By Jacob Luecke
Columbia, Mo. (Sept. 14, 2004) — The Columbia Missourian nabbed 18 awards in this year’s Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. Distributed throughout Columbia and the surrounding region, the Columbia Missourian is the working newspaper lab for Missouri School of Journalism students in news-editorial, design, information graphics and photojournalism.
The Missourian won first place in general excellence among newspapers with similar circulations. The general excellence award judges the newspaper’s entire package including the news and sports content, advertising, photography and layout.
“Excellent entry! Especially good writing; lively, interesting, local focus. Good photos. Very attractive page design and use of design tools,” wrote the judge for the general excellence category.
In its class, the Missourian also had the best special section for “Vision,” best newspaper design and best sports page.
Several Missourian writers also received first-place honors. C. Stachura’s Jan. 5 article, “Seductive Destruction,” took first place for best news story. Julia Scirrotto’s April 29, 2003, article, “One Town, One Lifetime,” won top honors in the best feature story category. Ross Todd’s April 12 article, “Soul Searching,” was the best religion story. Barton Grover Howe’s May 2003 series on the 1923 lynching of Columbia resident James Scott won best history story.
Missourian Executive Editor Tom Warhover lauded his student-reporters for the accomplishment.
“The Missouri Press Association awards are especially gratifying because we’re going up against the real thing,” Warhover said in a written statement Tuesday. “We hammer over and over that we are a professional, daily newspaper serving the people of mid-Missouri. So competing, and competing well, against some fine newspapers in Missouri confirms what I’ve always known: that our students can rise to the challenge to produce excellence.”
Missourian General Manager Dan Potter said it’s an honor to compare so favorably to other papers in the state.
“It’s always nice to be judged by your peers in the newspaper industry and to stack up so well against the other newspapers in Missouri,” Potter said.
The contest was judged by the Tennessee Press Association, said Kent Ford, Missouri Press Association editor. Awards were presented Sunday at the association’s annual convention in Springfield.
2004 MPA Awards
- General Excellence: First Place, Class 2
- Best Design: First Place, Class 1
- Best Front Page: Second Place, Class 1
- Best News Story: First Place, “Seductive Destruction,” C. Stachura, Class 1
- Best Feature Story: First Place, “One Town, One Lifetime,” Julia Scirrotto; Honorable mention, 1923 lynching series, Barton Grover Howe, Class 1
- Best Editorial: “Dying at our roots,” Second Place, Class 1
- Best Ad Idea or Promotion of the Newspaper: First Place
- Best News Content: Honorable Mention, Class 1
- Best Sports Page: First Place, Class 1
- Best Religion Story: First Place, “Soul Searching,” Ross Todd
- Best Family Living Coverage: Third Place (tie)
- Best Special Section: First Place, “Vision;” Second Place, “Outdoors, Fall Recreation Guide;” Honorable Mention, “Imagine,” Class 1
- Best Outdoors Story: Second Place, “The Morel the Merrier,” Holly Yan
- Best History Story: First Place, 1923 lynching series, Barton Grover Howe
- Best Page Design: Honorable mention, “The once and future river,” Carolyn Szczepanski