DEAR READER: It took a box to carry all the Missourian awards from press convention

Monday, September 12, 2011 | 9:03 p.m. CDT; updated 12:10 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dear Reader,

You’re looking at a Gold Medal Newspaper.

The Columbia Missourian won 58 awards in the Missouri Press Foundation's annual Better Newspaper Contest.

For those keeping score, that's 22 more than the top tally in 2006. The gold medal goes to the top points winner in each classification. The Missourian falls in the group of newspapers that are 5,000 to 15,000 in print circulation.

The awards were announced at the Missouri Press Association’s annual convention, which this year was in Branson. Did you miss reading an award-winning article? Just follow the links.

I’ve attached a list below of all the winners, compiled by Mila Mimica and Cheri Cherry. The breadth and depth of the enterprise is impressive. The credit begins with a group of dedicated editor-professors who could be working in lots of places but who choose to stay because they love this town and love teaching the next generation of journalists.



Best Front-to-Back Newspaper Design

Best Front Page

Best Breaking News Story — Chris Hamby

Key witness recants in Ryan Ferguson case

Chuck Erickson recants Ryan Ferguson's involvement in the murder of Ken Heitholt.

Best News Story — Washington Gikunju

IBM commits to bring at least 600 jobs to Columbia

IBM saves millions in tax concessions in return for promising to hire — and keep  — more than 600 people.

Best News or Feature Series – Staff

That’s Life

This project, published in Vox magazine, centered on infertility and reproductive problems and the attempts to alleviate them. 

Best Photo Package — Jeff Lautenberger and Andrew Williams

Roots 'N' Blues

This photo package captured the sights and sounds of Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ.

Community Service Award — Staff

Open Records

"Show Me the Records" is a regular feature of the Missourian. It highlights records you can find online to help you make sense of your city, state and country.

Best Sports Pages — Staff

Judging was on three editions last year: March 12-13, Aug. 12 and Nov. 23.

Best Sports News Story/Package – Staff

Homecoming 2010

You can download a PDF of the Homecoming 2010 special section.

Best Sports Feature Story — Len Goldman

The story was part of a package called "Playing through silence" about the boys basketball team at the Missouri School for the Deaf.

Best Special Section – Staff

Sustainability Issue

Best Investigative Reporting — Pat Sweet

Whistle blows, then trouble

Sweet investigated discrimination claims at the Callaway Nuclear Plant after employees reported safety problems.

Best Local Business Coverage – Staff

Best Business Story — Robert Johnson


A profile of a family that owns an auto salvage yard and ships parts to all 50 states.

Best Coverage of Government — Staff

The category required three examples, including the voters guide for the April 2010 election.

Best Story About Rural Life Or Agriculture — Han Cheung

That time of year

Cheung wrote about mid-Missouri's fascination with morel mushrooms.

Best Story About Education — Genevieve Conti

Older students face challenges when they return to college

Mid-life students choosing to continue education have to balance home life and adult responsibilities.

Best Information Graphic — Tanya Ortiz

Missouri Lottery

Best Coverage of Family Living — Staff

Blooming Backyards

Best Story About Religion — Darren Orf

The road less traveled

An hour drive from Columbia, more than 1,200 Amish live and work.

Best Columnist-Humorous — Molly Harbarger

Three entries were considered: 

Best Sports Photograph — Eve Edelheit


Photograph of Missouri football fans reacting to victory against Oklahoma.

Best Ad or Promotion of an Advertisement — Staff



General Excellence

Best Feature Story — Brad Racino

Retired group of men build homes for Habitat for Humanity

In Columbia, 17 retired men help build 75 percent of the Habitat for Humanity homes.

Best Photo Package — Staff

Drink Up

A photo package on drinking.

Best News Content — Staff

Best Special Section

Tiger Kickoff

Best Story About Rural Life Or Agriculture — Lydia Mulvany

Restaurants embrace Kobe beef

Leaner and more expensive Japanese-style beef is grown in mid-Missouri.

Best Story About Education — Bryan Richardson

Community deals with difficulty of talking about race

Columbia residents talk about personal race experiences following an incident at the MU Black Culture Center.

Best Story About the Outdoors — Katy Bergen

Meet pallid sturgeon 1094

Missourians track endangered fish used for caviar.

Best Story About History — Katy Bergen

Columbia man works to change death certificate of lynching victim

Scott Wilson is campaigning to change the death certificate of James Scott, who was the last man lynched in Columbia.

Best Information Graphic — Pat Sweet

Capital Punishment

This information graphic shows how lethal injections work.

Best Story About Religion — Brian Pellot

Journey of sin and salvation

You can find porn shops and promises of salvation along Interstate 70.

Best Columnist-Humorous — Michael Grinfeld

Three columns were considered:

Best Columnist-Serious – Erin O’Neill

O'Neill's columns can be found here.

Best Photo Illustration – Andrew Williams

"Smashed Clock"

Photo of smashed Big 12 clock on the cover of Tiger Kickoff.

Best News Photograph — Alex Giddings

Apartment unit destroyed in fire

The photograph shows residents of apartment that burned outside their wrecked home.

Best Headline Writing — Staff

Five headline writers shared this award.


Best News or Feature Series — Matt Pearce


The series examines the aftermath of the BP oil spill in Louisiana.

Best Sports News Story — Staff

Missouri football versus Nebraska

Nebraska's quarterback presented a challenge to the Missouri football team.

Best Sports Feature Story — Harry Plumer

Women rule in Rock Bridge Chain Crew

Four young women are in charge of moving chains on the football sidelines.

Best Special Section — Staff

Collegetown (PDF)

Best Story About the Outdoors — Regina Wang

Newcomers attracted to atlatl competition in Columbia   

A 28,000-year-old weapon mesmerizes Missourians.

Best Page Design — Staff

Be our guest — Nov. 23, 2010

Best Information Graphic — Erica Mendez

Taking a Look – Jan 1-2, 2011

A review of the 2009 season for the Missouri football team.

Best Story About Religion — Kelsey Whipple

How I met your mother

Three stories of arranged marriages.

Best Columnist-Humorous — Kelsey Whipple

Three columns were considered:

Best Columnist-Serious — George Kennedy

Three columns were considered:

Best Photo Illustration – Eve Edelheit

Stripped Bare


Best News or Feature Series — Staff

Drink Up

Vox Magazine – the drinking issue.

Best Photo Package — Alex Giddings

Boone Life: Harvesting fuel

Photos of corn harvesting for ethanol.

Best Photo Package — Jeff Lautenberger

Runners compete in Columbia marathon

Coverage of the Heart of America Marathon.

Best Sports Feature Story — Robert Mays

Coming back

Danario Alexander received four knee surgeries in three years. The story chronicles how he recovers.

Best Investigative Reporting — Elisa Essner

Fields found guilty of first-degree murder

The article includes interviews with family members after Tausha L. Fields was found guilty of murder in the death of Mitchell Kemp.

Best Story About History — Dan Claxton

Historic tavern to get new lease on life

Boone County Historical Society plans to relocate historic tavern at a cost of $250,000.

Best Story About History — Katie Bevan and Mitch Ryals

The Grants share their farm, family history

A family farm has been in business for more than 100 years.

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