By Ryleigh Hindle, Columbia Missourian
COLUMBIA, Mo. (Sept. 26, 2023) — The Columbia Missourian dominated at the 2023 Missouri Press Association Awards on Saturday, winning 81 awards overall in addition to the Gold Cup for Class 1 dailies. The total surpasses the Missourian’s previous record of 79 awards set in the 2020 contest.
The results were announced at the Missouri Press Association convention at the Sheraton Westport Chalet Hotel in St. Louis.
“These awards reflect the breadth of coverage the Columbia Missourian provides to local readers every day,” said Elizabeth Stephens, executive editor of the Missourian. “This recognition helps our students see the value of the work they’ve done across many classes in our curriculum to report, photograph, visualize and package stories for readers.”
The Missourian took home first place in 31 categories, second place in 27 categories and third place in 23 categories. Those included categories such as Best News Story, Multi-Media Reporting, Best Information Graphic and more.
Read on for the full list of awards:
Best News Story and Best Breaking News Story
Eli Hoff and Teagan King won first and second place in the category for their work covering MU Hospital Security and the shipwreck found in the Missouri River. Erik Galicia, Katie Gallaway and Adam Goldstein took first in the Best Breaking News Story category for their coverage of the Wooldridge fire. Anthony Kristensen took third place for his story on MU Men’s Basketball Coach Dennis Gates’ arrival.
Best News Photograph and Best Photo Package
Amira McComb, 7, left, and Titus McComb, 9, sit nearby their burned house on Oct. 23 in Wooldridge, Mo. The photo placed first in the best news photograph category for the Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
Missourian reporters took the top three spots in both categories. Margo Wagner placed first and third in the Best News Photograph category with her Wooldridge fire tire swing photo and her photo documenting the overturn of Roe v. Wade in Jefferson City. Sam Koeppel took second with his Wooldridge fire photo.
Best Photo Illustration
Kate Trabalka took first and second place with her photos showcasing fashion styles from the HBO show Euphoria. Maggie Lenox nabbed the third spot with her photos of popsicles. The illustrations were for Vox Magazine, the Missourian’s sister publication.
Best Feature Story and Best News or Feature Series
Eli Hoff and Ian Wesselhoff took first and second place in the Best Feature Story category for their respective stories on Danny Santulli and Don Shrubshell. Missourian staff brought home first place in the Best News or Feature Series for their works covering homelessness in Columbia.
Best Feature Photograph
Minh Connors took first place in the Best Feature Photograph category for his photos of Jenny Bahena and her experiences at prom. Tristen Rouse took the second spot with his photo of falling snow. Beatrice Bankauskaite rounded out the top three with her photo of a warming station in Columbia for the unhoused.
Best News or Feature Special Section and Best News or Feature Obituary
Elizabeth Derner, Charlie Drape and John Belfonte took the top three spots in the Best News or Feature Obituary category for their touching stories on the lives of Alex Jackson, Kent Collins and Dan Knight. Missourian staff also took first and second place in the Best News or Feature Special Section for their works on Missouri tourism and “Made in Missouri.”
Best Sports News Story or Package and Best Sports Pages
Kortay Vincent took the top spot in the Best Sports News Story or Package category for his story on Tolton golfer Audrey Rischer. Kyle Pinnell, Kenny Van Doren and Jack Soble secured the third place spot with their football package. In the Best Sports Pages category, Missourian staff took second over all.
Best Sports Photograph
Columbia College guard Tony Burks charges toward the basket Saturday at Southwell Complex in Columbia. The photograph won first place in the Best Sports Photograph category for the Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
Beatrice Bankauskaite nabbed first with her photo of Columbia College basketball guard Tony Burks. Josh Ellenburg took second place with his photo of shortstop Jenna Laird sliding into home during a softball game.
Best Sports Feature Story
Jack Soble’s feature on Mizzou’s wide receiver Luther Burden earned him first place in the Best Sports Feature Story category. Mason Arneson’s story on Tolton’s boys basketball coach Jeremy Osborne took home second place. Kyle Pinnell rounded out the top three with his story on the head coach of MU football, Eli Drinkwitz.
Best Sports Feature Photograph
Missourian reporters brought home the top three spots in the Best Sports Feature Photograph category. Joel Green took first with his photo of MU men’s wrestling. Owen Ziliak took second and third place with his photo of Helias’ girls basketball and of Blair Oaks.
Best Investigative Reporting
Missourian staff placed first in the Best Investigative Reporting category for their work covering elected coroners. Claudia Levens took second in the category for her story on the continued housing crisis in Columbia. Skylar Laird took third for her work on sheltered workshops.
Best Business Story
Best Coverage of Government
For their Rock Island trail series, Emma J. Murphy, Jana Rose Schleis and Noelle Alviz-Gransee scored the top spot in the Best Coverage of Government category. Komlavi Adissem took second with his series on Columbia’s Citizen Police Review Board.
Best Coverage of Rural Life or Agriculture and Best Story of Rural Life or Agriculture
Missourian staff earned first place for their “2,500 Below” series in the Best Coverage of Rural Life or Agriculture category. On the Best Story of Rural Life or Agriculture side, Jessica Blake took first with her story on how policy and technological changes affected agriculture and rural life. Connor Giffin took second place in the category for his story on Milan’s revival. Mackenzie McCarty secured third with her story on farms in the Bootheel of Missouri.
Best Story About Religion
Best Story About Education
Eli Hoff placed first with his story on the UM curators campaign donations. Wicker Perlis took second for his “Two jobs, two houses, one man” story. Keara Shannon and Michael Howie came in third with their story on Black educators.
Best Story About the Outdoors
Best Story About History
Best Military Story
Evan Lasseter placed first with his story on veteran suicide prevention. Noelle Alviz-Gransee took second with her story on “State drags its heels on mentors for veterans with small-business loans.” Mackenzie McCarty took third with her story “A life well lived.”
Best Page Design and Best Overall Design
Missourian staff secured all three of the top spots for the Best Page Design category. They also placed third for Best Overall Design.
Best Information Graphic
The Missourian graphics staff took first for their graphics on Columbia’s school bond issue. Grace Cooper, Makalah Hardy and Nick Gougas placed second for their graphic on MU campus buildings. Han Vu came in third for her graphic on Columbia’s green energy output projections.
Best Editorial Cartoon
Anastasia Busby took first place with her video “Finding your starpower.” Amy Schaffer placed second with her video “Everything on the line.” Minh Connors and Cleo Norman rounded out the top three with their “A student’s love for violin teaches many life lessons” video.
Missourian staff took home first place for their coverage of the Wooldridge fire.
Best Health Story
Eleanor McCrary took home first place in the Best Health Story category for her coverage of LGBTQ students. Alex Espinda placed second with his coverage on the effects of long COVID-19. Erik Galicia took third with his story “MU students lead health care efforts for Spanish speakers.”
Best Online Newspaper or Website, General Excellence and Community Service
Missourian staff placed second for Best Online Newspaper or Website, as well as third in the General Excellence category. They also took third for Community Service for their work on the 2022 Progress Awards.
Updated: September 27, 2023