2019 Page One Awards in Newspaper Journalism

MNSPJ congratulates all the winners recognized Tuesday night at the annual Page One Awards!  Here’s a list of winners for excellence in newspaper journalism.

BREAKING NEWS

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First place

“’It felt like a bomb’ — Explosions, fire rock Superior oil refinery.”

John Myers, Jana Hollingsworth and Jimmy Lovrien, Duluth News Tribune

The judge said the story “had incredible quotes, plenty of sources and terrific detail.”

 

Second place

“Grim discovery on quiet street.”

Andrew Haffner, Grand Forks Herald

 

50,000+ circulation:

First place

Coverage of the Jacob Wetterling case

Rochelle Olson and Jim Walsh, Star Tribune

The judge described it as “a huge amount of material that was put together to make a most fascinating story,” adding, “as soon as I started reading it, I knew it was the first place winner.”

 

Second place

Coverage of the charges against former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor

Libor Jany, David Chanen, Brandon Stahl and Faiza Mahamud, Star Tribune

 

DEADLINE NEWS COVERAGE

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First place

“UND, donor at odds over logo.”

Tom Miller, Grand Forks Herald

The judge said: “I love it when reporters use open records laws to dig up facts that might not have otherwise become public, which Miller did here. He put a lot of work into this.”

 

Second place

“A call for action.”

Dylan Thomas, Southwest Journal

 

Third place

“A ‘hostile’ relationship.”

Andrew Haffner, Grand Forks Herald

 

50,000+ circulation

First place

Coverage of the 2018 Super Bowl

Star Tribune staff

The judge called it “Well-written” and “comprehensive,” “from the beginning to the end.”

 

Second Place

Coverage of the 2018 Election

Star Tribune staff

 

Third place

Coverage of the Minnesota Vikings

Chris Tomasson, St. Paul Pioneer Press

 

FEATURE

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First Place

“The cost of a home.”

Michelle Bruch, Southwest Journal

The judge said: “This piece does an excellent job of connecting faces and personal stories to an issue that would otherwise be all about impersonal statistics.”

 

Second Place

‘Not just a sandwich’ — Duluth’s beloved ‘micro-smokery’ celebrates 20 years”

Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News Tribune

 

Third Place

“Life after lotto.”

Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald

 

50,000+ circulation:

First Place

Selection of feature stories

Rachel Hutton, Star Tribune

The judge said: “These entries do a great job of translating big personalities onto the page.”

 

Second Place

“50 years ago, St. Paul police tear gassed a barricaded dance hall. So began the Stem Hall race riots.”

Nick Woltman, St. Paul Pioneer Press

 

Third Place

“The #MeToo movement in Minnesota’s immigrant communities.”

Mila Koumpilova, Star Tribune

 

Enterprise/In-Depth (Single story)

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First place

“Silent Killer: Family loses loved ones to poisoning.”

Brian Arola, Mankato Free Press

The judge called it “well-written,” and “a touching article about a family’s loss and grief due to a silent killer that could have been prevented.”

 

Second Place

“Parents’ rights unsolved.”

Janelle Vonasek, Grand Forks Herald

 

Third Place

“Mom speaks out after autistic son sent to jail.”

Trey Mewes, Mankato Free Press

 

50,000+ circulation:

First Place

“The Wall of Forgotten Natives: Inside Minneapolis’ largest homeless encampment.”

Susan Du, City Pages

The judge said: “The reporter did a good job reminding everyone that homeless people are important members of society, they once had jobs and homes but due to hard times or crisis they have hit rock bottom.”

 

Second Place

“Fatal plunge into Lake Minnetonka tests a father and a marriage.”

Mary Lynn Smith, Star Tribune

 

Third Place

“Adoption numbers plummet in Minnesota and nationwide.”

Shannon Prather, Star Tribune

 

Enterprise/In-Depth (Series)

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First Place

“The risk remains.”

Brooks Johnson, Duluth News Tribune

The judge called it a “well-written article that sheds light on potentially dangerous chemicals that are in our communities that we are not aware of, or don’t think about until disaster happens.”

 

Second Place

“Sustainable.”

Frank Jossi, Finance & Commerce

 

Third Place

“UND budget cuts.”

Andrew Haffner, Grand Forks Herald

 

50,000+ circulation:

First Place

“Aging parents, stressed families.”

Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune

The judge said: “This reporter touches on the lives of families that are struggling to deal with the medical diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and the walls they face as they decide how to care for their aging parent … Good job exploring a subject that needs to be brought to the forefront.”

 

Second Place

“A Test of Faith: The Un-churching of America.”

Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune

 

Third Place

“Minnesota Historical Society broadens how it tells the state’s history.”

Shannon Prather, Star Tribune

 

Investigative

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First Place

“Dentistry in decay: Twin Ports dentists struggle to see area’s poorest children.”

Brady Slater, Duluth News Tribune

The judge called it “a well-sourced story that details both the local and broader scope of the problem, looks at a current model of care and lays out potential solutions.”

 

Second place

“Sex buyer ‘john’ has a name.”

Sara Marie Moore, Shoreview Press

 

Third place

“The saga of Superintendent Rod Thompson.”

Amanda McKnight and Deena Winter, Shakopee Valley News

 

50,000+ circulation:

First Place

“Denied Justice.”

Brandon Stahl, Jennifer Bjorhus, Renee Jones Schneider and MaryJo Webster, Star Tribune

The judge said the story “is very well written and draws the reader into the story right away … Readers should be angry that this is happening and work with these women to seek justice not only for them, but for others as well. Good job.”

 

Second Place

“The Unknowable Truth: Jurors think Mariel Grimm nearly killed a baby. How she did it, no-one could say.”

Susan Du, City Pages

 

Third place

“Lake Elmo didn’t make 3M pay.”

Bob Shaw, St. Paul Pioneer Press

 

Business news coverage

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First Place

“Firm footing for now.”

Andrew Haffner, Grand Forks Herald

The judge described it as “Great coverage” with and “enticing layout” and “graphics [that] really grab your attention. Top notch.”

 

Second Place

“Surly tip-pooling settlement has a ripple effect.”

Michelle Bruch, Southwest Journal

 

Third Place

Selection of stories

William Morris, Finance & Commerce

 

50,000+ circulation

First Place

“Legal War Engulfs 3M Device.”

Joe Carlson, Star Tribune

The judge called it “An entry to be proud of, and a joy to read.”

 

Second Place

“Raise Your Hamm’s: As Minnesota craft beer booms, the humble ‘Beer Refreshing’ is having a resurgence of its own.”

Em Cassel, City Pages

 

Third Place

“Hey St. Paul: Here’s some TIF Advice.”

Frederick Melo, St. Paul Pioneer Press

 

Sports News Coverage

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First place

“Maverick Hockey Section.”

Shane Frederick, Pat Christman and Jackson Forderer, Mankato Free Press

The judge called it “A solid preview section. It’s packed full of information and offers a little bit of everything for fans of MSU hockey. Well done.”

 

Second place

“NCHC ref Dan Dreger takes puck to face.”

Brad Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald

 

Third place

“A year after cutting sports, UND athletics adjusts.”

Tom Miller, Grand Forks Herald

 

50,000+ circulation:

First Place

Coverage of the Minnesota Vikings

Ben Goessling, Star Tribune

The judge said: “Ben’s writing style is smooth and entertaining. The story about Diggs’ playoff-winning touchdown provided a jolt while reading it, despite it being well more than a year later.”

 

Second place

Coverage of the Minnesota Wild

Sarah McClellan, Star Tribune

 

Third place

Coverage of the Minnesota Gophers

Marcus Fuller, Star Tribune

 

Sports Feature Story

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First place

“The draw of history.”

Melinda Lavine, Duluth News Tribune

The judge said: “You follow the No. 1 rule of feature writing: You show rather than tell. Great job on getting me hooked on a topic I don’t normally read.”

 

Second place

“YouTube punter.”

Tom Miller, Grand Forks Herald

 

Third place

“All aboard.”

Brad Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald

 

50,000+ circulation:

First place

Ben Goessling, Star Tribune.

The judge said: “Ben has a knack for telling behind-the-scenes stories that pique the interest of even non-Vikings fans. That peel-back-the-curtain style is exactly what feature writing should be.”

 

Second Place

Rachel Blount, Star Tribune

 

Third place

Dennis Anderson, Star Tribune.

 

Sports column [NOTE: no distinction in this category based on circulation]

First place

Chip Scoggins, Star Tribune.

The judge said: “Good style with a mix of opinion and strong storytelling. Great job.”

 

Second place

Shane Frederick, Mankato Free Press.

 

Third place

Brad Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald.

 

Arts & Entertainment Coverage

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First place

Selected Arts & Entertainment coverage

Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune

The judge said: “Each of these stories really brings the emotions of the subjects to the forefront, and that makes for compelling tales.”

 

Second Place

“The art of entertaining: Burlesque dancers make strides toward acceptance.”

Melinda Lavine, Duluth News Tribune

 

Third Place

“When arena rock tribute band Hairball plays Prince at the Minnesota State Fair.”

Jackie Renzetti, Hastings Star Gazette/Rivertown Multimedia

 

50,000+ circulation:

First place

Jon Bream, Star Tribune

The judge complemented Bream’s writing in particular, saying, “Like Springsteen, you are a great storyteller.”

 

Second Place

Jeff Baenen, Amy Forliti, and Doug Glass, Associated Press.

 

Third Place

Jenna Ross, Star Tribune

 

Arts Criticism/Reviews

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First place

“Exhibition as experience.”

Dylan Thomas, Southwest Journal

The judge said: “The author obviously knows much about the arts, but also a lot about how the arts are presented in exhibition. Armed with this expertise, the reviewer deftly places the exhibition in context … a strong effort.”

 

Second place

“On Movies: Crazy Rich Asians.”

Yun Ji Nam, Red and Green

 

50,000+ circulation:

First Place

A selection of theater reviews

Pamela Espeland, MinnPost

The judge complimented Espeland’s “crisp writing” and thoughtful approach.

 

Second Place

A selection of restaurant reviews

Hannah Sayle, City Pages

 

Third Place

Selected reviews

Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune

 

Column

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First Place

A selection of columns

Robb Murray, Mankato Free Press

The judge said: “Mr. Murray’s columns displayed not only meaning and emotion but personal courage … These were three fine pieces of writing that I truly enjoyed.”

 

Second Place

“My Minneapolis.”

Jim Walsh, Southwest Journal

 

Third Place

“Maybe the Reddi-Bacon will return.”

Tim Krohn, Mankato Free Press

 

50,000+ circulation:

First place

A selection of metro columns

Jennifer Brooks, Star Tribune

The judge said: “All three columns discuss topics that are timely and relatable, not only for local readers, but on a national level.”

 

Second Place

“Frederick Melo: You don’t know TIF!”

Frederick Melo, St. Paul Pioneer Press

 

Third Place

A selection of metro columns

Ruben Rosario, St. Paul Pioneer Press

 

Editorial

Less than 50,000 circulation (all winners submitted a selection of editorials):

First place

Brian Hunhoff, Yankton County Observer

The judge said: “It’s not often that an editorial can be considered a “joy to read,” but Brian Hunhoff pulled it off three times with his entries. All are well-written, engaging and take definitive stands on issues of consequence.”

 

Second place

Joe Spear, Mankato Free Press

 

Third Place

Mike Jacobs, Grand Forks Herald

 

50,000+ circulation:

First place

“Lives at stake, voices raised.”

Star Tribune Editorial Board

The judge said: “The editorial board is to be commended for its clear, concise arguments that are supported well and draw logical conclusions. All of the submissions addressed important community topics, and the board’s stands provided thought leadership on those issues.”

 

Second Place

A selection of columns

Lori Sturdevant, Star Tribune

 

Third place

“The new war on birthright citizenship.”

Star Tribune Editorial Board

 

Graphics/Art and Illustration

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First Place

“Ranking risk.”

Carli Greninger, Grand Forks Herald

The judge said: “The primary art for this graphic actually made me say, “Wow,” out loud … Great work.”

 

Second place

“Is ignorance bliss?”

Isis Cabral, Red and Green

 

50,000+ circulation:

First Place

“Warm, but not too warm.”

Ray Grumney, Star Tribune

The judge said: “Using nothing but data as a visual illustrator for a story is incredibly difficult, but you’ve done it masterfully here … Absolutely stunning.”

 

Second Place

“No big deal.”

Ben Ramsden, Mark Reilly and Patrick Rehkamp, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

 

Third Place

“Holiday book guide.”

Mike Rice, Star Tribune

 

Page Design

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First Place

“Gold rush/Hockey town hero.”

Kirsten Stromsodt and Meaghan MacDonald, Grand Forks Herald

The judge said this submission’s “striking layout stops the eye cold – in all the right ways.”

 

Second place

“The year that was with Lizz Winstead.”

Brenda Taylor, Southwest Journal

 

Third Place

“The fig is up.”

Micah Edel, Southwest Journal

 

50,000 circulation:

First Place

“Portraits of Prince’s Hometown Love Affair.”

Mike Rice and Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

The judge called this submission an “excellent marriage of headline, story and photo … Good thinking and execution went into this page design.”

 

Second place

“Super Bowl bet.”

Ben Ramsden, Mark Reilly and Dirk DeYoung, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

 

Third Place

“Gold rush.”

Josh Jones, Star Tribune

 

Headlines

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First Place

“Flushing truth down an Oval hole”; “An angel walked among us” and “Ghosts of aging dream still haunt Devil’s Nest.”

Brian Hunhoff, Yankton County Observer

The judge said: “These headlines accurately and concisely highlight each article’s most intriguing angles.”

 

Second Place

“A touch of classic Yankton”; “Love the Mall you have” and “The bird man of downtown Yankton.”

Kathy Church and Brian Hunhoff, Yankton County Observer

 

50,000+ circulation:

First place

“These kids hope to be arrow-dynamic”; “For some, skiing is believing” and “Cue snow globe, it’s Super Sunday.”

Mark Wolleman, Star Tribune

The judge said: “Your headlines are on the right side of the line between being clever and corny. Good job.”

 

Best Issue

Less than 50,000 circulation:

First Place

Mankato Free Press

The judge said: “The Free Press has a good balance of sharing the national and local news. One of their features in this issue on Somali language classes for Mankatoans points out the importance of diversity in the local as well as national arenas. A delightful plus for the paper is their inclusion of fiction as part of their Sunday edition.”

 

Second Place

Grand Forks Herald

 

50,000+ circulation:

First place

Star Tribune

The judge said: “This newspaper won hands down with the reporting, writing, photography, graphics and layout … I’d look forward to a Sunday read with this newspaper.”

 

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