GALENA–The Galena Gazette was recognized as one of the top community weekly newspapers in the United States as part of the National Newspaper Association (NNA) 2018 Better Newspaper Contest and Better Newspaper Advertising Contest. An awards program took place Saturday, Sept. 29, during NNA’s 132nd Annual Convention & Trade Show at the Waterside Marriott, Norfolk, Va.
The Gazette staff was honored with fourth place in General Excellence for non-daily newspapers with circulation between 3,000 and 5,999.
“Lots of good photo packages,” judges wrote. “Nicely organized.”
Editor Hillary Dickerson and Publisher Carter Newton were honored with two first-place awards, both in the daily and non-daily division, the Civic-Community Service Award and Best Localized National Story series, both for the Coming to Galena: Stories of Immigration series that ran in the Gazette during four months in 2017.
For the community service award, judges commented, “A fantastic journey through the lives of recent immigrants in the target area, at a time when the good stories of so many good immigrants is so necessary, for their own sense of well being and a reminder that except for a small percentage, we are all from immigrants in this country. Photos and personal stories were quite touching.”
For the best localized national story series, judges noted, “Wow! What an extensive package of stories really drawing the DACA issue close to home. Amazing that you all committed four months to the package, running the features one at a time and placing them in the same general area of the newspaper each week. Wonderful work and very well done. Something your entire staff should be proud of.”
The immigration series also took a second-place award in the Best Feature Series category for daily and non-daily newspapers with circulation less than 6,000.
“This is a beautiful concept for a series,” judges wrote.
A third-place award was awarded in the Best Investigative or In-Depth Story or Series category for non-daily newspapers with circulation between 3,000 to 9,999.
“Timely, sensitively written, locally sourced and...hopeful,” judges commented.
The final editorial excellence honor was a third place for Best Family Life/Living Section for daily and non-daily newspapers.
“Interesting features and great photography bring these sections to life,” wrote judges.
The Gazette’s 2017 special section honoring the Galena EMS 40th anniversary brought home two first-place awards in the advertising contest.
In awarding the Best Advertising Idea in the non-daily division for newspapers with more than 5,000 circulation, judges wrote, “Good ad idea tapping folks that don’t usually advertise. Good content and great layout.”
For the first-place award for Best Multiple Advertiser Section in the daily and non-daily division, circulation of 5,000 to 9,999, judges commented, “A strong theme conveyed through meaningful content–all essentially advertising the EMS–and supported with equally meaningful and creative community ads make this special section a clear winner.”
Advertising representative Mark VanOsdol’s front page Fried Green Tomatoes ads won honorable mention in the Best Series Ad Idea, color, category for non-daily newspapers with circulation over 5,000.
“Sharing the banner space is coveted ad space, and the Gazette takes the sharing a step further by having part of each Fried Green Tomatoes ad encroach into the Gazette’s own space,” judges noted. “ One week the carving fork in an ad featuring FGT’s ‘Prime Time’ prime rib sits just behind the ‘a’ in ‘Galena.’ Another ad shows the ‘a’ in the grip of a lobster claw, while another shows wine splashing from behind the ‘a’ and onto the ‘tt’ of ‘Gazette.’ These can’t-miss ads have character.”
There were 1,405 entries in the Better Newspaper Editorial Contest and 202 entries in the Better Newspaper Advertising Contest for a total of 1,607 entries.
A total of 478 awards were won by 115 member newspapers in 38 states. Judging was performed primarily by active community newspaper editors and publishers, as well as retired university journalism professors and retired or former newspaper professionals. Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association is the voice of America’s community newspapers and is the one of the largest newspaper associations in the country.