The Columbia Missourian nabbed 18 awards in this year’s Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
The Missourian won first place in general excellence among newspapers with similar circulations. The category evaluates the newspaper’s entire package including news and sports content, advertising, photography and layout.
“Excellent entry! Especially good writing; lively, interesting, local focus. Good photos. Very attractive page design and use of design tools,” wrote the judge for the general excellence category.
In its class, the Missourian also won the best special section award for “Vision,” best newspaper design and best sports page.
Several Missourian writers also received first-place honors. C. Stachura’s Jan. 5 article, “Seductive Destruction,” took first place for best news story. Julia Scirrotto’s April 29, 2003, article, “One Town, One Lifetime,” won top honors in the best feature story category.
Ross Todd’s April 12 article, “Soul Searching,” was the best religion story. Barton Grover Howe’s May 2003 series on the 1923 lynching of Columbia resident James Scott won best history story.
Missourian Executive Editor Tom Warhover lauded his student-reporters for the accomplishment.
“The Missouri Press Association awards are especially gratifying because we’re going up against the real thing,” Warhover said in a written statement Tuesday. “We hammer over and over that we are a professional, daily newspaper serving the people of mid-Missouri. So competing, and competing well, against some fine newspapers in Missouri confirms what I’ve always known: that our students can rise to the challenge to produce excel-lence.”
Missourian General Manager Dan Potter said it’s an honor to compare so favorably to other papers in the state.
“It’s always nice to be judged by your peers in the newspaper industry and to stack up so well against the other newspapers in Missouri,” he said.
The Columbia Daily Tribune took home 12 MPA awards.
The contest was judged by the Tennessee Press Association, said Kent Ford, Missouri Press Associa-tion editor. Awards were presented Sunday at the association’s annual convention in Springfield.