2019 MNA Better Newspaper Contest

Government/Public Affairs Reporting ( 10,000 and Over,Under 10,000)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: St. Cloud Times
    Entry Title: Minnesota doesn't have enough substitute teachers and it's hitting hard in local schools
    Entry Credit: Jenny Berg, Jordyn Brown
    Judge Comment: The lack of qualified substitute teachers is one facing school districts across the country. This examination of the problem was very well done and had an interesting mix of background and real life examples with statistics. Most importantly, it included resources for people who may have felt inspired to respond to the call for substitute teachers but wouldn't know how to become one. Great balance of human interest and data. Nicely done.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Rochester - Post-Bulletin
    Entry Title: New Community Development Department now responsible for city planning
    Entry Credit: Randy Petersen
    Judge Comment: Any change to how local governments operate, perhaps not the most exciting of stories to write or read, has tremendous impact on the citizens impacted by it. This package clearly described what would be happening and why and then included useful information for readers. The design clearly differentiated the various elements: story, people, FAQs. Great work putting all of the pieces together for your readers.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: Fargo/Moorhead - The Forum
    Entry Title: Dying on the road
    Entry Credit: April Baumgarten
    Judge Comment: Such a well done piece taking the reader through a local human interest story - the tragic death of a local resident in a road construction accident - and using it as context for the larger problem of worker deaths on the highways. The story went from local to national and incorporated information to help readers understand the governing bodies involved and their responsibilities. Nice use of graphics to visualize relevant data. This story makes me stop and think about my own driving habits through construction zones and the vulnerability of the people who work there. Great job connecting the head with the heart.
  • Competition Comment: Such a wide and interesting array of topics and stories - could easily have awarded many more. Many of these topics tackled stories that involved funding, spending, and other data driven information and the ones that were most effective found ways to visualize the data for the reader. Something as simple as a bar or line graph can help show trends and help the reader get a "picture" of the trend or issue being discussed. Sidebars and pull quotes are also effective in drawing the reader into the story. Great research and writing across the board. This category was a hard one to judge. Thank you for such interesting and thought-provoking entries.