The Platteville Journal received nine Wisconsin Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest awards, including second place in General Excellence and three first-place awards, at the annual WNA convention in Waukesha Friday.
The second-place General Excellence award is the highest The Journal has received in that category.
The Better Newspaper Contest was judged by members of the Missouri Newspaper Association.
“The Platteville Journal knows how to handle breaking news,” wrote the judges. “From fires to crime to high school sports, its staff keeps readers on top of what matters right now.”
The judges noted the “good use of photos,” and The Journal’s coverage of the City of Platteville’s sale of 12 houses previously owned by Darrel Kallembach, calling it “brilliant in its depth and detail.”
The Ripon Commonwealth Press finished first in the circulation category, and the Abbotsford Record–Review finished third.
The Journal received a first-place award in Overall Page Design. Judges noted the large photos and graphics.
Journal sports editor Jason Nihles earned a first-place award in Sports Pages. Judges called the pages “well done,” including the first-column sports schedule and sports briefs.
The Journal received a first-place award in Best Use of Color for an ad on the 2014 Hometown Hog Roast. Judges said the “original use of color immediately brings your attention to the ad.” The ad was created by account representative Ann Rupp and graphic designer Carol Tyson.
Nihles also received a second-place award in Page Design–Sports, with judges noting “great use of photos and graphics within the pages,” and a second-place award in Sports Photo for “Insult to injury.” …
The Journal also received a second-place award for Editorial Pages. Editor Steve Prestegard also received a second-place award for Local Sports Column for a column written about the 2013 WIAA high school football playoffs.
The Journal also received a second-place award for headlines based on three — “From –$80,714 to +$68,885 to ‘about –$35,000,” about the 2014 city budget; “A magnum of alcohol-related tickets”; and a Rewey News column starting with correspondent Elaine Bunker’s noting how many people were sick of winter: “Yes, we are.”
The Journal has won 45 WNA awards, including 12 first-place awards, since Morris Newspapers Corporation of Wisconsin purchased The Journal in 2003.
Prestegard also was a contributor to another newspaper’s first-place special section, the Wisconsin State Journal’s “Hometown History” retrospective on the 99 years of the WIAA state boys basketball tournament in Madison. Prestegard wrote about the experience of Madison La Follette’s 1982 state Class A championship from the perspective of the LHS band.
Other Morris Newspapers publications received awards. The Grant County Herald Independent in Lancaster earned 11 awards, including four first-place awards.
The Fennimore Times received two awards, including a first-place Breaking News Coverage award. The Crawford County Independent and Kickapoo Scout in Gays Mills received two awards, including a first-place Local Column award.
Journal publisher John Ingebritsen was elected third vice president of the WNA at the annual meeting.