Citizen’s Advocate receives eight awards in state contest
News | Published on January 31, 2023 at 3:12pm EST | Author: henningmaster0
Local newspaper receives first place in six categories
By Chad Koenen
The Citizen’s Advocate received eight awards, including first place in six categories, at the 156th annual Minnesota Newspaper Association Convention last week. Henning Publications, which operates the Citizen’s Advocate, Frazee-Vergas Forum and NY Mills Dispatch, won 21 awards as a group.
The Citizen’s Advocate competes in the category of weekly newspapers with a circulation of up to 1,000. A total of 3,453 entries were received for the professional contest and another 206 college entries were received.
The Citizen’s Advocate took first place in the first category of the night, Typography and Design.
The local newspaper also took first place in the category of Sports Reporting, with the NY Mills Dispatch taking third place.
“Great design combined with fantastic reporting put this entry in first place,” wrote judges about the Citizen’s Advocate.
In the category of Use of Photography as a Whole, the Citizen’s Advocate once again placed first with the NY Mills Dispatch taking second place.
“Photos, photos, everywhere! Gorgeous photos and their use of design on page put this entry over the top,” wrote judges of the Citizen’s Advocate.
In the category of General Excellence, which judges everything from design to news content and photography, the Citizen’s Advocate once again received accolades, this time with a second place finish.
“This is also an excellent paper, with good local and youth/high school coverage, in a readable layout,” wrote judges of the Citizen’s Advocate.
First place went to the Citizen’s Advocate sister publication the New York Mills Dispatch and third place went to the Henderson Independent.
“This was a strong group of small papers. We were impressed by the extensive and often insightful coverage of local events, good editorial pages, superior design/layout and use of photographs—and general excellence, to coin a phrase. These papers were at least the equal of, if not superior to, many papers in larger circulation categories. Minnesota is lucky to have them,” wrote judges about the newspapers in the General Excellence category as a whole.
Citizen’s Advocate Chad Koenen finished in first place in four categories individually, including best columnist, for work he completed in both the Henning and NY Mills newspapers.
“Coming from a small town, I relate entirely to using city landmarks to give directions! Made me feel like home. Again, another relatable tale of setting aside differences and coming together as a community to heal the city. As for the five second rule…I’m never letting that go! All column pieces were relatable and easy to read. Your words kept me interested,” wrote judges in the best columnist category.
In the category of Local Breaking News, Koenen placed first for an article he wrote entitled “Ukraine war hits home for local residents” about local connections to the current war in Ukraine.
“Great piece with lots of information about what is currently going on in the world,” wrote judges.
Koenen also placed first in the category of Human Interest Story for an article entitled “War in Ukraine hits home in New York Mills.” The article was featured in the NY Mills Dispatch and detailed former NY Mills foreign exchange student Tanya Moiseenko and the beginning stages of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year.
He also placed first in the category of sports feature story for an article he wrote about long-time basketball referee John Klinnert.
Koenen took second place in the category of Arts and Entertainment Story for an article he wrote entitled “Every picture, record has a story to tell” about an Ottertail autograph collector.
Carly Johnson took first place in the category of Self-Promotion or House Ad for a Crazy Day ad she made for the annual Citizen’s Advocate Crazy Day promotion.
“Very fun, colorful and informative,” wrote judges.