Pioneer wins 18 awards at Minnesota Newspaper Association convention
The Bemidji Pioneer received 18 awards during the Minnesota Newspaper Association's 156th annual convention held Thursday in Brooklyn Park.
BROOKLYN PARK — The Bemidji Pioneer received 18 awards during the Minnesota Newspaper Association's 156th annual convention held Thursday in Brooklyn Park.
Judges in the MNA's Better Newspaper Contest chose the Pioneer as the first-place winner in general excellence, sports reporting, advertising excellence and the website categories among multi-day papers up to 5,000 circulation.
The Pioneer also won second place for typography and design and its 2022 "What's in a name?" special section, along with third place in the editorial page category.
Several Pioneer reporters walked away in the top spots for their photography portfolios, multimedia editor Madelyn Haasken won first place while editor Annalise Braught came in third among multi-day papers up to 5,000 circulation.
Haasken also came in first in the portrait and personality category for her photo of Sverin Boe playing on a bouncy slide during a Sanford Bagley Medical Center 10th anniversary celebration on June 7, 2022.
In the sports photo category former sports editor Micah Friez placed first for his photo of then-Bemidji State senior Sydney Zerr defending the ball during a game against Minnesota State Moorhead on Dec. 10, 2021, at the BSU Gymnasium. In their comments, the judge said, "You can see — and feel — the determination! Great work."
Meanwhile, multimedia reporter Maggi Fellerman came in second place with her photo of Brennan Hockman putting during the 98th annual Birchmont Golf Tournament on July 28, 2022, at the Bemidji Town and Country Club. "Great photo. The clarity, the colors, etc. Awesome work," the judge said of the photo.
Braught placed third in the feature photo category for her photo of children participating in the grand entry dance during the 17th Annual Niimi’idiwin on June 23, 2022, on the Sanford Bemidji campus. "An exuberant, spontaneous smile in a setting that makes use of colors," the judge commented.
In the sports feature category among papers under 5,000 circulation, Friez placed first for his story "Red Lake, Wabasso played state’s greatest game 25 years ago." The judges commented, "Well written. I felt like I was in the middle of the action. The writer took me to that place in time."
For her story "House fire claims the lives of 2 young girls, Bemidji community rallies to support family," Braught placed first in the local breaking news category. In their comments, the judge said "I thought the reporter did a good job of handling a horrible tragedy with sensitivity — relaying the facts while also making sure to include the human element."
Former Pioneer reporter Bria Barton came in first in the investigative reporting story series covering chronic wasting disease in the Bemidji area, including the stories "Officials discuss impact of chronic wasting disease on land, hunting season in Beltrami County" and "Hines deer farmer fights Board of Animal Health after illegal dumping of CWD-infected deer carcasses."
In their comments about the entries, the judges said "Thorough. Great information. Good job of explaining CWD's potential impact on the public. There is so much unknown. Appreciated the follow-through with the owner."
Friez placed second in the social issues story category for his "Fifty-fifty: Title IX hits 50th anniversary in fight for equal opportunity." The judge commented "Good read, and I especially liked the Mount Rushmore of top athletes."
Fellerman placed second for her story "Local playwright set to showcase original ‘Water from Snow’ musical" in the arts and entertainment category.
"It is always humbling to be recognized by our peers in the industry. I'm so proud of our whole team at the Pioneer and all the hard work they put into our daily news coverage,” Pioneer publisher Todd Keute said of the awards. “We take great pride in providing our readers with a variety of great print and digital products. Our focus has not waivered in providing valuable local news and advertising content and we appreciate our reader's support."