By Cheri Eichholz Cherry
The Columbia Missourian, including Vox Magazine, won 64 awards in the Missouri Press Association‘s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest, including the gold cup award given to the news organization with the most awards in its division.
The Missourian competed in the division of newspapers with circulations from 5,001 to 15,000 and won awards for written stories, photos, ongoing coverage, multimedia, graphics, design and projects published in 2018.
The awards were announced Saturday, September 28 during the Missouri Press Association convention in Kansas City.
- Best Online Newspaper or Website: ColumbiaMissourian.com won first place for its website. Judging is based on originality, ease of use, local content and advertising.
- Best Health Story: Alexis Allison won first place for her story about the health care gap between black and white babies in Boone County.
- Multi-Media Reporting: Titus Wu and Jennifer Mosbrucker won first place for the story and photographs documenting modern day debtors prisons in Missouri.
- Best News or Feature Obituary: Alexis Allison won first place for her life story about Edwin Schnell, local mason and devoted father and grandfather.
- Best Headline Writing: Missourian staff won first place for its headline submission based on creativity and clever word selection.
- Best Video: Cameron LaFontaine and Joey Schneider earned first place for a video about Barry Koeneke, longtime Hallsville teacher and baseball coach.
- Best Editorial Cartoon: Local cartoonist John Darkow won first place for his commentary on current events and issues, including politics, immigration and a tribute to George H.W. Bush.
- Best Information Graphic: Maddie Hall won first place for her graphic explaining the work that earned retired MU biology professor, George Smith, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
- Best Page Design: First place staff award for the layout, design of text and photos of retiring Pastor Caroles Taylor giving his last sermon at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
- Best Story about Education: Nancy Coleman won a first-place award for her story about the difficulties MU student parents have finding affordable childcare.
- Best Story about Rural Life or Agriculture: Titus Wu earned a first-place award for his story about rural prisoners who remain incarcerated, because they are unable to pay board bills.
- Best Coverage of Rural Life or Agriculture: Missourian reporters Nancy Coleman, Maggie Resor and Kathryn Hardison won first place for their coverage of an apple orchard in Mexico, Missouri, a partnership between the Columbia Public Schools and the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture and Missouri’s vanishing small dairies.
- Best Sports News Story or Package: Sports reporters Ryan Herrera, Matt Antonic, Jake Sutherlin and Langston Newsome earned first place for their coverage of four local high schools that are bucking the trend of reduced participation in high school football.
- Best Photo Illustration: Julia Hansen won first place for her Vox Magazine photo illustration on single-use plastic straws.
- Best News or Feature Series and Best Local Business Coverage: The Columbia Missourian business reporting team won first place in two categories for a series of stories highlighting opportunity gaps in the community.
- Best News Feature Story: Ann Marion won first place for her Vox Magazine feature about a couple who uses sonar to search and recover missing persons in waterways. This is one of four winning entries from Vox’s “Thicker than Water” issue featuring stories about the Missouri River.
- Best News Story: Sam Manas won a first-place award for his story about Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton‘s administrative leave and subsequent resignation.
- Best News or Feature Obituary: Annalise Acuff won second place for her life story on Nathan Blount, Mizzou alum, beloved friend and community member.
- Best Video: Rayna Sims won second place for her video about a small truck stop chapel in Kingdom City, Missouri designed to offer religious services to over-the-road truck drivers.
- Best Information Graphic: Tynan Stewart won second place on his graphic detailing Columbia census and population data over the past 200 years.
- Best Page Design: Missourian staff won second place for the story layout of a prom night celebration for a teenage patient at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
- Best Story About History: Alexander Ransom won second place for his Vox Magazine story about the town of Wakenda, Missouri, which was destroyed during the Great Flood of 1993.
- Best Story About the Outdoors: Jared Kaufman won a second-place award for his Vox Magazine story about catfishing in the Missouri River.
- Best Story About Education: Kyle LaHucik earned a second-place award for his story about the University of Missouri System’s priority to build a Transition Precision Medicine Complex.
- Best Story About Rural Life or Agriculture: Kathryn Hardison won second place for her reporting on Missouri’s diminishing dairy industry.
- Best News or Feature Special Section: Missourian staff won a second-place award for Boomtown, a special section geared toward readers over 50.
- Best Sports Feature Story: Sports reporter DJ McGuire earned a second-place award for his story about a display of kindness and sportsmanship at a high school cross country meet.
- Best News Story or Package: Reed Koutelas and David Sack won second place for their story about Missouri men’s basketball player Jontay Porter’s season-ending injury.
- Community Service: The Columbia Missourian outreach team won second place for the Progress Awards, a program designed to recognize and honor unsung heroes in the community.
- Best Photo Illustration: N. Andrew Dent won second place for his photo illustration for Vox Magazine’s 2018 Fall Arts Guide.
- Best News or Feature Series: Six Missourian reporters contributed to a special series about the lack of rural broadband service in Missouri. Kathryn Hardison, Trevor Hook, Dylan Jackson, Annika Merrilees, Lydia Nusbaum and Mica Soellner earned a second-place award for the project.
- Best Feature Photograph: Jessi Dodge won second place for her photo of designer Levi Bedall at the 2018 True/False Film Fest.
- Best Front Page: Missourian staff won second place for three front pages based on design, layout and content.
- Best Overall Design: Missourian staff earned a second-place award based on three issues. Judging criteria looks for consistent quality of the entire newspaper and includes all design elements, such as photography and graphics.
- General Excellence: Missourian and Vox Magazine staff won second place for breadth of coverage, quality of layout and design, the use of photographs, artwork and advertising design over three full issues.
- Best Health Story: Alexis Allison won a third-place award for her story about a dramatic rise in HIV diagnoses in Central Missouri.
- Best News or Feature Obituary: Claire Mitzel won third place for her life story about the death of Andrea Kirkpatrick, a popular teacher at Columbia’s Oakland and Smithton Middle schools.
- Best Video: Qinghui Kong won a third-place award for his video of the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors Veterans Week performance at Jesse Auditorium on the MU campus.
- Best Information Graphic: Allyson Vasilopulos won third place for her graphic explaining how a diverging diamond interchange works.
- Best Story About the Outdoors: Alexis Allison, Noah Higgins-Dunn and Cary Littlejohn won a third-place award for a story they co-authored about two Columbia-area hikers who were found dead in the Alaska backcountry.
- Best Story About Religion: Hannah Musick and Antranik Tavitian won third place for their story about a campaign to help fund the Islamic Center of Central Missouri’s expansion project.
- Best Story About Rural Life or Agriculture: Anna Brett and Tessa Weinberg won a third-place award for their story about domestic and sexual-violence shelters, advocacy and services in Missouri’s rural areas.
- Best News or Feature Special Section: Missourian staff won third place for the 2018 Missouri Homecoming guide.
- Best Sports Feature Story: Eli Lederman won third place for his feature about Missouri football uniforms as evaluated by a noted sportswear fashion designer.
- Best Sports Pages: Missourian staff won a third-place award for a three-issue package that was evaluated for writing, content, photography, layout and design.
- Community Service: Nancy Coleman and Elena Cruz won third place for their online quiz containing the words correctly spelled by the previous night’s winner, Lauren Holsapple, at the Missourian’s 2018 Regional Scripps National Spelling Bee.
- Best Photo Package: Jenna Kieser, Jacob Moscovitch, Liv Paggiarino and Clare Roth all contributed to this third-place win for Friday Night Sights 08.31.18.
- Best Sports Feature Photography: Antranik Tavitian won third place for his photo of Battle High School linebacker Elias Edwards.
- Best News Photograph: Abigail Young won a third-place award for her photo of a family crossing a flooded creek after heavy rain fell in mid-Missouri.
- Best News or Feature Series: Kathryn Hardison won third place for her reporting project on Missouri’s diminishing dairy industry produced in collaboration with KOMU-TV and KBIA/91.3 FM.
- Best Feature Story: Madison McVan won third place for her feature about girls who train and compete in weightlifting.
- Best News Story: Anna Brett won third place for her story about bullying and sexual assaults involving a middle school football team in Edina, Missouri.
- Best Information Graphic: Alexis Allison earned an honorable mention for her information graphic about new rules for agricultural haulers in the state.
- Best Military Story: MC Cross won an honorable mention for a profile of a transgender woman and U.S. Army veteran.
- Best Story About the Outdoors: Alexis Allison earned an honorable mention for her profile about Jeff Barrow, retiring executive director of Missouri River Relief.
- Best Story About Religion: Annalise Acuff and Kathryn Hardison received an honorable mention for their story about the release of names of 33 priests and religious brothers credibly accused of sexual abuse within the Diocese of Jefferson City.
- Best Coverage of Government: The Columbia Missourian state and local government teams earned an honorable mention for articles informing voters of multiple November 2018 ballot issues.
- Best Investigative Reporting: Titus Wu earned an honorable mention for his story about the practice of rural Missouri jails charging room and board to prisoners.
- Best Sports News Story or Package: Eli Lederman received an honorable mention for his story about the health and safety of Missouri football players, especially during warm weather.
- Best News or Feature Series: Vox Magazine’s May 3, 2018 issue Thicker than Water earned an honorable mention for a series of stories about the Missouri River.
- Best Feature Story: Margaret Austin received an honorable mention for her story about Linda Powers, who is helping her husband and former Missouri football coach, Warren Powers, battle Alzheimer’s disease.
About the Columbia Missourian
The Columbia Missourian is a digital-first publication founded in 1908 as a community newspaper and working laboratory for students at the Missouri School of Journalism. The Missourian regularly beats out the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star and Columbia Tribune for state journalism awards.
Updated: September 30, 2019