2019 MNA Better Newspaper Contest

Freedom of Information Award ( 10,000 and Over,Under 10,000,Over 7,000,3,001 to 7,000,1,501 to 3,000,1,001 - 1,500,Under 1,000)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Mankato - The Free Press
    Entry Title: Freedom of Information - Mankato Free Press "Judge unwise to throttle trial access" "Email case threatens right to know" Column: First Amendment threats thwarted
    Entry Credit: Staff
    Judge Comment: This entry offers strong advocacy across a variety of first amendment and freedom of information issues. The summary editorial does a great job of encapsulating each instance, recapping the relevant law, and explaining why it matters to a citizen.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Fargo/Moorhead - The Forum
    Entry Title: Fargo park director resigns suddenly
    Entry Credit: Forum staff
    Judge Comment: Nice job of following the story and not accepting push-back that details are protected information. This reporting gets to the heart of the troubles a particular public agency and finds answers for taxpayers.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Grand Forks Herald
    Entry Title: Roosevelt City Council
    Entry Credit: Tess Williams
    Judge Comment: This story demonstrates the problems that arise when elected officials are not held accountable or believe themselves to be above the law. The reporting led to action, an informed voter population, and detailed what happens afterward in real life terms.
  • Competition Comment: Interesting issues across all entries - congratulations to all of the papers who entered this category for putting the issue of freedom of information front and center. The most effective entries were the ones that connected the dots for readers and demonstrated the real world applications of the concept of transparency in government and why citizens want to have an independent voice reminding government officials that they answer to voters.