Courier First In 'General Excellence'
Glasgow Wins Mont. Newspaper Association's Top Division II Award
By: Jim Orr, Courier Publisher
Published: Wednesday, June 20th, 2012
BIG SKY – The Glasgow Courier was honored Saturday as the best Division 2 newspaper in Montana, capping an evening in which The Courier hauled in 13 awards at the Montana Newspaper Association's annual awards banquet.
The Courier's awards, including six first-place plaques, exceeded last year's total of 12. Editor Samar Fay again led The Courier in individual awards, bringing home five to Valley County.
The Courier couldn't ask for a better 100th birthday present.
The paper, founded by esteemed 45-year publisher T.J. Hocking in 1913, will celebrate its centennial next year – with its first-place wooden plaque for General Excellence displayed proudly on the office's front counter.
The Courier's awards division included newspapers statewide with circulations of 1,500 to 2,999. Among those following Glasgow in the results were the Livingston Enterprise, a daily paper, and three papers with respected traditions of excellence: the second-place Hungry Horse News, the third-place Dillon Tribune and The Madisonian in Ennis, which received honorable mention.
Awards contest judge Geoff Entyre of the Frederick News-Post in Maryland said this about The Courier:
“Reporting, writing, editing and headlines are above the competition; sections well organized; best typography; good photography. Overall, a cleanly designed newspaper that enticed you in and offered dynamic headlines that lured you into the well-written/edited stories that you cared about.”
Judging this year's MNA 2011 Better Newspaper Contest entries were members of the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.
Awards were presented during the MNA's 127th annual convention at Buck's T-4 Lodge in Big Sky. The banquet audience, nearly 200 newspaper professionals, saluted The Courier for its accomplishment with one of the evening's loudest ovations.
Representing The Courier were publisher Jim Orr, Fay and correspondent and columnist Virgil Vaupel.
Fay won first place for Best Short Feature Story, her piece about Buddy Cornwell and the diamond willow cane that he made for the late Robert Hurly. It ran under the headline “Diamonds in the Rough.”
Judges Steve Matrazzo and Bill Gates of The Dundalk Eagle in Maryland said this about Fay's story:
“Has all the components of a strong feature piece: an interesting subject, solid informational narrative and quality writing.”
The Courier editor also won second place in headline writing, third place in Best Business-Economic Issues Reporting for articles on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, Feature Photo honorable mention for her picture of two Irle School students, and honorable mention in General Excellence Writing for articles about last year's flooding, cottonwood trees and the Gateway Inn fire.
For the second consecutive year, The Courier excelled in Big Sky State headline writing with two awards. Orr took third place.
Orr also accepted the Best Graphic first-place plaque for the design that former Courier graphic artist Donna Roness developed and he modified for the holiday recipes special section. Orr's other award was an honorable mention in Special Projects for The Courier Holiday Gift Guide.
Former sports editor Joseph Terry, now at The Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, received three awards for his work at The Courier. He won first places for Best Sports Columns and Best Sports Story, a report about champion wrestler Luke Zeiger under the headline “Top Dog.” Terry also placed second in Best Sports Feature for his story about the inspiring comeback of Scottie softball star Dara Morehouse.
Vaupel, meanwhile, has emerged as one of Montana's best newspaper columnists. The Courier correspondent, who sprouted on the statewide scene last year with an MNA honorable mention, won first place for Best Serious Column for a selection of his works.
A judge from Delaware said this about Vaupel: “The writer likely raised the hackles of others with his straight talk to politicians!”
The highest of all newspaper honors was not presented during the awards banquet: the words of thanks and appreciation that The Courier receives every week from readers, customers and advertisers. For that The Courier is grateful and committed to keep earning.
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