Tricounty News

Convention time = awards time

Late-January each year is the annual convention for the Minnesota Newspaper Association.

It’s a great time to celebrate (and sometimes commiserate) with other newspaper folk. I’ve said before that our profession often keeps us isolated, and the two or three days of convention is a time for recharging our batteries, learning new skills, and celebrating the awards and achievements of other papers and the newspaper industry as a whole.

Once again, the Tri-County News came home with prestigious awards. 

Our writer Mike Nistler won in “Human Interest Story” category, the most popular of the contest. His Aug. 15 story about Ron Hoxmeier, a former bodyguard to Johnny Cash, was a winner. Mike writes wonderfully, and the judge cited exactly why his stories are so compelling to read.

“This story grabs you in from the lede and never lets go. I read every line and enjoyed reading about someone with a very interesting life.”

The Tri-County News as a whole (they look at five issues of the paper during a one-year period) won in the Advertising Excellence category, among newspapers of our size. The judges commented on both the ads themselves and their placement. Our graphic artist, Sue Hughes, creates most of the ads that appear in our newspaper.

Thanks to both Mike and Sue for their great work!

The Annandale Advocate picked up quite a few awards this year, especially for their new editor Paul Downer whom I finally met at the awards banquet. They picked up an Advertising Excellence award, Best Use of Photography award, a Human Interest Story award, and more.

Members of the Illinois judged the contest last fall.

Awards are nice, of course, but not the sole reason we all do what we do. We work hard throughout the year to document the events and history of our communities. We sacrifice time with friends and family to cover evening meetings, and get pages ready for press. In short, it’s nice to be among other professionals who understand us!

In addition to the Better Newspaper Contest, there’s an ad design contest each year. This year’s theme was the “Magic of Newspapers.” I’ve won it a couple of times, so I had to enter again; I just had to. This year I took third, out of 17 entries. Not bad for an editor.
(I also won the trade show drawing, again. Had the weather not been so lousy Friday night, perhaps I would have stopped to buy a lottery ticket.)

Thank you to Stephanie and Maxine who kept the office running so I could be gone three days. 

Thank you, too, to my family who daily help to fill in the gaps so I can keep doing what I do.

Thank you to our advertisers who financially support your community newspaper.

And thank you, readers, for giving us the reason to do all this.

Now to make it through the winter, and the next 357 days until the 2015 state convention.