Chronicle wins record number of firsts in contest.
Published: Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
The staff of the Custer County Chronicle brought home a record number of first place awards in the Better Newspaper Contest, sponsored by the South Dakota Newspaper Association and held last weekend in Rapid City.
The staff received a total of 25 awards with 13 first place awards, in addition to receiving the Sweepstakes Award, given to the paper with the highest total points from awards.
Awards were given in categories for news and sports writing, editorial and column writing, photography, page design, websites and advertising. More than 70 newspapers entered this year's contest, which was judged by members of the Oklahoma Press Association.
The Chronicle was entered in the 1,151 to 2,000 circulation category.
Carrie Moore, reporter and social media coordinator at the Chronicle, received the Young Journalist Award for weeklies. “Wow! Carrie has many great talents and is obviously contributing to the newspaper and the community in a big way. Great work overall. Tops in what was a very competitive category of talented journalists. Keep up the good work!” the judges said.
Publisher Charley Najacht and editor Norma Najacht received first place in the General Excellence category, with the highest possible score. “Great redesign,” the judges said.
The Najachts received third place for Best Typography and Design. “Good use of images. Plenty of news/illustration on front page,” the judges wrote.
Charley received a third place award for Best Multiple Advertiser Section with a page of advertisements for Gold Discovery Days. “Clean ads. Very well done. Great use of color,” the judges said.
The staff received first place for the new magazine, Down Country Roads. The magazine received the highest possible points, in both advertising and editorial competition. The judges wrote, “Beautiful presentation. Quality work here, well done! Wouldn’t change a thing.” In the editorial category, the judges wrote, “Excellent coverage, use of art and photos.”
Chronicle general manager Jason Ferguson received five first place awards.
Ferguson received first place for Best Local Humorous Column, for which he received the highest possible score. “I like your honesty and that makes it worth reading. Good columns,” the judges wrote.
He also received first place for Best Local General Interest Columns, for which he also received the highest possible score. “Very well written,” the judges said.
Ferguson took first place honors (again) for Best Headline Writing and also for Best Editorial Writing.
He garnered first place for Best Sports Column. “Nice column length/thor-oughness,” the judges said.
Ferguson also took second for Best Sports Photo, a bucking bull at the Crazy Horse Stampede Rodeo. “Powerful image! Good job,” the judges said.
Chronicle editor Norma Najacht received four first place awards. She received first place in the Best Feature Story category for a story on making sauerkraut. “Delightful! Superbly written!” the judges said.
She also received a first for Best Series Ad Idea for a series of ads for Custer Fitness Center. “Ads are great! Well written, great images, well done!” the judges said.
A series of ads picturing local people telling why they read the Chronicle garnered Najacht a first place award for Best Newspaper Promotion. “Love this idea! Great using your readers and comments. Should sell papers! Well done! I want to subscribe!” wrote the judges.
Najacht also received first place for Best Use of Local Photography which incorporated pictures she took at Angostura in an advertisement for Ango-stura Recreation Area. “Very good blend of photos. Impressive. Clear winner!” the judges wrote.
She also received a second place award for Best Headline Writing and also for Best Local Humor Column. She received a third place award for Best Feature Series for a series of stories about domestic violence. “Great interviews make this a much better than average series. Very compelling,” wrote the judges.
Advertising graphic designer Deb McLain received a first place award for Best Use of Color. The award was for an ad for Jenny’s Floral. “Great job! Great photos! Clear winner!!” the judges wrote.
McLain won second place for Best Use of Art Service for an advertisement for Jackets and Jewels. “Great combination of clip art and background. Good use of color. Beautiful ad!” the judges said.
She won third place for Best Advertising Sales Tool, an advertising sales sheet for the Biggest Loser Contest. “Very nice layout, good job, easy to follow,” the judges said.
McLain took third place in the Best 2x4 Ad with an ad for Premier Eye Care. “Good use of color, great ‘pretty’ ad. Good job,” the judges wrote.
Advertising sales person Elaine Studt received a second place award for a series of advertisements for Heart of the Hills. “Beautiful ads. Clean layout. Very pleasing to the eye. Well done!” the judges wrote.
The staff also won a second place award for Best Service Project for sponsoring the Biggest Loser Contest.
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