2018 Page One Awards in Newspaper Journalism


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


Spot News  Newspaper  – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Paul Walsh, Libor Jany, Miguel Otarola, Star Tribune

“Minnehaha Academy Explosion”


Judge’s comment

“Great reporting. The reporters do a nice job putting the reader at the scene of what happened and adding key context — giving a face to the victims and exploring the history of gas leaks in the state. It’s a nice package. The photos are also gripping.


Second Place, Neal Justin, Star Tribune

“Scandal Hits Home”

Third Place, Kristen Leigh Painter, Kavita Kumar, Nicole Norfleet, Star Tribune

“Macy’s sells landmark home of Minneapolis retail”


Meeting/Planned news event  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Nate Gotlieb, Southwest Journal

“School Board votes to rectify ‘wrongful firings’ of seven employees”


Judge’s comment

“This piece clearly meets journalistic standards. The lede clearly and efficiently explains what the story is about. There are multiple sources and the board vote is explained in detail.”


Meeting/Planned news event  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Staff Star Tribune         

“Franken resigns”


Judge’s comment

 “Well done by the staff of the Star Tribune. The event was covered from multiple angles, with each story being very clear and consistent. Sourcing was phenomenal.”


Second Place, Shannon Prather, Star Tribune

“New St. Paul shelter offer paths out of homelessness”

Third Place, Chris Tomasson, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Tom Brady leads Patriots to fifth Super Bowl win as Falcons collapse”


Feature  Newspaper  – LESS than 50,000+ circulation

First Place, John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune    

“She taught me how to walk”


Judge’s comment

 “Lovely writing. Well-sourced story. Full of great scenes.”


Second Place, Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News Tribune

“My life mattered”

Third Place, Zac Farber, Minnesota Lawyer

“Politics of the Past: Minnesota’s “Wild Woman” charged with impersonating a man in 1858”


Feature  Newspaper  – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Mila Koumpilova, Star Tribune         

“Mohamed in the middle”


Judge’s comment

 “Wonderful storytelling. Puts a face on a young immigrant trying to navigate his way to college.”


Second Place, Susan Du, City Pages

“An underground club is raided, and Minneapolis must face the times”

Third Place, S. M. Chavey, Pioneer Press

“After a fall, Twin Cities woman forgot her entire life”


Enterprise/In-Depth (Single story)  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Mark Fischenich, Mankato Free Press

“A Blast Gone Bad”


Judge’s comment

 “Great in-depth reporting that tells a really interesting story and does a solid job explaining what happened.”


Second Place, Brian Johnson, Finance & Commerce

“Investors cut back on affordable-housing tax credits”

Third Place, Melinda Lavine, Duluth News Tribune

“You’re not a fraud”


Enterprise/In-Depth (Single story)  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune

“A new reformation”


Judge’s comment

 “This could have been a mundane story–500 years since Martin Luther made religious history. Instead, the reader is taken to Europe to see a pilgrimage of locals seeing where it all happened. Very interesting and entertaining read.”


Second Place, Tad Vezner, Pioneer Press

“Businesses facing ADA lawsuits”

Third Place, Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune

“Trying to escape shadow of dread”


Enterprise/In-Depth (Series)  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Business Journals’ local and national staff, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

“The Amazon Effect: How taxpayers are funding disruption of the U.S. economy”


Judge’s comment

“Amazon offers its customers convenience but at what cost? This fascinating, well researched piece answers that question and it is nothing short of an eye opener.”


Second Place, Dylan Thomas, Michelle Bruch, Eric Best, Nate Gotlieb, Southwest Journal

“Making Change”

 Third Place, Mike Longaecker, Michelle Wirth, RiverTown Multimedia

“Public Safety Magnet”


Enterprise/In-Depth (Series)  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Chris Serres, David Joles, Star Tribune

“Left to Suffer”


Judge’s comment

“Left to Suffer” stood head-and-shoulders above the competition. The writing was excellent, clear and focused without being “writerly.” Reporter Chris Seres fully detailed the abuse and its impact, but this sensitive subject matter was never sensationalized, which made it all the more compelling. Stories seamlessly wove the broader systemic failures into the personal stories. David Joles photos were compelling, and the decision to make them black-and-white only emphasized their power. The interactive graphic in the Grayce Braaten case was stunning, and persuading David DeLong to speak was a true “get”. Finally, change- the Heritage House licenses- was triggered by the stories’ findings even before the story published, evidence of having unearthed irrefutable findings. An important story, and the clear category winner.”


Second Place, Kristen Leigh Painter, Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

“The Future of Food”

Third Place, MaryJo Webster, Anthony Lonetree, Beena Raghavendran, Beatrice Dupuy, Star Tribune

“Students in Flight”


Investigative  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Jana Peterson, Pine Journal

“Police chief suspended”


Judge’s comment

“This is a wonderful example of community journalism — closely following the actions of a public body, challenging that body when it violates open meetings laws, giving context and history to problems with the police department, and following up the resolution with a deep dive into documents underlying the story. The town of Cloquet is obviously well-served by its newspaper.”



Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation  

First Place, Jennifer Bjorhus, MaryJo Webster, Star Tribune

“Shielded by the Badge”


Judge’s comment

“Journalism at its finest. This powerful data reporting exposed how hundreds of Minnesota law enforcement officers kept their badges despite convictions for violent criminal offenses. The four-part series reveals a state licensing system that is failing the public. Well done!”


Second Place, Susan Du, City Pages

“From wedding to body bag in 12 hours — what happened to Elisa Gomez?”


Business Story  Newspaper — LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Nicholas Halter, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal      

“Where have you gone Mr. Holmes?”


Judge’s comment

 “A well-reported profile that was hard to put down. The story really brought out the mystery behind Mr. Homes and his real estate business.”


Second Place, Katharine Grayson, Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal        

“Ready for a race?” 

Third Place, Matt Johnson, Finance & Commerce

“Perking up an old coffee factory in the North Loop”


Business Story  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Jeff Meitrodt, Star Tribune

“Cost of affair, family rift measured in millions”


Judge’s comment

 “This is what business journalism is all about. The reporter peels back the curtain on allegations of misspending by a chief executive at one of Minnesota’s largest privately owned companies and how it has torn the family business apart.”


Second Place, Susan Du, City Pages

“Reefer Riches: What Minnesota could learn about recreational marijuana”

Third Place, Christopher Magan, Pioneer Press  

“Liquor’s Sunday shift”


Sports News Story  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Shane Frederick, Mankato Free Press

“Contract shows MSU’s commitment to Hastings”


Judge’s comment

 “Fantastic. The reporter used quotes from the sports coach and the president of the university, two very important sources. There’s also a utilization of a public information request. which heavily benefits the story. The combination of data and sourcing combines for an interesting, informational news piece.”


Sports News Story  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation  

First Place, Heather Rule, Star Tribune

“Gophers men’s hockey team spreads the wealth in victory over Harvard”


Judge’s comment

 “This one stood apart from the rest because, simply, it was a news story. This story has detail, quotations from multiple sources, and gets to the point from the get-go.”


Second Place, Chris Tomasson, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Ex-Viking Mike Harris upbeat despite congenital brain condition forcing retirement”


Sports Feature Story  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Chris Tomasson, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“Latavius Murray: Late best friend ‘will be looking down’ when he takes field for the Vikings”


Judge’s comment

 “A very captivating piece. The lede drew me in and the storytelling had plenty of verve. The quotes tell me that the writer knew to ask the right questions.”


Second Place, Andy Greder, St. Paul Pioneer Press

“It took a village to change the life of Gophers running back Shannon Brooks”


Arts & Entertainment Story  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Sarah Horner, Pioneer Press

“Drug-abuse expert knows how to make meth, and, evidently, meatloaf”


Judge’s comment

 “In “A Way of Thinking ‘Outside the Pan,'” Sarah Horner takes us inside Carol Falkowski’s kitchen to watch the former drug-abuse expert sculpt faces out of meatloaf. It’s as ridiculous and hilarious as you’d expect because of Horner’s attention to detail. Horner steers the reader through this cooking adventure masterfully.”


Second Place, Erica Rivera, City Pages

“Man of constant sorrow: Charlie Parr’s quiet battle to stay alive”

Third Place, Susan Du, City Pages

“One Minneapolis lawyer’s neo-Nazi record label, and the fight to shut it down”


Arts Criticism/Reviews  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Dylan Thomas, Southwest Journal

Art Beat


Judge’s comment

 “This eloquent piece captures the essence of the artist’s work and their goal of delivering an impactful statement on the dangers of plastic in the environment. Well done!”


Arts Criticism/Reviews

Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Keith Harris, City Pages

“Taylor Swift would very much like to exclude us from her narrative”


Judge’s comment

 “Thoughtful article and very fun to read. He does a great job analyzing both Swift and West in a way that was insightful.”


Second Place, Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune

Third Place, Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune


Column  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Christa Lawler, Duluth News Tribune

“In the kitchen: We found solace, laughter, turkey rollups where the food was”


Judge’s comment

 “Lovely descriptive writing and a great reminder that the best food writing is often about so much more than food.”


Second Place, Tim Krohn, Mankato Free Press

“Some good shepherds still around”

Third Place, Robb Murray, Mankato Free Press

“Batter Up: The swing that supercharged a summer”


Column  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Jon Tevlin, Star Tribune

“Giant of Senate is now its ghost”


Judge’s comment

 “Tevlin’s thoughtful piece on Franken’s tarnished political career simultaneously rings the alarm on using social media as the sole platform for revealing sexual harassment allegations. Well done!”


Second Place, Mike Mullen, City Pages

“Capitol Crimes: Minnesota’s ‘new normal’ is a mess”

Third Place, Scott Gillespie, Star Tribune

“The trains and buses that bind”


Editorial  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Brian Hunhoff, Yankton County Observer

“Democracy dies behind closed statehouse doors”


Judge’s comment

“Brian Hunhoff’s editorial clearly and compelling lays out what’s at stake when state lawmakers’ insist on secrecy. It hits all the right notes, illustrating what can go on behind closed doors, such as decisions on Medicaid and teachers’ pay.”


Second Place, Chuck Frederick, Duluth News Tribune

“Ending Sex Trafficking”

Third Place, Joe Spear, Mankato Free Press

“Quarry Blast Needs Robust Investigation”


Editorial  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Editorial Board, Star Tribune

“Downtown’s Dilemma”


Judge’s comment

“This is carefully considered editorial, and clearly deserving of this year’s first-place award in the category. It informs as well as opines, and appears to be the product of research and reporting, instead of merely regurgitating what was already in the news and slapping an opinion on it”


Second Place, Patricia Effenberger, Pioneer Press

“Beneath the turmoil: heart and civic muscle”


Graphics/Art and Illustration  Newspaper LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Ben Ramsden, Steve Thomas, Dirk DeYoung, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal   

“One of Minnesota’s greatest champions”          


Judge’s comment

 “It’s not easy making old white businessmen into compelling lead art. It’s also not easy to make business news – as important as it is – clean and clear looking. Here’s how you do that, if anyone else is curious.”


Graphics/Art and Illustration  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Emily Utne, City Pages

“Picked to Click 2017”


Judge’s comment

 “The page layout is a clean balance of skilled typography, original photography, and effective overall layout. The design is fairly minimalist, allowing the graphics present to shine without challenging other elements on the page.”


Second Place, Brandon Ferrill, Mark Boswell, Josh Penrod, Derek Simmons, Star Tribune

“Executive Compensation Report”

Third Place, Chrissy Ashack, Star Tribune

“The hippies were right”


Page Design  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Ben Ramsden, Nick Halter, Dirk DeYoung, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

“The X Games”

Second Place, Valerie Moe, Southwest Journal

“Diners’ delight”

Third Place, Casey Selix, David Bohlander, Finance & Commerce        

“Restoring the Glory”


Page Design  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Derek Simmons, Greg Mees, Ross Bruggink, Star Tribune

“Celebrating Minnesota Culture”

Second Place, Greg Mees, Deb Pastner, Josh       Penrod, Derek Simmons, Star Tribune

“The Inauguration of Donald Trump      


Headlines  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Casey Selix, Finance & Commerce

“Sink or swim in amenities race,” “Sparkle fading for “starchitects,” “Another tall order for Edina”


Judge’s comment

 “The headlines are concise and to the point. They’re straight ahead and informative. The play on words are clever but not distractingly so, and invite the reader in without overplayed tease”


Second Place, Jeff Sjerven, Finance & Commerce

“Deconstructing buildings, reconstructing lives; Mississippi has inside lane for auto plant”

Third Place, Brian Hunhoff, Yankton County Observer

“Three cheers to Tabor triplets as graduation nears; Opponents flunk Medicaid math; Yankton’s vital signs past and present”


Headlines  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Staff, Star Tribune


Judge’s comment

 “The three headlines in this entry from the Star Tribune were pithy, informative and intriguing without being “too cute.” The writers and editors were clearly in synch with the desk on these stories – no small accomplishment for any staff. Congratulations for that, and for these fine headlines!”


Second Place, Catherine Preus, Star Tribune       

Third Place, Kevin Cusick, St. Paul Pioneer Press


Best Issue  Newspaper – LESS than 50,000 circulation

First Place, Newsroom staff Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

August 18, 2017 Edition


Judge’s comment

 “This is more than just a slick design and a record of business developments. The journalism here matters, and not just to the stereotypical business reader.”


Second Place, Newsroom staff, Mankato Free Press

Jan. 29, 2017 edition

Third Place, Kristal Leebrick, Stephen Parker, Park Bugle

November 2017


Best issue  Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Star Tribune staff


Judge’s comment

“In an era where it’s not impossible to imagine Sunday newspapers disappearing just as Sunday magazines did, the Star Tribune does a solid job cover to cover keeping itself relevant – and giving their readers many reasons to get newsprint on their hands on the Lord’s Day, instead of tapping on their phone.”


Star Tribune Best Issue 091717

Second Place, Star Tribune staff

Star Tribune Best Issue 120817

2018 Page One Awards in Magazine Journalism


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


Best Profile Story


First Place, Steve Lange, Rochester Magazine

“Rocket Man”


Judge’s comment

“It is deeply difficult to write well about an untested young person. Adding sports to that mix is another challenge. Mr. Lange deftly creates excitement and ethos in unexpected but pleasing ways in this profile.”


Second Place, Kim Ode, Star Tribune

“Michele Tafoya in a Man’s World”

Third Place, Amelia Rayno, Star Tribune

“King Of Cold”


Best Feature Story


First Place, Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune

“The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham”


Judge’s comment

“Good reporting that lead to good writing with a strong sense of place and ear for dialogue and detail.”


Second Place, Paul Scott, Rochester Magazine


Third Place, Doug Hennes, St Thomas Magazine

“Pulitzer Proud”


Best Department


First Place, Gail Rosenblum, Star Tribune

“Afraid to Ask”


Judge’s comment

“This department grabs the readers attention with the old “asking for a friend” concept. This space does an excellent job of asking socially awkward questions that everyone has wondered about. I love that this department adds both service and quirk to the publication’s lineup.”


Second Place, Jennifer Koski, Rochester Magazine

“Random Rochesterite”

Third Place, Chris Marshall, Jeff Jacobson, Woodworker’s Journal

“Tricks of the Trade”


Best Column


First Place, Dale Kurschner, Twin Cities Business           

“Editor’s Note”

Second Place, Nell Musolf, Mankato Magazine

“That’s Life”


Best Cover


First Place, Emily Utne, City Pages

“Till Death Do Us Part”


Judge’s comment

“This edgy, spare, elegant cover invites (demands, really) readers to turn the page and start reading. I really want to know what happened to Elisa Gomez now, too!”


Second Place, Mike Ekern, St. Thomas Magazine Winter 2017

Third Place, Lisa Houghton, Rochester Magazine

Best Restaurants


Best Page Design


First Place, Staff Star Tribune         

“Photos of the Year”


Judge’s comment

“Working with so many images, it’s easy for the reader to get lost. But the placement of photos, the photos chosen to be full page, etc. was done artfully and made it easy to read and enjoy the beautiful photography.”


Second Place, Valerie Moe, Minnesota Good Age

“Mozart’s Salzburg”


Graphics/Art and illustration


First Place, Star Tribune Staff         

“Prince Inc.”

Second Place, Troy Becker, Perham Focus

“2017 Progress: The Year of Retail”

Third Place, Jeff Jacobson, Woodworker’s Journal

Mini Tabletop Workbench


Best Issue


First Place, Nick Woltman, Molly Ballis, St. Paul Pioneer Press



Judge’s comment

“This WWI anniversary edition isn’t a magazine in the traditional sense. But it localizes the Great War to Minnesota – and it pulls no punches.”


Second Place, Star Tribune staff

Star Tribune, Dayton/December Issue

Third Place, Brian Brown, Patty Petersen, Mike Ekern, Sara Klomp 

St. Thomas magazine, Winter 2017

2018 Page One Awards in Television Journalism


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


Spot/Breaking News Television – Fewer than 50 newsroom employees

First Place, WDIO Staff, WDIO-TV

Winter Storm Coverage


Judge’s comment

“Nice use of live presence, mixed with recorded elements, on a big story, affecting a large number of people.”


Second Place, Chris Yu, KTTC-TV

Cornfield Search


Hard News Report Television – Fewer than 50 newsroom employees

First Place, Julie Kruse, John Whaley, WDIO-TV

“Searching for Answers”


Judge’s comment

“This entry navigated the viewer through layers of information and multi-faceted elements. Story outlines an alarming, on-going problem in a calm, direct manner.”


Second Place, Steve Goodspeed, Cole White, WDIO-TV

“Marine’s Remains Return Home”


Hard News Report Television – 50+ newsroom employees

First Place, A.J. Lagoe, Steve Eckert, Gary Knox, Chad Nelson, KARE

“Secret Sex Offenders”


Judge’s comment

“The Secret Sex Offenders report received the winning edge in a razor thin race due its attempts to go beyond highlighting a problem. That is… the report showed initiative in attempting to hold those who have the power to do something about this problem,… accountable.”


Second Place, Tom Lyden, Brad Swagger, KMSP

“RoundUp Ready, or Not?”

Third Place, Jennifer Mayerle, Tom Aviles, WCCO

“A Courageous Life”


Feature Television – Fewer than 50 newsroom employees

First Place, Amy Adamle, Alexandra Buie, Kyle Aune, WDIO-TV

A Boy’s Bucket List


Judge’s comment

“This story allowed the viewer to get to know Dexter and his family in a short amount of time. It also told in a sensitive fashion– the challenge they face, and the way in which they are choosing to deal with that challenge. The story was nicely shot, and effectively utilized production elements. This story delivered moments that were both heart warming… and gut wrenching,.. at the same time.”


Second Place, Darren Danielson, Glenn Kellahan, WDIO-TV

“Small Woman, Big Message”

Third Place, Tom Overlie, Chuck Sibley, KTTC-TV      

“Going, Going, Still Going”

Third Place, Baihly Warfield, Kyle Aune, WDIO-TV

“Your Story in Ink”


Feature Television  – 50+ newsroom employees

First Place, Boyd Huppert, Chad   Nelson, KARE          

“Playing His Dues”


Judge’s comments

“Beautifully shot and written story. Like the pacing and the way you let the story unfold. Moments of humor included in it even though it was a rather serious piece. First class storytelling by both the reporter and the photographer.”


 Second Place, Lewis Karpel, John Lauritsen, WCCO   

“Finding Minnesota: Granite Falls Popcorn Stand”

Third Place, Tom Lyden, Brad Swagger, KMSP “The Life and Death of Jack Trice”


Special Project/In-depth Series Television – 50+ newsroom employees

First Place, AJ Lagoe, Steve Eckert, Gary Knox, KARE

“A Patter of Denial”


Judge’s comment

“An outstanding series that shows how investigative journalism can directly impact the lives of people and cause changes to leadership and authority. Being able to add news pegs to the story, with congressional response, information from the GAO, providing additional help to veterans after the series started its run, etc., added depth to the impact the series had. Excellent special project with outstanding reporting.”


Second Place, Tom Lyden, Brad Swagger, John Michael, Tyler Ryan, KMSP

“Invisible Danger”

Third Place, Boyd Huppert, Chad Nelson, KARE



Investigative Television – Fewer than 50 newsroom employees

First Place, Julie Kruse, John Whaley, WDIO

“Searching for Answers”


Judge’s comment

“Nice effort at helping the community solve a serious health problem. Good job at fact gathering.”


Investigative Television – 50+ newsroom employees

First Place, A.J. Lagoe, Gary Eckert, Gary Knox, KARE

“Double Billing the Badge”


Judge’s comment

“Great package about an ignored whistleblower, who tried to alert law enforcement agencies about years of overbilling by the company maintaining their patrol cars. Good editing, pulse-pounding music and a variety of interviews propel the story, which led to criminal charges for the auto repair vendor.”


Second Place, Tom Lyden, Brad Swagger, John Michael, KMSP

“The Seclusion Room”       


Newscast Television – Fewer than 50 newsroom employees

First Place, KTTC-TV Newsroom

KTTC NewsCenter at 6 p.m., March 7, 2017


Judge’s comment

“Excellent team coverage of tornadoes with a variation of story types (live shot with package, look live VO/SOT, live weather tease, reporter live in-studio package, and additional VOs). Good technique of teasing late stories high in the show to keep viewers around. Overall, good newscast with a variety of live shots, a high involvement of reporter-fronted stories, and quick moving segments to keep viewers’ interest.”


Second Place, Newsroom, WDIO-TV       

Eyewitness News at Six


Meeting/Planned Event feature  Television – Fewer than 50 newsroom employees

First Place, Taylor Holt, Kyle Aune, WDIO-TV

“Alberta Clipper Pipeline Hearing”


Judge’s comment

“Good standup look-live. Nice natural sound pop during meeting inside at the top of the story. Equal reporting for both sides of an issue. Overall good reporting.”


Meeting/Planned Event feature Television – 50+ newsroom employees   

First Place, Boyd Huppert, Chad Nelson, KARE

“Dad’s Day”


Judge’s comment

“Incredibly moving story. It made me cry. Well-written and beautifully shot and edited. The story was the “whole package.”


Second Place, Jennifer Mayerle, Joe Berglove, WCCO

“Passion for Puzzles”

2018 Page One Awards in Radio Journalism


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


Hard News Report


First Place, Emma Sapong, MPR News

“Roots of tension: race, hair, competition and black beauty stores”

Judge’s comment

“This surprising and informative piece was reported fairly, included multiple viewpoints and could likely result in listeners changing their preconceived notions on Korean dominance in this industry as well as shine a light on the struggles of entrepreneurs seeking to gain entry into a niche without having deep connections in that industry.”




First Place, Erianna Jiles, KFAI Community Radio

“The Queen of Dark”

Judge’s comment

“Fashion is not a topic often heard on radio. But this piece vividly describes the issues, the subject, her challenges and why we all should care about her groundbreaking presence in the modeling industry. Loved the narration — the delivery and vernacular felt authentic.”


Second Place, Nancy Rosenbaum, KFAI

“Chef Yia Vang’s Cultural Balancing Act”

Third Place, Sophie Nikitas, KFAI

“One Speed, No Brakes, 43 Degree Angle”


Special Project/In-depth Series


First Place, Elizabeth Dunbar, Bill Wareham, MPR News

“Feeding the Future”

Judge’s comment

“This series is full of important questions, interesting characters and an immediate sense of place. The audience engagement clearly helped shape the project. It makes for good listening.”


Second Place, Patrick Winn, PRI’s The World

“Meth’s new frontier: The marshlands of Bangladesh”

Third Place, Britt Aamodt, KFAI Community Radio

“It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No, It’s Super Mayor”


Meeting/Planned Event feature


First Place, Nancy Rosenbaum, KFAI Community Radio

“Arnellia’s: Our Own Apollo”

Judge’s comment

“This is the kind of story that sticks with you. Compelling characters, local history, terrific use of sound. There were some really lovely intimate moments here. I’m glad Nancy Rosenbaum took me to Arnellia’s before it closed.”


Second Place, Xan Holsten, KFAI Community Radio

“By Punks, For Punks”

Third Place, Dan Kraker, Bill Wareham, MPR News

“Run for your lives!’ Remembering Minnesota’s worst mine disaster”

2018 Page One Awards in Online Journalism


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


Best Website Online

First Place, City Pages         


Judge’s comment

“Visitors to the page are not bombarded by copy, but instead are able to easily navigate through the stories with lots of photos to break up the space. Makes it easy to skim through the headlines while picking a story to read.”


Second Place, Newsroom staff, Mankato Free Press



Best Single News Story Online           

First Place, Susan Du, City Pages

“Philando Castile verdict: Covering a wounded St. Paul turns into a long night in jail”

Judge’s comment

“Susan Du’s descriptive coverage of the protests resulting from the Philando Castile shooting verdict paints a vivid picture of the resulting protest. From protesters abusing reporters to police arresting protesters to one driver pretending like they would run over protesters.”


Second Place, Briana Bierschbach, MinnPost      

“Multiple women accuse Minnesota state Senator Dan Schoen of sexual harassment”

Third Place, Mike Mullen, City Pages

“Minneapolis shows what really happens when an emergency vehicle comes upon a protest”


Best Continuing Coverage Online           

First Place, Briana Bierschbach, MinnPost

Sexual harassment

Judge’s comment:

“Like many sexual harassment stories over the past 12 months, Bierschbach’s reporting uncovers and details the Minnesota legislature’s sexist culture. Bierschbach shows the reader exactly how male lawmakers abuse their power by groping, leering at, and inappropriately propositioning women over whom they have power. This open secret has been brought to light, clear as day, thanks in large part to this series of articles.”


Second Place, Greta Kaul, MinnPost        

“Chronic absenteeism“


Arts & Entertainment Online           

First Place, Jay Gabler, The Current / Minnesota Public Radio    

“Minnesota musicians having ‘panic and anxiety’ over planned Affordable Care Act repeal”


Second Place, Rick Nelson, Star Tribune

“Year of immigrants in restaurants”

Third Place, Jim Walsh, MinnPost

“Meet Minneapolis’ punk rock ramen chef, Matthew Kazama: ‘You can’t do this without passion’”


Arts Criticism/Review Online           

First Place, T. Aaron Cisco, Twin Cities Geek

“The Latest Black Panther Trailer Is Us”

Judge’s comment

“I’ll keep it simple and quote from the article…”Oh. Hell. Yes.” There has been a lot written about “Black Panther” and this article ranks among the better ones. Diversity matters. Representation matters. And this article picks up on the importance of both.”


Second Place, Becca Dilley, Michael Cronin, Robb Burnham, James Norton, The Heavy Table

“The Green Line Checklist”

Third Place, Pamela Espeland, MinnPost

“The Moving Company’s ‘Speechless’ needs no words”


Best Use of Multimedia


First Place, Star Tribune Staff         

“Left to Suffer”

Second Place: Star Tribune

“Little Mogadishu”

Third Place, Patrick Winn, GlobalPost Investigations

“Myanmar’s army is tormenting Muslims with a brutal rape campaign”


Best social media account – Individual


First Place, Mukhtar Ibrahim, MPR News

Mukhtar Ibrahim Twitter account

Judge’s comment

“Mukhtar Ibrahim showcases what a journalist’s Twitter account should be. Fantastic. Strong, consistent content and impressive engagement.”


Second Place, Briana Bierschbach, MinnPost      

Briana’s Twitter Account

Third Place, Chris Tomasson St. Paul Pioneer Press       

Chris Tomasson Twitter account


Best social media account – Institutional


First Place, Star Tribune staff         

Star Tribune Instagram

Judge’s comment

“Star Tribune Instagram stood out with its strong and stunning images. The photography is really what pushed Star Tribune ahead.”


Second Place, Sam Erkkila, Duluth News Tribune

Duluth News Tribune Instagram                                     


Best News Video


First Place, Mark Vancleave, Star Tribune

“Dying father battles ALS to see son’s graduation”

Judge’s comment

“Beautiful narration of a moving story. It’s great the access to the life of the characters and also the cinematography was excellent. The movie is simply amazing.”


Second Place, Josette, Elieff, Shaymus McLaughlin, GoMN

“Untold Impact: The enduring life of Marisa Bocanegra”

Third Place, Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune

“A boy’s love of vacuums”


Best Newsroom Blog


First Place, Michael Rand, Star Tribune,


Judge’s comment

“I have to imagine this is one of the more popular features at the StarTribune website. It’s lively and expansive – delivering news across a range of local sports – and offers an incisive mix of original reporting and analysis. My usual preference would be to award a news blog over a sports blog, but Randball seems like a can’t-miss piece of journalism for Minnesota sports fans.”


Second Place, Bob Collins, MPR News



Best Independent News Blog


First Place, Ron Meador, MinnPost

“Earth Journal”

Judge’s comment

“First, kudos to MinnPost for four brilliant blog entires. Earth Journal stood out as the clear winner with its strong and consistent coverage of issues that are truly important in our current climate crisis and political landscape. Great work covering local and national issues but most of all, bringing world-wide concerns to MinnPost readers.”


Second Place, Eric Black, MinnPost

“Eric Black Ink”       

Third Place, Pamela Espeland, MinnPost



Meeting/Planned Event Feature


First Place, Briana Bierschbach, Sam Brodey, Tom Nehil, MinnPost

“Minnesota Election Tracker”

Judge’s comment

“What a clever way for readers to keep track of the election! An excellent landing page that is constantly updated, with a drop-down with more information on each candidate.”


Second Place, Jim Walsh, Star Tribune

“35W Bridge Collapse: 10 Years later”

Third Place, Peter Callaghan, MinnPost

“What the major Minneapolis mayor candidates’ kickoff events say about their campaigns”

2018 Page One Awards in Photography


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


Best News Photography

First Place, Evan Frost, Chris Juhn, Courtney Perry, MPR News

Judge’s comment

“The MPR team’s news photography displayed a wide range of effective images, which showed both the human impact of major news stories and gave the viewer a sense of what makes local landscapes and communities unique.”


Second Place, Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

Third Place, Jean Pieri, St. Paul Pioneer Press


Best Feature Photography

First Place, Brian Peterson, Star Tribune


Second Place, Maria Cardona, Evan Frost, MPR News 

Third Place, Nate Ryan, The Current /Minnesota Public Radio


Best Portrait Photography Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation  

First Place, Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

“Portraits: Immigrants and food”

Judge’s comment

“The most whimsical of a series of portraits of immigrants and food. Nicely done.”


Second Place, Shelly Mosman, City Pages “Charlie Parr”

Third Place, Bill Klotz, Finance-Commerce “Mohammed Lowall”


Best Sports Photography Newspaper – 50,000+ circulation

First Place, Caroline Yang, Monika Lawrence and Evan Frost, MPR

Judge’s comment

“Nice look at a different story. Several nice pictures here!”


Second Place, Liz Flores, Star Tribune

Third Place, Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune