2020 Page One Awards — Special Award Winners

MNSPJ congratulates all the winners recognized Tuesday night at the annual Page One Awards!  Here’s a list of special award winners.


7A. Young Journalist of the Year [Special] First Place Ryan Faircloth St. Paul Pioneer Press Young Journalist of the Year A reporter who raises his hand to not only tackle new challenges but turn them into great stories, Ryan Faircloth rose to the top in category crowded with great young journalists. His drive and energy are what this industry needs to keep readers interested in newspapers.
7B. Journalist of the Year [Special] First Place Marianne Combs MPR News   Ms. Combs’ work on the decades-old sexual abuse that occurred at the children’s theater was like revealing a piece of history that had been buried. It was obvious that she put a ton of work and compassion into finding and interviewing her subjects and asking them to talk about a sensitive subject. This journalism was a service to the community and to sexual assault survivors everywhere. Well done.
7C. Story of the Year [Special] First Place Brandon








KARE 11 The Untested Incisive, thorough reporting presented in a riveting manner.
  Second Place Sam Easter Grand Forks Herald Outside Chances  
  Third Place Newsroom   Star Tribune Intense blaze in high-rise kills 5  
7D. Best Use of Public Records [Special] First Place Chris




Star Tribune Chaotic Care An immense amount of effort clearly went into this project, not only in public records requests and data visualizations but also in interviewing and working with affected families. That time resulted in a data-driven piece that still strikes at the emotions. Well done.
  Second Place Tony Webster MPR News How did the police know you were near a crime scene? Google told them.  
7E. Best Beat Reporting [Special] First Place Riham Feshir MPR News Riham Feshir on immigration Feshir’s reporting on immigration — an important topic to everyone in the United States — is hard-hitting and compelling. Excellent work.
  Second Place A.J.






KARE 11 On the Veteran Beat  
  Third Place Libor Jany Star Tribune Libor Jany  
7F. Freedom of Information Award [Special] First Place     Grand Forks Herald Seeking public records in Roosevelt, Minn., other smaller cities Good job pressing officials to produce public records, even after they failed to do so for a records audit.


2020 Page One Awards in Newspaper Journalism (circulation >50,000)

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 (circulation over 50,000).

1A. Breaking News Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Newsroom Newsroom Star Tribune The Cedar Riverside fire The stories in this entry captured both the human emotion when dealing with fire fatalities and the necessary investigative pieces about the lack of sprinklers that may have contributed to the lethality of the fire.
  Second Place Emma Nelson Star Tribune Coverage of the firing of 5 St. Paul Police officers  
    Randy Furst      
    James Walsh      
  Third Place Bob Shaw St. Paul Pioneer Press Water Gremlin pollution control  
1B. Deadline News Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Chao Xiong Star Tribune Guilty of Murder A colorfully crafted story that took the reader inside the courtroom defined the coverage, but the other package elements added important depth and context that made this team effort stand out.




1C. Feature Writing [Newspaper] First Place John Reinan Star Tribune John Reinan feature writing What an interesting and diverse trio of features. Reinan transports his readers to different locales to learn about Minnesotans.
  Second Place Richard Chin Star Tribune Shooting the waves; Shrimply amazing; At holiday haunted houses, scary is always in season  
  Third Place Rachel Hutton Star Tribune Rachel Hutton  
1D. Enterprise/In-Depth (Single story) [Newspaper] First Place Jeremy Olson Star Tribune Minnesota’s rural hospitals are hanging on — for now Excellent, thorough reporting on an issue with significant impact on rural Minnesota. Since this is the enterprise/in-depth category, it should be noted that the photos by Leila Navidi and graphics by C.J. Sinner and Raymond Grumney also helped complement the overall effect of the story.
  Second Place Tad Vezner St. Paul Pioneer Press St. Paul man’s catch-22 shows impact of ‘accelerated foreclosure’ on the poor  
  Third Place Greta Kaul MinnPost Are Minnetonka Public Schools secretly monitoring students’ social media posts  
1E. Enterprise/In-Depth (Series) [Newspaper] First Place Jennifer Bjorhus Star Tribune Warm Front Series includes a range of topics showing the effect of climate change on a variety of issues that impact a wide population. Excellent work!
    Greg Stanley      
  Second Place Judy Keen Star Tribune Proving Ground  
    Glen Stubbe      
  Third Place Eric Roper Star Tribune Mall of America’s creative water park financing  
1F. Investigative [Newspaper] First Place Chris Serres Star Tribune Chaotic Care I really like how in each of these stories, the issues are told through the voices of individuals experiencing them firsthand. This not only better illustrates the problem but shows the reader why it matters.
    Glen Howatt      
    Richard Tsong-Taatarii      
  Second Place Emma Nelson Star Tribune Coverage of St. Paul’s Department of Safety and Inspections  
  Third Place Joe Carlson Star Tribune Minnesota Blue Cross scrambles to boost cyberdefenses  
1G. Business News Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Adam Belz Star Tribune Organics detective Fascinating, in-depth story with impressive reach. Home site was also beautifully created.
  Second Place Christopher Snowbeck Star Tribune Coverage of UnitedHealth Group  
  Third Place Deanna Weniger St. Paul Pioneer Press Pssst…Wanna buy a Krispy Kreme doughnut?  
1H. Sports News Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Chris Tomasson St. Paul Pioneer Press Selected Stories The selection of stories aptly displayed the writer’s ability to infuse a variety of topics with unique angles. Chris Tomasson has a rare ability to turn a phrase, recognize a resonant quote and write with both enthusiasm and restraint. His work was clearly the best in the field.
1I. Sports Feature Writing [Newspaper] First Place Chip Scoggins Star Tribune Jake Sullivan still has his shot With engaging and immersive prose, Scoggins takes you right into the heart and soul of his subjects. He leads with interest-piquing introductions and continues to reveal information about people and topics in a metered, organic way that is fun and intuitive for readers.
  Second Place Rachel Blount Star Tribune Rachel Blount entry, three sports features  
  Third Place Megan Ryan Star Tribune Tyler Johnson: Pride of the Northside; Photography is more than a casual hobby for Gophers wide receiver Demetrius Douglas; Personal chef: Gophers leading scorer Rem Pitlick took healthy eating into his own hands  
1J. Sports Columns [Newspaper] First Place Chip Scoggins Star Tribune  Firing, abrupt at first glance, was long overdue Knowledgeable and informative on a diverse subjects, great visual storytelling that makes for a good read.
  Second Place Pat Borzi MinnPost Sports columns  
1K. Arts & Entertainment Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Frederick Melo St. Paul Pioneer Press 3 immigrant art exhibits: Armenian massacre, slain Mexican journalists and Caravan Captivating. These stories exhibit a penchant for deep reporting and emotional prose, getting to the heart of the artists behind the work, the stories behind the art.
  Second Place Susan Du City Pages The Smear: A career-killing lie almost ruined this rising Minneapolis dance star  
  Third Place Jon Bream Star Tribune VocalEssence founder networked his way to global greatness over 50 years; From Eagles to Elton, classic songs are packing boomers into Twin Cities nightspots; How Tony Bennett and other singers preserve their voices as they age  
1L. Arts Criticism/Reviews [Newspaper] First Place Keith Harris City Pages Robyn offers shortcuts to ecstasy at her euphoric Palace performance Witty, compelling and honest. Harris makes the reader feel like they’re apart of the live show experience, getting to know these performers for themselves. Excellent work.
  Second Place Jon Bream Star Tribune Mexican superstar Luis Miguel delivers a vocal and visual triumph in St. Paul; A Thank-U note after Ariana Grande’s St. Paul concert; Tony Bennett thrills multi-generational crowd with old-school cool  
  Third Place Rick Nelson Star Tribune Rick Nelson  
1M. Columns [Newspaper] First Place Jennifer Brooks Star Tribune Jennifer Brooks “The worst part is we are going to forget.” With that single opening sentence, Brooks brings readers into an unflinching piece about gun violence that let’s the horror speak for itself. In doing so, she demands readers acknowledge the awful truth of that opening sentence. Brooks’s columns here are grounded in humanity and in the kind of reporting that allows readers connection with the subject.
  Second Place Ruben Rosario St. Paul Pioneer Press Ruben Rosario’s columns  
  Third Place Laurie Hertzel Star Tribune Bookmark  
1N. Editorial and Commentary [Newspaper] First Place  Jill






Star Tribune Not this mine. Not this location. Very solid local, editorial board generated opinion piece. Nice to see such depth given to a local editorial/newspaper commentary. Well done!
  Second Place D.J. Tice Star Tribune D.J. TICE COLUMN (OPED PAGE)  
  Third Place  Anna Thompson Hajdik Minnpost The Mayo Clinic Prioritizes Profits Over Patients As Rural Communities Are Left Behind  
1O. Graphics/Art and Illustration [Newspaper] First Place Jay St. Pierre Star Tribune Man of La Bomba Excellent use of space. Typography is easily readable. Nice use of hierarchy, font, and sizing. Illustration really catches the readers attention. Great use of color.
    Evgeny Parfenov      
    Greg Mees      
  Second Place Thomas



St. Pierre

Star Tribune Bomba-stic bashing  
1P. Page Design [Newspaper] First Place Greg Mees Star Tribune Mueller Report: Drawing a Picture Excellent use of typography. Nice hierarchy. Good use of spacing and content.
  Second Place Josh  Jones Star Tribune Odyssey Ahead  
1Q. Headlines [Newspaper] First Place Amy Kuebelbeck Star Tribune Headlines – Kuebelbeck These headlines matched each story or photo perfectly. No other headline would have been appropriate for “unwanted horse guest.”
  Second Place Jim Anderson Star Tribune Headlines by staff  
    Maren Longbella      
    Lisa Legge      
  Third Place Catherine Preus Star Tribune Headlines Catherine Preus 1  
1R. Best Issue [Newspaper] First Place     Star Tribune May 1, 2019 The Wednesday, May 1 edition of the Star Tribune featured an in depth look at a local verdict, the impact of Republican politicking and a feature on the Cub store. All in all, a fine edition that fully represents the local reporting that every Star Tribune reader deserves. Local stories were well crafted, well balanced. The photography, and the art, was well placed. I congratulate the many hands which went into producing this excellent edition.
  Second Place     Star Tribune Sept. 21, 2019  

2020 Page One Awards in Newspaper Journalism (circulation <50,000)

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 (circulation under 50,000).


1A. Breaking News Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Tess Williams Grand Forks Herald Man steals car, dies in I-29 crash These stories had good follow-up and asked the right questions. I thought it was important that these articles mentioned that it was unclear why officers initially arrived on the scene and drew attention to the missing body camera footage.
  Second Place Emily Allen Grand Forks Herald Bright future for the Base  
  Third Place Kristine Goodrich Mankato Free Press March standoff  
    Pat Christman      
1B. Deadline News Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Emily Allen Grand Forks Herald Bright future for GF Air Force Base The clear, crisp writing and variety of voices elevated the story above the crowd.
  Second Place Tim Krohn Mankato Free Press Flooding in Henderson, Garden City  
    Brian Arola      
  Third Place Adam Kurtz Grand Forks Herald Kittsona seeks deal with city on rent  
1C. Feature Writing [Newspaper] First Place Tim Krohn Mankato Free Press Tim Krohn features on refugees and sawmill Well written, interesting, compelling feature stories.
  Second Place Nate Gotlieb Southwest Journal This is Me and others  
  Third Place Pamela Knudson Grand Forks Herald Art Grabowski receives French Legion of Merit Award  
1D. Enterprise/In-Depth (Single story) [Newspaper] First Place Brian Arola Mankato Free Press Homelessness Address Unknown Excellent reporting, very thorough with lots of sources and human interest.
  Second Place Ann Bailey Grand Forks Herald EMTs, rural emergency  
  Third Place Zac Farber Southwest Journal Training aims to make Minneapolis cops more compassionate  
1E. Enterprise/In-Depth (Series) [Newspaper] First Place Brian Johnson Finance & Commerce Minnesota’s Shadow Workforce Nice work bringing this issue out of the shadows with thorough reporting, extensive interviews and heart-wrenching examples of the people affected by this issue.
  Second Place Nick Halter Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Help Wanted  
    Dylan Thomas      
    Matt Haesly      
    Dirk DeYoung      
  Third Place Hannah Shirley Grand Forks Herald GF Safari Market search and seizure  
1G. Business News Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Andrew Hazzard Southwest Journal Business coverage Nice lede and an interesting topic. Very nice detail and well-sourced.
  Second Place Frank Jossi Finance & Commerce Sustainable: Opportunity zones could boost clean energy  
  Third Place William Morris Finance & Commerce Business News — William Morris  
1H. Sports News Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Tom Miller Grand Forks Herald Self-inflicted wound: UND faces backlash over Ray Richards It was refreshing to see a smaller paper take advantage of public records the way the Herald did in shining a light on the missteps surrounding a golf course and the UND men’s golf program. This was solid investigative work by Miller and Mook that served the public well by making administrators accountable for their questionable actions. With ever-diminishing resources, small papers that can do this kind of work — especially in the sports section — remind the public why great local journalism is indispensable.
    Sydney Mook      
  Second Place Shane Frederick Mankato Free Press Shane Frederick hockey preview, championship gamer  
  Third Place Brad Schlossman Grand Forks Herald Jantuinen opens up on last season  
1I. Sports Feature Writing [Newspaper] First Place Brad Schlossman Grand Forks Herald Persistence Pays The blend of narrative details and feature-style educational prose makes this profile as much about a Twin Cities sanitation worker as it is about a community that rallies behind a shared love for the sport of hockey. A rich and reassuring read!
  Second Place Tom Miller Grand Forks Herald Rising Above  
  Third Place Shane Frederick Mankato Free Press Sound Player  
1J. Sports Columns [Newspaper] First Place Wayne Nelson Grand Forks Herald Good Times Ahead  
  Second Place Brad Schlossman Grand Forks Herald One of a Kind  
  Third Place Tom Miller Grand Forks Herald The football budget math doesn’t add up  
1K. Arts & Entertainment Coverage [Newspaper] First Place Zac Farber Southwest Journal Home in the Woods and More Lengthy, detailed community profiles from print, art and other art circles. Just what you’re looking for in local arts coverage.
  Second Place Harry Colbert Insight News Clubs that shaped the ‘Minneapolis Sound’  
1L. Arts Criticism/Reviews [Newspaper] First Place Max Sparber Absolute Bleeding Edge High Life, Starvation Mode, Strong writing shows the writer’s knowledge about the subject material. These arts columns are an interesting read, even for those who might not be familiar with the author, musician, etc.
1M. Columns [Newspaper] First Place Tim Krohn Mankato Free Press   Nice job weaving in memories with current news and observations. Easy to read style and an overall enjoyable read. Really nice variety of subjects with great visual details.
  Second Place Jim Walsh Southwest Journal    
  Third Place Robb Murray Mankato Free Press    
1N. Editorial and Commentary [Newspaper] First Place Kathy Vos Mankato Free Press Kathy Vos editorials Very strong editorial about the insulin cost issue and the irresponsible Facebook video posted by state Rep. Jeremy Munson. Well done!
  Second Place Brian Hunhoff Yankton County Observer Three Brian J. Hunhoff editorials  
  Third Place  Joe  Spear Mankato Free Press Editorials June 21, July 21, Sept. 15  
1O. Graphics/Art and Illustration [Newspaper] First Place Tim Montgomery River Falls Journal Trumptoons Excellent illustrations that capture the truth wilts giving its viewers a laugh.
  Second Place Valerie Moe Southwest Journal Graphics/Art and Illustration – Valerie Moe  
1P. Page Design [Newspaper] First Place Matt Haesly Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal The Beer Boom is Over Excellent use of space and typography. Hierarchy is really shown here. The use of colors brings it all together.
  Second Place Valerie Moe Southwest Journal Page Design – A Culture of Street Art  
1Q. Headlines [Newspaper] First Place Mark Reilly Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Headlines, print/web Engaging headlines that draw the reader in and start telling the story before the first paragraph.
  Second Place Brian Hunhoff Yankton County Observer Three Observer headlines  
    Dave Wyland      
1R. Best Issue [Newspaper] First Place     Grand Forks Herald Dec. 8, 2019 Overall, solid reporting and writing throughout the entire paper. Really great design and layout throughout: Simple, nice flow of stories. Great use of art, great printing and great use and planning of color.
  Second Place     Southwest Journal Aug. 22 – Sept. 4, 2019  
  Third Place     Mankato Free Press May 19, 2019  

2020 Page One Awards in Magazine Journalism


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


2A. Best Profile Story [Magazine] First Place Julie Kendrick Minnesota Good Age A recipe for change Wonderfully written profile that delves into the complexity of the process that goes into what, on the surface, looks like one woman’s simple gesture of good will and humanity.
  Second Place Pam Louwagie Star Tribune Mondale on Demand  
  Third Place Amy Carlson Gustafson University of St. Thomas Magazine Dream. Hope. Believe. Do.  
2B. Best Feature Story [Magazine] First Place John Rosengren Mpls. St. Paul Magazine The Last Days of Hemingway at Mayo Clinic Beautiful and effective use of memories and details help capture Hemingway’s ultimate fate. While this feature story was extremely thorough, including very interesting information about research that may better explain why Hemingway ultimately committed suicide, the story maintains human interest throughout. A good read, indeed.
  Second Place Abbie Burgess Minnesota Parent Open to love  
  Third Place Jenna Ross Star Tribune Lost Ships of Lake Superior  
2C. Best Department [Magazine] First Place Jennifer Koski Rochester Magazine Random Rochesterite These columns are especially compelling because they prove that everyone has a story to tell. Questions to the interviewee are nicely tailored to their lives. All three entries were interesting reads.
  Second Place Sarah Jackson Minnesota Parent From the Editor  
  Third Place Steve Lange Rochester Magazine 10 (or so) Questions  
2D. Best Column [Magazine] First Place Jenna Ross Star Tribune State Secrets I appreciate the writer who can make me see the familiar in a new light, who helps me to understand that my home is not one place, but many. In that discovery, Ross gives her readers the gift of seeing, appreciating and understanding in a new way the place they call home.
  Second Place Adam Platt Twin Cities Business Plattitudes  
  Third Place Katie Dohman Minnesota Parent World’s Okayest Mom  
2E. Best Cover [Magazine] First Place Brenda Taylor Minnesota Parent Camp Issue: March 2019 Excellent use of color. The font was well used and overall idea was really showcased here. Spacing is great.
  Second Place Danielle Cunningham Minnesota Good Age September 2019: Suzie Marty  
  Third Place Joe Ahlquist Rochester Magazine I Plan To Be A Strong Mayor  
    Lisa Houghton      
2F. Best Page Design [Magazine] First Place Valerie Moe Minnesota Parent Best-kept secret Excellent use of space. The typography and colors really bring this piece together. Placement of type makes everything easy to read.
  Second Place Tonya




Minnesota Monthly Best MN 2019  
  Third Place Kim Maxwell Vu Star Tribune Photos of the Year  
2H. Best Issue [Magazine] First Place Staff   Rochester Magazine Rochester Magazine Well-written articles, great photography and interesting design make Rochester Magazine a standout. Breakout boxes and calendars add so much to keep readers’ interest.
  Second Place Staff   City Pages City Pages  
  Third Place Sarah Jackson Minnesota Parent Minnesota Parent: Health Issue  

2020 Page One Awards in Television Journalism (>50 newsroom employees)

MNSPJ congratulates all the winners recognized Tuesday night at the annual Page One Awards!  Here’s a list of winners for excellence in television journalism (more than 50 newsroom employees).


3B. Hard News Report [Television] First Place Tom Lyden KMSP-TV Treasure Above, Riches Below An informative and intriguing story about the proposed copper-nickel mine near the Minnesota Boundary Waters. This story explains in simple terms some pretty technical subjects, then moves into the political implications of the proposed mine.
    Doug Solomon      
    Brad Swagger      
    John Michael      
  Second Place Jennifer Mayerle WCCO-TV Lead Concerns Linked to Water Gremlin  
    Sean Skinner      
    Dave Chaney      
    Grant Verdon      
3C. Feature [Television] First Place Boyd Huppert KARE 11 Bob & Lulu This story about Bob’s friendship with Lulu, an injured ruffed grouse, is a prime example of how something that might appear to be insignificant can turn into a great feature story when properly told. This is a touching piece.
    Chad Nelson      
3E. Investigative [Television] First Place AJ Lagoe KARE 11 Mission Critical This entry showed a variety of investigative techniques to get answers for a segment of the population who deserve our respect-veterans. KARE looked into ways the government is failing our veterans, financially, physically and mentally. The stories had broad appeal and were packed full of emotion.
    Gary Knox      
    Steve Eckert      
    Aaron Adelson      
  Second Place Tom Lyden KMSP-TV An Unexplained Death  
    Tyler Ryan      
    Brad Swagger      
    John Michael      
  Third Place Jennifer Mayerle WCCO-TV Water Gremlin Finds Way to Keep Operating  
    Dave Chaney      
    Lewis Karpel      
    Bill Kruskop      
3F. Newscast [Television] First Place WCCO Newsroom WCCO-TV WCCO This Morning WCCO’s newscast had an interesting set of stories — from a fire to perspective on the immigrant population in Minnesota to kitties and birdies and the baseball museum. Something for everyone in this newscast.
3G. Sports News Coverage [Television] First Place Boyd Huppert KARE 11 Triumph, Tragedy & Laughter These are three wide-ranging sports stories that are definitely not typical. A touching story about a world-class gymnast who balances training, school, family and her dad’s injury; the crazy all hockey hair team video; the fun sandlot marathon. These stories give sports coverage a new, interesting definitely not run-of-the-mill definition.
    Chad Nelson      
    Carly Danek      

2020 Page One Awards in Television Journalism (<50 newsroom employees)

MNSPJ congratulates all the winners recognized Tuesday night at the annual Page One Awards!  Here’s a list of winners for excellence in television journalism (under 50 newsroom employees).


3A. Spot/Breaking News [Television] First Place Nick Jansen KTTC-TV Lake City Tornado Comprehensive coverage of the devastation caused by a tornado that touched down in Lake City. From the lead-in with stills and video of the destruction to the interviews with witnesses and property owners, plus information from officials — this package provided viewers with everything they needed to know about the weather event.
    Ubah Ali      
    Chuck Sibley      
    Nathan Nakama      
3C. Feature [Television] First Place Laura Lee KAAL TV Riding for Love Nice commitment to this story. It was the emotion, out forward at an appropriate time, that made this story the winner. Nice job!
  Second Place Dan Wolfe KBJR-TV Sawyer County Voting Record  
    Blake Melin      
3D. Special Project/In-depth Series [Television] First Place Calyn Thompson KIMT-TV Homeless for the Holidays series This three-part series on homelessness by Calyn Thompson puts a spotlight on not only the statistics about homelessness in the Rochester area but the programs available to help and the people who are being helped. An interesting series about a widespread problem in U.S. cities.
  Second Place Sarah Gannon KTTC-TV Islands of Lake Pepin  
    Chuck Sibley      
3F. Newscast [Television] First Place Newsroom   WDIO-TV WDIO News at Six This is a very strong team. I was impressed by the number of reporters contributing to the show in this size market. Both Bailhy Warfield and Brandon Weathers, who were covering storms in the field were extremely smooth live. Both shots had great visuals. There was also good sound in the piece on clergy abuse. Overall – really well done newscast.
  Second Place Ramona Marozas KBJR-TV KBJR 6 News at 5  
    Dan Wolfe      
    Jessie Slater      
    Adam Clark      
  Third Place Nathan Nakama KTTC-TV Lake City Tornado  
    Tom Overlie      
    Michele Gors      
    Nick Jansen      
3G. Sports News Coverage [Television] First Place Kevin Jacobsen KBJR-TV Blind Golfer Hole in One A heartwarming story about two brothers who share their love of the game of golf and also a once in a lifetime shot. The story was well written and had several great moments.