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brings home a dozen awards in newspaper contest

brings home a dozen awards in newspaper contest brings home a dozen awards in newspaper contest

The Star News brings home a dozen awards in newspaper contest

The Star News received three first place awards among the 12 total awards won by the paper’s staff in the 2021 Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation’s Better Newspaper Contest.

WNA Foundation Better Newspaper Contest Awards Banquet was held on Friday, June 24, at The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club in downtown Madison.

This was the first time since 2019 that the award banquet was held in person. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in both news and advertising with competition among newspapers by circulation size and among all weekly and daily newspapers in the state. The Star News competes in the large weekly newspaper division. The 2021 WNAF Better Newspaper Contest received 2,117 entries from 98 newspapers. Eligible entries were published between Sept. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021, and were judged by members of the West Virginia Press Association.

The five newspapers in the group owned by the O’Leary family took home a combined 55 awards in both news and advertising including 13 first place awards.

The three first place awards earned by The Star News staff came in the advertising side of the competition.

Advertising manager Kelly Schmidt praised the advertising and graphic design staff for their hard work and skill in serving the needs of area businesses. Schmidt praised the level of cooperation between The Star News and its sister publications, helping to serve businesses throughout the region.

Graphic designer Lydia Erickson and Sales Representative Todd Lundy took first place with Best Use of Color in an advertisement for “Dairy Producers Thank You.”

Erickson took first place in Best Use of Local Photography with “Congrats Medford Soccer.”

Erickson and Lundy also took first place among all weekly newspapers with Best Use of Humor with “My Nose Didn’t Turn On.” The judge commented, “Nice job tying into the holidays.”

Designers Sarah Komarek, Megan Graff and Erickson received honorable mention for Best Multiple Advertiser Spread for the Rib Lake Ice Age Days promotion. The judge wrote: “Eye-catching promotion, very colorful.”

On the editorial side of the competition, The Star News staff had a solid showing with a number of awards in very close competition areas.

Sports Editor Matt Frey took second place for Best Sports Pages. The judge wrote: “Very strong class of sports sections. It was a pleasure to judge this category. There was very little difference between first and third places.”

News Editor Brian Wilson took second place for editorial award for editorials on pedestrian safety, celebrating safely during COVID, and creating economic opportunities. The judge wrote: “The Star News entries reflect clearly and well-done opinion pieces on a variety of important local topics. All three likely resonated strongly with readers. I especially liked the message about celebrating the the holidays safely. Great work!” Wilson also took second place in the small weekly newspaper category for editorials he wrote for The Courier-Sentinel which serves Cornell, Lake Holcombe and Cadott.

Frey took both second place for best action photo with “Ben Meyer diving to catch a baseball” and third place for “Soccer team wins sectional shootout.”

Wilson took second place for Artistic Photo for a photo of frost.

Wilson and Sarah Komarek took second place for Photo Essay with coverage of the 2021 Parkfest celebration.

Wilson took third place for Best Opinion pages. Wilson took third place for Coronavirus Coverage. The judge wrote: “I liked the coverage and diversity of stories. It was comprehensive and thorough. The column added a lot.”

Publisher Carol O’Leary praised the entire staff for their commitment and hard work over the past year and congratulated them on their award-winning work in serving the readers, advertisers and communities.