2023 Better Newspaper Contest winners announced

Jul 10, 2023

2022 Better Newspaper Contest winners are pictured here in San Francisco, California, at the 136th Annual Convention & Trade Show. Click here to register or find information about this years convention in Washington, D.C.

Judging results have been processed and winners of the National Newspaper Association Foundation’s 2023 Better Newspaper Contest and Better Newspaper Advertising Contest have been posted below.

Winners will be recognized at the awards ceremony held Saturday, September 30, during NNAF’s 137th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Washington, D.C. To register to attend the awards, please go to https://www.nnafoundation.org/convention.

There were 1,312 entries in the Better Newspaper Editorial Contest and 195 entries in the Better Newspaper Advertising Contest for a total of 1,507 entries. There were 602 awards won by 92 newspapers in 33 states.

The Wyoming Press Association was awarded the fourth annual “Best of NNA” Award for their 83 winning entries, beating out California with 53 wins and New Mexico with 48 wins. This is their third award for excellence in editorial and advertising.

The winner’s book and a list of awards by newspaper are available here: https://www.nnafoundation.org/better-newspaper-contest

Judging was performed primarily by active community newspaper editors and publishers, as well as retired university journalism professors and retired or former newspaper professionals.

Judge Julie Lane, Shelter Island Reporter, Mattituck, New York, said, “I have done a lot of judging through the years and especially this year and I have to say the competitors in the General Excellence category were especially inspiring in their overall quality. It was a real pleasure to read through these remarkable issues filled with excellent reporting and writing, great use of graphics and overall choice of stories.”

For the News and Opinion on Public Corruption category, judge Joel Campbell, Associate Professor of Journalism at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, stated, “Outstanding watchdog commitment from the Southwest Ledger (Lawton, Oklahoma) and reporter Mike W. Ray to report on every audit from the Oklahoma State Auditors Office with a connection to local officials or government. The payoff in news stories and accountability to taxpayers was huge including indictments and felony charges against local officials and the list goes on. This reporting project is at the bedrock of why every community needs a newspaper. It's unlikely that the State Auditor reports would have seen the light of day or, more importantly, put officials on notice that if they steal public money, profit off the public dime, or violate basic rights their names are going to appear on the front page of the Ledger. The Ledger and Ray should be training other community journalists across the country about this project.”

Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association (NNA) is the voice of America’s community newspapers and is the one of the largest newspaper associations in the country. The NNA Foundation (NNAF) is the educational arm of the NNA. Its mission is to promote news literacy, protect the First Amendment, and enhance the quality, role and capabilities of community newspapers and community journalists.

NNA/NNAF Executive Director Lynne Lance would like to personally thank the over 70 judges who took the time out of their very busy schedules to judge this contest. If you are interested in judging this contest or the many other state contests, please sign up here: https://nna.formstack.com/forms/judgennaf

Erika Brown, publisher, The Manchester (Massachusetts) Cricket said of her judging experience, “Thanks for including me in the judging process. It’s such a valuable experience to see what other local newspapers are doing. Journalism is alive and well, even at a micro-community level! Thanks again.”

Winner’s lists: https://www.nnafoundation.org/better-newspaper-contest

Please send any edits or corrections to your entries and your mailing preference by filling out this form by July 17, 2023: https://nna.formstack.com/forms/bnc_mailing