writing like this promises more great writing to come. This is writing about being a print with real grace.

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BEST NEWS PHOTO DAILY 1 - 31 ENTRIES First Place - Clinton Herald - Winona Whitaker Comments: The writer of this article accompanying this photo had this as the lede: “On a snowy day in January, a family laid to rest a son, a husband, a father. They weren’t alone.” The photograph captures the crowd on that blustery day honoring a fallen firefighter. The ceremony and the photo are moving tributes. Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Roman Slabach Comments: The decision to submit this in grayscale was bold. We often see shots of the air ambulances taken off, but we typically don’t see the people at the controls. Third Place - Fort Dodge Messenger - Hans Madsen Comments: Birthday Diva, meet Future Diva. The kindergartner’s pose in the background completely steals this shot.

DAILY 2 - 34 ENTRIES First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - Rebecca Miller Comments: Touching photo of a real connection. Second Place - Des Moines Register - Kelsey Kremer Comments: Says it all from every angle. Third Place - Des Moines Register - Brian Powers Comments: Captures their personality.

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WEEKLY 1 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Gowrie News - Julie Vinsand Comments: This photo immediately made me say, “Wow.” Your eye is immediately drawn to the melting pieces of flag and flames. I do think it helped tell the story, however, I wish it was more predominantly displayed on the page. Second Place - Clarksville Star - Bethany Carson Comments: Your eye is immediately drawn to the curve in the building as it’s knocked down. It helps tell the story of Main Street buildings being torn down. However, the people standing taking cell phone photos in the right hand corner are distracting from the image and make me think that the photographer could have gotten closer for an even more impactful image. Third Place - Gowrie News - Tonya Harrison Comments: Nice in motion shot that is displayed well around the story which helps draw the eye. However, the photo seems a little posed.

WEEKLY 2 - 19 ENTRIES

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First Place - Bloomfield Democrat - Scott Spurgeon Comments: The fire in the left of the photo and the people running on the right and foreground show the confusion. Really good shot! Second Place - Bloomfield Democrat - Scott Spurgeon Comments: Wow. I couldn’t do this job. Really shows how much they go through to keep the power on! Third Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune - Dana Larsen Comments: Moving photo.

WEEKLY 3 - 21 ENTRIES First Place - Indianola Record-Herald & Tribune - Michael Rolands Comments: Great composition. Shooting from the backs of the people doing the burn gives an ominous feel yet one that shows they are watching their hard work pay off. Second Place - Indianola Record-Herald & Tribune - Michael Rolands Comments: Great contrast and composition. The glow of the burn with the silhouetted images create a dramatic effect. Third Place - DeWitt Observer - Nick Joos Comments: Good composition. Good visual impact and color.

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BEST BREAKING NEWS PHOTO DAILY 1 - 21 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 9 ENTRIES

First Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Elijah Decious Comments: From the man in the foreground throwing his hands up in despair, dropping a bag, to the officer lightly putting his hand on the arm of the agitated man in the foreground, this photo captured the volatility and despair the moment a tragedy hit home.

First Place - Akron Hometowner - Frank Schuller Comments: Location, location, location--all three help create a good breaking news photo! But staying calm when there was a little explosion--that’s the real deal. Really great photo!

Second Place - Iowa City Press-Citizen Joseph Cress Comments: The amount of devastation is jarring at first -- the shredded insulation, the snapped trees, the twisted bed frame. What stands out the most is the number of people still helping even as the sun sinks. Third Place - Carroll Times Herald Jared Strong Comments: This night shot of a home being destroyed by fire is striking. The silhouetted portions of the building that managed to not yet burn nearly evokes an art installation.

DAILY 2 - 25 ENTRIES First Place - Burlington Hawk Eye - John Lovretta Comments: Great composition and bokeh. Nice juxtaposition of tough and tender but which is which? Second Place - Burlington Hawk Eye John Gaines Comments: Great composition, it takes your eye right thru the danger of the curve Third Place - Des Moines Register Brian Powers Comments: Nice composition and lighting, I can hear the rain falling.

WEEKLY 1 - 1 ENTRIES

Second Place - Sergeant Bluff Advocate Wayne Dominowski Comments: Great photo of flames and black smoke from the truck. Told the story well! Third Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Dana Larsen Comments: Wow those flames. I’m sure you were far enough away to be safe but doesn’t seem like it. It really puts you right in the thick of firefighting. Great job.

WEEKLY 3 - 19 ENTRIES First Place - Kalona News - Jim Johnson Comments: This photo illustrates how much power a tornado has even with a moderate category. The overturned tractor in the foreground shows how much worse this could have been.

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Second Place - Clear Lake Mirror Reporter - Chris Barragy Comments: This photographer was in the right place in the right time. The wreck itself largely is obscured, but the ice, emergency vehicles and the helicopter taking off as the sun sets displays the gravity of the situation. Third Place - Eldridge North Scott Press - Scott Campbell Comments: The sense of urgency is apparent in this photo from the look of determination on the floodfighter’s face to his pushed-up but soaked sleeve.

First Place - Jewell South Hamilton Record-News - Scott Ervin Comments: Great photo! I’ve never seen a fire fought like that.

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BEST SPORTS PHOTO DAILY 1 - 43 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 29 ENTRIES

First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Ryan Adams Comments: The top three choices in this category were all a tie in my opinion but ultimately I chose this entry as first place because it did capture the moment spectacularly as the swimmer pushes off of into the pool.

First Place - Bloomfield Democrat Scott Spurgeon Comments: I really like the look on the shortstop’s face as his teammate tags out the runner. It’s a well-executed action shot in a category with quite a few of them.

Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Shivansh Ahuja Comments: Again, a solid winner in my book as the photographer captures the gymnast in mid-air. Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Shivansh Ahuja Comments: Third place was also a very strong contender as you can feel the sand almost shooting into the lens of the camera.

DAILY 2 - 35 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register Bryon Houlgrave Comments: Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald - Eileen Meslar Comments: Love the shadow and the flying dirt/snow. Great “get.” Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - Jim Slosiarek Comments: Great facial expression captured.

WEEKLY 1 - 31 ENTRIES First Place - Gowrie News - Julie Vinsand Comments: This photo is perfectly framed with the silo and corn field in the back ground. It is also great to see cheerleading recognized as the physical sport it is. Great job at catching the moment “on film”

Second Place - Centerville Daily Iowegian - Kyle Ocker Comments: This is an interesting photo and it’s well done, but the action, to me, isn’t central to the feeling it conveys. The slumping kids in the dugout make me feel like this is a game everyone is so ready to be over. Third Place - Sergeant Bluff Advocate Sean Kvidera Comments: The blades of grass and the loose sunglasses, as well as the airborne ball, all illustrate the effort the outfielder expended in his effort to catch the ball. Really a nice shot.

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WEEKLY 3 - 44 ENTRIES First Place - Harlan Newspapers - Mike Oeffner Comments: This photo puts the reader right at the center of the action and the emotion of the victor in the race. Second Place - Harlan Newspapers Mike Oeffner Comments: What a catch! By both the player and the photographer. It took great skill for each to preserve this moment in time.

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Third Place - Denison Newspapers Todd Danner Comments: Timing is everything and the photographer captured this face ball at just the right moment.

Second Place - Gowrie News - Julie Vinsand Comments: I love the moment of captured time. The fact you can see the grass and dirt flying. great capture. Third Place - Greene Recorder - Ross Hawker Comments: The facial expression is what does it with this photo. The capture of emotion and concentration is outstanding.

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BEST SPORTS FEATURE PHOTO DAILY 1 - 41 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 19 ENTRIES

First Place - Mason City Globe Gazette Chris Zoeller Comments: Photo really puts you at the scene. Eye-catching.

First Place - Knoxville Journal-Express Ryan Northcote Comments: Great moment captured with a nice range of color and strong composition. Good decision to take the image from the side instead of head on. It allowed the participants to be seen instead of being blocked out by the chalk.

Second Place - Webster City Daily Freeman-Journal - Troy Banning Comments: Great emotions perfectly timed shot.

and

Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Nick Rohlman Comments: Great photo.

DAILY 2 - 31 ENTRIES First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - Liz Martin Comments: I like the energy of this photo. The timing of the shot is great. The look on the athletes face adds to the photo. Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Jim Slosiarek Comments: The dramatic lighting and silhouette of the athletes makes this a very interesting photo. Third Place - Des Moines Register Bryon Houlgrave Comments: The energy of this shot is great. The angle of the players creates a great composition. The layering on of players also adds to the effect of the photo.

WEEKLY 1 - 11 ENTRIES First Place - Lake City Graphic-Advocate - Tyler Anderson Second Place - Lake City GraphicAdvocate - Tyler Anderson

Second Place - Centerville Daily Iowegian - Kyle Ocker Comments: Thoughtfully taken image framed by the shoulders of teammates on either side of the image. Good contrast and ambiance with the foreground and background. Third Place - Adel Dallas Co. News Andrew Brown Comments: Great narrow depth of field and composition all while managing to capture the moment. Overall a very strong image.

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WEEKLY 3 - 29 ENTRIES First Place - Dyersville Commercial Don Zieser Comments: Wonderful reaction shot with the one coach seen in full extension. That really jumped out at me. It captures his full expression. Second Place - Indianola Record-Herald & Tribune - Michael Rolands Comments: A nice break from the action with a shot of a spontaneous moment. Third Place - Indianola Record-Herald & Tribune - Michael Rolands Comments: Shows well the broad range of emotions in this celebration.

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Third Place - Jewell South Hamilton Record-News - Scott Ervin

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BEST NEWS FEATURE PHOTO DAILY 1 - 37 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan - Katina Zentz Comments: The lighting added a depth to this photo. This photo shows that the golden-hour memory made at Molly’s Cupcakes is more important than the barely discernible treat on the table. Second Place - Oelwein Register - Deb Kunkle Comments: Lucille’s look at Merlin shows that she had thought for many years about them sitting together after more than 70 years of marriage. Third Place - Newton Daily News - Christopher Braunschweig Comments: The mic isn’t real. The singing isn’t real. The guitar isn’t real. But this photo captures authentic fun and excitement.

DAILY 2 - 35 ENTRIES First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette - Jim Slosiarek Comments: Goats, you can’t beat the goats. The composition and clarity of this photo is great. I just love this photo. Second Place - Burlington Hawk Eye - John Lovretta Comments: A precious moment captured so perfectly.

D1

Third Place - Davenport Quad-City Times - John Schultz Comments: Wow, what a shot. Frozen action perfectly done.

WEEKLY 1 - 22 ENTRIES First Place - Ackley World Journal - Becky Schipper Comments: I liked the reflection and the colors of it. It made you really look at it to figure out it was a turtle. Second Place - Ackley World Journal - Corey Meints Comments: The photo captures the poignancy between two generations. Third Place - Prairie City PCM Explorer - Christopher Braunschweig Comments: It’s a very specific moment to photograph the frog jumping at that height. And the kid’s facial expression was great.

WEEKLY 2 - 24 ENTRIES First Place - Lake Mills Graphic - Sherylee Gasper Comments: Great expressions on the dancers’ faces. Looks like they were just given a great secret!

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Second Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune - Dana Larsen Comments: Photo illustrates the story perfectly. Dory seems quite pleased to be the center of attention. Third Place - Adel Dallas Co. News - Allison Ullmann Comments: Very nice photo with determination on the competitor’s face.

WEEKLY 3 - 38 ENTRIES First Place - DeWitt Observer - Brooke Taylor Second Place - Denison Newspapers - Gordon Wolf Third Place - DeWitt Observer - Kate Howes

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BEST PHOTO STORY DAILY 1 - 22 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 1 - 10 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 15 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 3 - 17 ENTRIES

First Place - Carroll Times Herald - Jared Strong Comments: Great display of multiple elements of the event. The emotion is dripping from the page. I love the combination of detail photos and long shots, as well as serious and lighter content.

First Place - Jewell South Hamilton Record-News - Scott Ervin Comments: This was a close call because the top three entries all seemed to accurately and thoroughly capture the event they were covering. These fire shots, collectively, created a stronger overall entry. I just wish they could have run larger on the page.

First Place - Bloomfield Democrat - Scott Spurgeon Comments: The page seemed to give off heat. The photo at the top of the page was incredible. The rest of the photos conveyed the scope and destruction of the fire. Two of the photos were a little too similar. I’d have liked another midsize photo on the page to provide some size variety. Other than that, this was the clear winner in this category.

First Place - Indianola Record-Herald & Tribune - Michael Rolands Comments: The photography for this entry was captivating to me, especially the final photo where the vibrant colors of the balloons served as a stark backdrop to the gas flame.

Second Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Hans Madsen Comments: A great tribute to the teacher. The photos show so much emotion and detail. I also enjoy the variety of images. Third Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Shivansh Ahuja Comments: Clear emotion and action. Great variety of images and angles. Great quality of photos.

DAILY 2 - 26 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register - Bryon Houlgrave Comments: 100 year old man captures the story with great color, contrast, faces and lots of emotion. News value and impact are clear.

Second Place - Prairie City PCM Explorer - Jamee Pierson Comments: I really liked the two best photos of this entry--the kids running and fire hose spray shot. The grip-andgrins, while reporting essential elements of the day’s events and activities, just left me wanting more action shots--which were very strong. Third Place - Greene Recorder - Ross Hawker, Sylvia Hawker Comments: The photographer did a nice job capturing a Civil War re-enactment. The cannon shots were good and all the photos were sharp and crisp. I think the page would’ve benefited from some size variety and one or two fewer photos to accommodate that.

Second Place - Bloomfield Democrat Scott Spurgeon Comments: Rodeo events can be tough to shoot because the action is fast and the lighting is poor, but the photographer captured the action well and gave us a sense of the excitement and power of the animals. Third Place - Hartley Sentinel-News Nicholas Pedley Comments: These photos evoked emotion. I was sympathetic to those involved here because the photographer captured their angst.

Second Place - Indianola Record-Herald & Tribune - Michael Rolands Comments: This entry was a very close second to my first place decision. The photography was riveting. Third Place - Bellevue Herald-Leader David Namanny Comments: This entry was also a favorite of mine. I especially appreciated the photo of the three children in hats as they gazed over the fence in awe of what they were watching.

Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Liz Martin Comments: Navy seaman story is strengthened with these images. The older veterans saluting the casket add to the impact. Angles are moving and the cropping adds to the message, especially folding the flag. Third Place - Des Moines Register Bryon Houlgrave Comments: Mounted shooting at the Iowa State Fair has great action, strong images, like sports photography. Composition adds to the impact of the images.

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ADVERTISING

Best Ad Featuring Grocery, Food or Entertainment

DAILY 1 - 11 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Second Place - Webster City Daily Freeman-Journal Third Place - Clinton Herald

DAILY 2 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Great ad Second Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Nice ad.

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Third Place - Sioux City Journal Comments: Size ad is awesome

WEEKLY 1 - 15 ENTRIES First Place - Gowrie News Comments: Really playful and including the food makes you hungry. Very good job placing so many elements within the ad. It’s fantastic. Second Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Comments: The floor and pins really draw you into the ad. The headline looks like it has been shaken up. Nice work. Third Place - Allison Butler Co. Tribune-Journal Comments: Bright and festive for Easter. Well balanced and super cute. It really stood off the page.

WEEKLY 2 - 29 ENTRIES First Place - Storm Lake PilotTribune Comments: Good use of colors and eye catching font. Not too busy even though there are a lot of elements. Second Place - Storm Lake PilotTribune Comments: Nice overlap of Christmas decorations over photo. I would have liked to have seen a more distinct header.

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Third Place - Hampton Chronicle Comments: Really good use of space. The ad is very well balanced for having so much information. Headers are clearly visible.

WEEKLY 3 - 25 ENTRIES First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Bright colors, photos of food that looks good... and it has beer? Second Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Comments: Delicious art, and love the “chalkboard” effect - very different. Third Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: This ad just screams high class party!

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ADVERTISING

Best Ad Featuring Financial, Insurance or Other Professional Service DAILY 1 - 15 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Good contrast and does a good job of emphasizing the photography. Image is their main selling point and this ad helps accomplish this. Second Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Comments: Creative layout and distribution of information. Works well and feels inspired by the logo. Third Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Good humor in the ad “translation.” Ad is colorfully bright and cheery for subject matter.

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DAILY 2 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Small size but dominates the page. Good use of open space; big “Real Estate” let’s you know what this ad is about. Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Very close between 1 and 2. Same strengths, but the emphasis on “Real Estate” in #1 makes the difference. Third Place - Sioux City Journal Comments: Catchy headline goes well with photo. Say it repeatedly... is it grammatically correct? Who cares?

WEEKLY 1 - 11 ENTRIES First Place - Hawarden Independent/ Ireton Examiner Comments: Great looking assisted living ad. Designer presented the resident photos in a unique way with simple rounded corners, blending the photos together, working them around the central rock sign image, and even including a slight marble texture in the background. Really loved how the photos blended together to show happy residents and their puppy.. what a great visual way to show community. Very well done.

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Second Place - Hawarden Independent/ Ireton Examiner Comments: Well designed ad. Simple, clean...loved the faded look of the photo and background green color, allowing the benefit headline, features and logo to come out more. Good idea to use the multi-color arrow point image from the logo as bullet points and as part of the bottom footer design pattern. Nice touch. Third Place - Hull Sioux Co. IndexReporter Comments: This ad has a nice holiday feel.

WEEKLY 2 - 15 ENTRIES

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First Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Second Place - Parkersburg EclipseNews-Review Third Place - Sheldon Mail-Sun

WEEKLY 3 - 25 ENTRIES First Place - Wilton-Durant Advocate News Second Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Third Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen

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ADVERTISING

Best Ad Featuring Furniture, Furnishings, Appliances or Hardware

DAILY 1 - 12 ENTRIES First Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Read easily but delivers messages in simple way. Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Geometric shapes are great but the all white shape distracts from the effectiveness. Third Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Nice pics

DAILY 2 - 7 ENTRIES First Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Creative use of images, layout and color with a typographically whimsical headline to top off the ad. Second Place - Sioux City Journal Comments: Good headline banner unifying typography, background theme and product image together. Third Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Elements in the photo help unify the headline to the discounts. The foot/legs lead the eye to arms as they branch out over the bubbles.

WEEKLY 1 - 7 ENTRIES

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First Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Comments: Bold bright design and colors command your attention. Easy to read, not too cluttered. Second Place - Hull Sioux Co. Index-Reporter Comments: Small but effective. Color pops on black background, and use of white words works well. Third Place - Inwood West Lyon Herald Comments: Also small but effective...good use of color.

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WEEKLY 2 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Pocahontas Record Democrat Second Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Third Place - Pocahontas Record Democrat

WEEKLY 3 - 20 ENTRIES First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Very attractive perfectly composed advertising. Second Place - Wilton-Durant Advocate News Comments: Solid design with thoughtful color palette. Third Place - Monticello Express Comments: “Cool” ad.

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Best Ad Featuring Automotive, Boats, Aircraft, Tires, Gasoline, Etc. DAILY 1 - 11 ENTRIES

WEEKLY 2 - 8 ENTRIES

First Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Absolutely loved this car ad! Striking header with the car in the background and the fireworks in the headline text. Very cool. This ad had such a great design. Loved how the featured cars balanced with the clearance cars. Loved the use of gold and black tones. Especially loved the type style usage and colors in the clearance section. Line listings can be a somewhat boring read, but this design proved that totally wrong and really made the copy POP! Very well done car ad.

First Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: Lovely fall ad. The bright closeout header jumps off the page and grabbed my attention immediately. The write up within the ad allowed me to get personal with the advertiser. Nice.

Second Place - Clinton Herald Comments: This ad absolutely shouts summer fun with its bright yellow sun and rippling blue wave background. Huge call to action headline that brings you right in. Sponsor logos are featured, but don’t overpower the design. Catchy summer of fun logo. Who wouldn’t enter to win with such a fun, compelling ad. Third Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Comments: Very cool ad. Liked how the angled blue bar with the logo broke up the ad space. Strong photos are well placed in the ad. Very nice well designed ad.

DAILY 2 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Sioux City Journal Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Third Place - Sioux City Journal

WEEKLY 1 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Lake City Graphic-Advocate Comments: Eye-catching and well executed is always a winning combination.

Second Place - Sheldon Mail-Sun Comments: Clean and to the point ad, well done. Small space with a big bang.

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Third Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: Nice color choices in the ad. Seeing the crew made it personal.

WEEKLY 3 - 28 ENTRIES First Place - Wilton-Durant Advocate News Comments: When I originally looked at this ad, I wrote in my notes “Not a bad ad worthy of another look”. When I reopened the ad it put a smile on my face. Love the ad as a whole. The designer and the owners must have a great sense of humor. Nicely done! Second Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Comments: Very clean and simple ad. It gets the message cross nicely. I am not sure what the yellow liquid stuff is but it adds a little mystery. Nice job! Third Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: Love the way this ad pops with color. I am not a Harley rider, but the ad made want to go to Cedar River Harley just to check the store out. I bet this really look good in the print edition.

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Second Place - Inwood West Lyon Herald Comments: Plenty of content promotes interest in this very functional ad. Third Place - Lake City Graphic-Advocate Comments: Cool ad theme with solid composition and “rich” color.

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ADVERTISING

Best Ad Featuring Miscellaneous

DAILY 1 - 15 ENTRIES First Place - Webster City Daily Freeman-Journal Comments: Ad just POPPED!! Awesome color and fading!! Second Place - Webster City Daily Freeman-Journal Comments: Nice ad. Third Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Comments: Good color.

DAILY 2 - 13 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Color scheme of photos and graphic elements have good harmony. Nice composition with the overall grid and the different points of emphasis. Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Strong photography brings the ad together with a focus on branding. Third Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Ad creates a good background ambiance/ warmth supplementing the business being featured.

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WEEKLY 1 - 12 ENTRIES First Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Second Place - Inwood West Lyon Herald Third Place - Ackley World Journal

WEEKLY 2 - 24 ENTRIES First Place - Stuart Herald Comments: Simply amazing! Second Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: Beautiful advertisement. Third Place - Akron Hometowner Comments: Dedication to community is so apparent. Solid design.

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WEEKLY 3 - 29 ENTRIES First Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: Great use of simple shapes, colors and text. Second Place - Sioux Center News Comments: Patriotic theme used well throughout the header as well as the smaller ads underneath.

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Third Place - DeWitt Observer Comments: Beautiful use of pic and text and LOVE the headline.

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ADVERTISING

Best Special Section Advertising DAILY 1 - 15 ENTRIES First Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Great job!! Ads are well balanced and eye catching. Second Place - Oelwein Register Comments: Very nice! I really enjoyed reviewing this publication. Third Place - Marshalltown Times Republican

DAILY 2 - 13 ENTRIES First Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Great job! Nice variety of advertisers. Second Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Love it . . . ads are all clean. Third Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald

WEEKLY 1 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Aurelia Star Comments: Beautiful!! The cover just sets the tone for this section. Great job. Second Place - Lake City GraphicAdvocate Comments: Very nicely arranged. I enjoyed reviewing this. Third Place - Gowrie News Comments: Nice job and use of color.

WEEKLY 2 - 12 ENTRIES First Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: Great job... every ad was well designed and eye catching!

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Second Place - Hampton Chronicle Comments: Very nice section!

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Third Place - Westside Observer

WEEKLY 3 - 22 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen Comments: Unique Section... ads were nicely designed. Second Place - Eldridge North Scott Press Comments: Great looking section! Third Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Beautiful work!

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ADVERTISING

Best Ad Series or Campaign Featuring Any Service or Merchandise Category

DAILY 1 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Clinton Herald Comments: Awesome ads. No borders is great!! Sharp and clear!! Second Place - Clinton Herald Comments: Great ad, love the concept and images. Third Place - Spencer Daily Reporter Comments: Clear ad and colors work well

DAILY 2 - 1 ENTRIES First Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: Simple but very effective series of advertising. Second Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald Comments: High quality interesting ads.

WEEKLY 1 - 11 ENTRIES

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First Place - Ackley World Journal Second Place - Inwood West Lyon Herald Third Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner

WEEKLY 2 - 11 ENTRIES First Place - Sigourney News Review Comments: Ad pops out!! Color is great with great pictures Awesome AD!!! Second Place - Akron Hometowner Comments: Great ad with perfect placement. Third Place - Sergeant Bluff Advocate Comments: Size is just right. Looks good

WEEKLY 3 - 14 ENTRIES First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Great looking ads! Very creative and I can see the personality of each school in all the ads. I couldn’t wait to see the next ad and what you had done. Fantastic! Second Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Again a great set of ads. You have a real talent. I am sure your sponsors were excited to be a part of these ads! Third Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Comments: Good use of artwork. The circle with all the animals stretching into the ad was a great way to incorporate the art in a small space. It drew my eyes immediately into the ad. Nice job!

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ADVERTISING

Best Ad Idea for a Community Promotion or Event DAILY 1 - 13 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: The artwork was perfect for this ad. It is clearly announcing. It got my attention right away. Nice choice! Second Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: The ad is very playful. You can tell at first glance that something is happening for the entire family. Well done. Third Place - Clinton Herald Comments: You did a great job organizing a lot of information. I like that you picked up the colors from the logo to use in this ad. Looks great.

DAILY 2 - 6 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Extremely eye-catching and near perfection. Second Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Rock solid very attractive ad. Third Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Quality ad with great balance of color.

WEEKLY 1 - 20 ENTRIES First Place - Gowrie News

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Second Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Third Place - Lake City Graphic-Advocate

WEEKLY 2 - 23 ENTRIES

D2

First Place - Sergeant Bluff Advocate Second Place - Eldora Newspapers Third Place - Hampton Chronicle

WEEKLY 3 - 19 ENTRIES First Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen Comments: Well done. Second Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Good job. Third Place - Waverly Newspapers Comments: Enticing.

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ADVERTISING

Best Advertising Featuring Agriculture

DAILY 1 - 5 ENTRIES First Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Comments: For someone looking for farm equipment, this ad is an easy sell. This ad showcases the equipment in action and it does so in an interesting way. Loved the larger central graphic breaking the frame with the hay. Bold, benefit headline tells it all. Second Place - Webster City Daily Freeman-Journal Comments: Strong ad with a catchy headline. Not a lot of copy. The ad is direct and to the point. Third Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Comments: Large tornado graphic brings you right into the ad. Catchy headline ties into the product and product name well.

DAILY 2 - 4 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Loved how this ad offset the black and white farmers pix with the produce pix at the top. Made the ad feel very welcoming and downhome. Nice touch too with the aged paper pull out boxes with farmers names. Well done ad. Second Place - Cedar Rapids Gazette Comments: Nicely designed ad. Good use of type and color with the blues and greens. Corn stalks at the bottom behind the patterned wave shape is well done and sets the ad off nicely.

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W2

Third Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Nice large visuals, nice clean ad.

WEEKLY 1 - 6 ENTRIES First Place - Hawarden Independent/ Ireton Examiner Comments: Very eye catching. Love the use of color it makes all the ads around the border stand out.

W1

Second Place - Eagle Grove Eagle Comments: A very well done Valentine's Day ad. I like the look of handwritten font incorporated with the standard block font. Third Place - Hull Sioux Co. IndexReporter Comments: I nice simplistic ad. Love the cows!

WEEKLY 2 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Stuart Herald Comments: Very effective eye-catching treatment to an auction ad. Second Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Comments: Plenty of colorful content to engage the viewer. Third Place - Sheldon Mail-Sun Comments: Solid composition and color balance in this smaller ad.

WEEKLY 3 - 11 ENTRIES First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Inset photos works well. Like the use of art (corn) in the word “Corn”. Very clean, not too much info, easy to read. Second Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Comments: Clean and green! Like everything at an angle and open photo at top Third Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Very similar to other layouts...close up of farmer along with other photos works well. 32

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ADVERTISING

Best Web Advertisement DAILY 1 - 3 ENTRIES First Place - Clinton Herald Comments: Not one but two tower ads on opposite sides. Love the vibrant colors. Ads really jump off the website. Second Place - Iowa City Daily Iowan Comments: Nothing like having a little sunshine at the top of your website. Nicely done Third Place - Clinton Herald Comments: Nothing like keeping your community aware of upcoming Christmas events. Love the use of all the Christmas colors. Would have been nice to see a screen shot of the ad on the website.

WEEKLY 1 - 2 ENTRIES First Place - Hull Sioux Co. Index-Reporter

WEEKLY 2 - 1 ENTRY First Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: The ad really stands out by only using half of the Lions face it almost seems like he is looking right at you.

W1

WEEKLY 3 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Spirit Lake Dickinson Co. News Comments: Awesome!! Second Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen Comments: Great ad. Third Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Like the changes

W2

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ADVERTISING

Best Ad Designer

DAILY 1 - 7 ENTRIES First Place - Clinton Herald - Shanelle Yahn Comments: Strong Work! Second Place - Carroll Times Herald Meriah Blakley Comments: Simple and clean! Third Place - Clinton Herald - Stephen Peters Comments: Burger ad was my fav!

DAILY 2 - 1 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register - Wade Breitsprecher

WEEKLY 1 - 8 ENTRIES First Place - Allison Butler Co. TribuneJournal - Monica Edeker Comments: Good use of color and photos. Well balanced layouts. Second Place - Hawarden Independent/ Ireton Examiner - Krystal Poppema Comments: Good typographic use and composition. Third Place - Hawarden Independent/ Ireton Examiner - Elizabeth Myers Comments: Good use of art & typography. Good composition.

D1 W1

WEEKLY 2 - 11 ENTRIES First Place - Hampton Chronicle - Pia Hovenga Second Place - Sheldon Mail-Sun Mindy Schaefer Third Place - Sheldon Mail-Sun Krystal Poppema

WEEKLY 3 - 16 ENTRIES First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review - Krystal Poppema Comments: Bold colors, clean design, good use of colors and different shapes for photos/elements. Second Place - Iowa Falls Times-Citizen - Brent Lennard Comments: Hard to decide between 1 and 2..very similar, very strong, very good. Third Place - Waverly Newspapers Carrie Wright Comments: Again, bold colors, big art...very good.

D2

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BEST OF CLASS ADVERTISING DAILY 1 - 10 ENTRIES First Place - Fort Dodge Messenger Comments: This ad just jumps off the page; it’s awesome! One of my favorites of the contest. Second Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Well balanced; good use of color. Third Place - Carroll Times Herald Comments: Nice publication; ads are clean.

DAILY 2 - 9 ENTRIES First Place - Des Moines Register Comments: Perfect balance; very attractive. I like the contrast/color.

Advertising entries were judged based on the following criteria: • Originality of the advertisement - 30%

• Headline and body copy - 25% • Design, layout, illustrations and photography - 25% • Adaptability - 10%

• Explanatory material - 10%

Second Place - Sioux City Journal Comments: Ad is very unique...good job! Third Place - Dubuque Telegraph Herald

WEEKLY 1 - 10 ENTRIES First Place - Hawarden Independent/Ireton Examiner Comments: Nicely designed; excellent use of photos. Second Place - Ackley World Journal Comments: Ads well balanced; visually attractive. Third Place - Lake City Graphic-Advocate Comments: Very creative!

WEEKLY 2 - 10 ENTRIES First Place - Rock Rapids Lyon Co. Reporter Comments: Stellar publication! Second Place - Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune Comments: Very visually appealing and well designed. Third Place - Sigourney News Review Comments: Very nice campaign!

WEEKLY 3 - ENTRIES First Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Very nice publication; you did a great job with advertiser sponsorship as well. Second Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Makes you feel “cozy” just looking at the ad. Great job!

When you’re looking for results for the 2020 Better Newspaper Contests, remember to visit the contest area of the INA web site:

INAnews.com

Third Place - Sheldon N’West Iowa Review Comments: Well balanced; I love the CORN heading.

Best of Class first place winning entries are featured on page 36.

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BEST OF CLASS ADVERTISING

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Profile for iowanewspaper

2020 Iowa Newspaper Association Winners Tab  

The annual Better Newspaper Contests foster excellence through competition among like-sized newspapers. Member newspaper submit thousands of...

2020 Iowa Newspaper Association Winners Tab  

The annual Better Newspaper Contests foster excellence through competition among like-sized newspapers. Member newspaper submit thousands of...

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