Albion News and Petersburg Press were among the 2016 winners in the Nebraska Press Association (NPA) Better Newspaper Contest. The contest had 3,800 separate entries in 48 categories. Nine dailies and 63 weeklies competed and were judged by the Kansas Press Association.
Results were announced last Saturday night, April 22, during the annual NPA Convention in Lincoln.
Albion News staff received seven awards, including one first place, four second place awards, and two third place awards.
Joe Flanagan and Jim Dickerson, who update the website weekly, and Julie Dickerson, who creates advertising for the website, received a first place award for the best website in Class C. Judges said the website was clean, with an easy to navigate interface. “No real nitpicks here,” said the judge. “This site allows users to get to top stories quickly. General search terms pulled recent stories. Overall strong.”
Joe Flanagan, sports editor, received second place for a sports column. He also received a third place award for a sports action photo titled Extra Emphasis. Judges said it was a terrifically timed photo. “Rodeo events, especially bull riding and steer wrestling, are excellent opportunities for action photographs,” said the judge.
Jim Dickerson, co-publisher, received a second place award for breaking news photography for a fire scene titled “Mopping Up.” He also received a third place award for a three-part in-depth series on regional property taxes. Judges said that taxes are a tough subject and can be difficult for lay people to understand. “This series clearly explained the tax system, budgets and why tax rates had increased or decreased. Great research and a good community service.”
Julie Dickerson, co-publisher, received a second place for use of computer graphics-produced in house, for Boone County Property Valuations illustration. Judges said the graphic was eye catching and informative. She also received a second place for a public notice and its promotion advertisement.
Albion News competed in the Class C division for newspapers from 1,500 to 2,499 in circulation.
Petersburg Press was awarded one first place and one third place.
Julie Dickerson received two awards for the Petersburg Press. First place was for public notice and its promotion category. Judges commented that the advertisement was good at telling readers exactly why they must read public notices. It is a great way to promote and remind the readers why notices need to be published and why they need to be read. She received a third place award for an ad titled Learn Something New. Building circulation was the topic for the entry.
Petersburg Press competed in the Class A division for newspapers up to 859 circulation.