2008 Montana Newspaper Association Awards

by jhwygirl

The Montana Newspaper Association gave out its awards last night – and here’s a list of those north of the line on the various categories. No direct link to the list, yet, on the MWA site, so this is pieced together from the various state newspapers.

The Great Falls Tribune raked in 24 awards at last night’s dinner. Among them were:
~Také Uda for FRONT PAGE (“”Visually arresting, strong to the point heds. Solid news judgment.”)
~Kim Skornogoski for EDUCATIONAL REPORTING (“The submitted body of work is exemplary when it comes to education reporting,” judges wrote. “This is about real people … a homecoming king candidate with Down syndrome; the voice of a teen editorial opinion piece and its controversy, and an outdoor camp that changed people’s lives.”)
~Zachary Franz for several pieces in JUSTICE SYSTEM REPORTING (“Consistent strong coverage separates this entry from the rest.”)
~Gary Moseman for EDITORIAL WRITING (for several pieces, including “Verdicts from commission leave few happy.”)

The Billings Gazette was picked as the state’s best newspaper in the category of large dailies. The Dillon Tribune won as the top weekly or small daily. The Billings Gazette also garnered 12 first place awards, including the following:
~James Woodcock PHOTO OF THE YEAR (& BEST NATURE PHOTO) for for a dog-chases-ducklings image. (OK – I don’t know about the judgment on that one for ‘Best Nature Photo…)
~Ed Kemmick BEST COLUMN WRITING for a selection of City Lights commentaries.
~Matt Hagengruber BEST GOVERNMENT REPORTING for a package on drilling for methane gas at the city landfill.
~Greg Rachac BEST SPORTS EVENT COVERAGE for his story on the 2008 Cat-Griz football game.

The Missoulian didn’t walk away empty handed:
~Written by Michael Jamison and Vince Devlin and photographed by Michael Gallacher and Tom Bauer, BEST ENVIRONMENTAL/NATURAL RESOURCES REPORTING for their four-part “Glacier Park: The Next Century”.
~Betsy Cohen BEST AGRICULTURAL REPORTING for “Horses with no home,” about how the animals are suffering from neglect as the economy falters.

The Daily Interlake, Kalispell’s paper, took a very well deserved HONORABLE MENTION for GENERAL EXCELLENCE, with the judges saying that the Interlake was “more newspaper than a town of its size should expect.” There’s a long list, too, of other honorable mentions – but here’s some bigger ones:
~Managing Editor Frank Miele BEST EDITORIAL PAGE (“sheer volume and differing opinions makes [the Inter Lake] a hands-down winner”)
~Frank Miele also took second-place for Best Editorial Writing (behind the Tribunes Gary Moseman)

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle didn’t do any bragging in today’s edition, but the Missoulian makes mention of their community service award for “Homeless Teens.” (No author attribution, sorry.)

Same with the Helena Independent Record – no bragging over there today, but the Missoulian mentions their BEST ONLINE NEWS PRODUCT for “mtprepsorts.com.”

There are some surprises in there for me, for those who are missing – reporters like the Missoulian’s Tristan Scott (the trial for the murder of Forrest Clayton Salcido? the W.R. Grace trial? hello?!) and Great Falls Tribune’s John S. Adams (legislative coverage? hello?!) But enough about that –

Congrats to all!

  1. goof houlihan

    No “commenter of the year” award?

    • If I were to give out, say, a BEST COMMENTS award to the newspapers, I’d give it to the Billings Gazette, hands-down.

      The BG lets ’em fly – even after getting sued for not releasing information on anonymous posters. Their censorship – even now – is to a minimum.

      The comments over there are very entertaining.

      I’d give second place for that one to the Montana Standard. The commenters over there get a bit ornery, too. Very entertaining.

  2. goof houlihan

    The Chronicle, which has lame commenters and of course doesn’t let it’s paper out to the internet without a cost, has been sued to reveal poster names and ip addresses in connection with comments about a job discrimination suit. I didn’t know the Gazette had been too.

    The Gazette seems to cover this end of the state well. They’ve sort of taken over from the GFT in that regard.

  3. Don’t forget to mention the weekly paper award winners . . . .they work just as hard. Do you know where to find a complete listing? The official MNA site is pretty lame and looks like it hasn’t been touched in a long time . . .

    • I mentioned, above, that the Dillon Tribune took top honors for a weekly.

      I also mentioned that the MNA site is without links (currently) to the awards. The info I have is pieced together from various newspaper articles.

      What I have is incomplete..but if I get more, I’ll post it.

      • Lucky

        And don’t forget. My favorite, the Liberty County Times of Chester took 18 well-deserved awards in Central Montana Division I Weeklies (circulation under 1,500).

        Montana has a host of top flight weekly publications hard at work proving that newspapers ain’t dead.


  4. It is, however, somewhat ironic that the Helena IR repeated the typo in the URL for their top online feature. :)

  5. Bob Meseroll

    Don’t forget that the awards were for reporting in 2008, so the WR Grace trial wouldn’t be included in that time frame.

    • Thanks…I started to think that at some point after posting this – both the WR Grace trial and the trial for the murder of Clayton Forrest Salicido were this year.

  6. Nick D

    I wonder if the judges read the same Interlake I’ve read in the past?

  7. klemz

    I doubt JA got dissed. Sometimes it just takes a while for them to post the list. They tell you several weeks in advance if you won something but never say what, as if to entice folks to attend the banquet.

  8. Ellie Hill

    J-girl, thanks for noting Tristan Scott’s OUTSTANDING coverage of the murder of Clay Salcido. He WAS nominated for a 2008 National MOLLY Award. I know, because I nominated him. This award honors journalists who concentrate on civil liberties and social justice, and embody the intelligence, deep thinking and passionate wit that marked the work of the late Molly Ivins. In a culture where comments on the Missoulian online have included such hate filled gems as, “the murder of Clay Salcido seems like a good way to solve homelessness”, Tristan’s work spoke volumes to this community and was a beacon of truth and justice for ALL.
    An aside, six Missoulian reporters were also lauded for their work by Pacific Northwest Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism (Michael Moore, Joe Nickell, Chesi Moy, Tristan Scott, Betsy Cohen, Kurt Wilson.) My favorite piece is Moore’s column on the death of novelist David Foster Wallace. I couldn’t find it on their website, but I found it on his blog if you Google for it. It’s totally worth reading.

  1. 1 More Awards for Local Journalists « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] week ago I blogged about some of the awards awarded to local Montana print journalists by the Montana Newspaper Association. I didn’t […]

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