Student Work Recognized in Statewide Competition

The Columbia Missourian Wins 28 Awards in the 2009 Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Contest

By Angela Hamilton
Master’s Student

Photo by Catalin Abagiu
Second Place, Best Sports Photo: “How bout them Tigers?” by Catalin Abagiu.

Columbia, Mo. (Nov. 2, 2009) — The Columbia Missourian received 28 awards – including seven first-place winners – in the 2009 Missouri Press Association‘s Better Newspaper Contest.

The winners were announced during the recent 143rd MPA Convention in Kansas City. The Missourian earned a General Excellence Award for the seventh consecutive year and the eighth time in nine years. Competing in several statewide categories against large metropolitan papers in St. Louis and Kansas City as well as in the Class 3 division against papers such as the Sedalia Democrat and the Lebanon Daily Record, the Missourian has “excellent photos, layout, and creativity” and “delivers a solid news punch,” according to the judging panel.

Seven first-place awards were received in categories for Best News Story; Best Special Section; Best Story, Outdoors; Best Story, History; Best Page Design; and Best Feature Story.

Tyler Armao Darla Cameron Rachel Crader Rebecca Delaney Stephanie Detillier
Francisco Fisher Matthew Harris Tim Lloyd Elizabeth Manring Isabelle Roughol
Annelise Searle Sara Shahriari Jake Siegel Rachel Smeda Paul Weber

Top row, from left: Tyler Armao, Darla Cameron, Rachel Crader, Rebecca Delaney, Stephanie Detillier. Second row: Francisco Fisher, Matthew Harris, Tim Lloyd, Elizabeth Manring, Isabelle Roughol. Third row: Annelise Searle, Sara Shahriari, Jake Siegel, Rachel Smeda, Paul Weber.

The Columbia Missourian’s 28 Missouri Press Association Awards

First Place

  • General Excellence: Staff.
  • Best News Story: “Pay now or pay later,” Kate Schuman. Judges’ Comments: Quality of writing is superb. Reporting is thorough. Water issues can be complex and complicated unless written and presented in ways that most readers can easily decipher. Kate Schuman deserves a lot of credit and praise for the work she did on this issue.
  • Best Special Section: “Weird tales of Missouri,” Staff. Judges’ Comments: Most Special Sections are for common ideas and special occasions, etc. But for a travel section, “Weird tales of Missouri” shows experiences that were very interesting and unusual. The cover was a definite “come in.” I defy readers not to read the inside. I enjoyed it very much, showed the staff’s ingenuity.
  • Best Story, Outdoors: “Missing layers of history,” Katie Underhill. Judges’ Comments: Beautifully packaged, well written, plus it gives readers a “call to action.” As someone who lives outside of Missouri, it makes me want to visit the park!
  • Best Story, History: “Small artifact, big find,” Rebecca Delaney. Judges’ Comments: I can’t find enough good things to say. You’ve got mystery and local people with a lot of history thrown in. Excellent, in-depth reporting and presented with an engaging writing style.
  • Best Page Design: Staff. Judges’ Comments: Outstanding in a very competitive category. Layout helped to tell the story. At first glance reader gets a very strong impression. No matter what page you turn to first, you are drawn in.
  • Best Feature Story: “Teacher works magic with emotionally disturbed children,” Stephanie Detillier. Judges’ Comments: Wow, made me want to read more; you worked the human side of such a sensitive subject to a place of understanding for the reader.

Second Place

  • Best News Story: “In Memory,” Annelise Searle.
  • Best Sports Photo: “How bout them Tigers?” Catalin Abagiu. Judges’ Comments: Wonderful rendered moment of quiet, personal bliss in the midst of complete chaos. Image cries out, “How sweet it is!”
  • Best Photo Package: “From vineyard to table,” Mike Pittman. Judges’ Comments: Clean, crisp and unique.
  • Best Business Story: “Made from scratch,” Liz Manring. Judges’ Comments: Fascinating, this couple is certainly a great example for the next generation. Very well done.
  • Best Headline Writing, Best Headlines: Staff. Judges’ Comments: I liked the “Gates in a Yard” because it served a dual purpose. Headlines that work overtime show dedication on the part of the headline writer.

Third Place

  • Best News Story: “Salvaging the past,” Sean Sposito, Matt Harris and Isabelle Roughol.
  • Best Feature Story: “Re-enlist in life,” Tim Lloyd. Judges’ Comments: You took a subject many don’t like to talk about and made it easy to read, and it showed compassion at the same time as showing facts.
  • Best Sports Pages: Staff. Judges’ Comments: Interesting stories, especially Greg Hansbrough story and Missouri handshake. Good work on these stories. They aren’t your run-of-the-mill sports stories but something unique, and you treated them as such. Good job.
  • Best Sports Feature: “A Mom’s biggest fan,” Rachel Crader.
  • Best Coverage, Young People: Vox, Staff.
Jeanne Abbott and Vicki S. Russell
Jeanne Abbott’s arms were full as she accepted 28 awards on behalf of the Columbia Missourian in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest. Abbott, an associate professor and managing editor, stands with Vicki S. Russell, MPA president.

Honorable Mention

  • Best Feature Story: “Lifetime of waiting,” Catherine Pearson. Judges’ Comments: Great story.
  • Best Feature Story: “Back to basics,” Matt Harris. Judges’ Comments: Great story.
  • Best Ad Idea, Advertiser: Thank You (Homecoming), Staff.
  • Best Investigative Reporting: “Tasers,” Staff. Judges’ Comments: Excellent series. Good job presenting both sides of the taser conflict.
  • Best Business Story: “A hub of activity,” Tyler Armao. Judges’ Comments: Sounds like the airport’s the place to be. Well put together and nicely presented.
  • Best Coverage of Government: “Full service city,” Paul Weber. Judges’ Comments: Appreciate the extent of research and coverage. Public’s concerns are handled well.
  • Best Rural Life/Ag Story: “A forgotten relic,” Sara Shahriari. Judges’ Comments: Very interesting well-written and well put together.
  • Best Story, Religion: “An unusual pulpit,” Rachel Smeda. Judges’ Comments: If you had used “professional wrestling” and “religion” in a sentence, I would have thought “No way?” But this was a fascinating story of how spiritual leaders use any means necessary to transmit the gospel – even a wrestling ring!
  • Best Story-Religion: “Spiritual discovery,” Staff. Judges’ Comments: Nicely done package. Nice mix of stories.
  • Best Information Graphic: “Bad driving weather,” Darla Cameron and Francisco Fisher.
  • Best Story, Outdoors: “Pallid sturgeon,” Jake Siegel. Judges’ Comments: The Missourian continues to excel. Another excellent package and a very well done story on contamination and its effect on a species. Rachel Carson (author of the Silent Spring) would be proud.

Updated: May 6, 2020

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