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Courier wins 9 awards at Iowa newspaper contest

SAUL SHAPIRO, Courier Editor | Posted: Saturday, February 3, 2007 12:00 am

DES MOINES – The Courier took first place Friday night among large Iowa dailies for best news story, one of nine awards in the annual Iowa Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contests.

The Courier also won three second places and three third places in the news contest, a second place for best Web site and a first place in the advertising category.

The first place went to former Courier staff writers Brian Spannagel and Jessica Miller for “Innocence Lost,” an in-depth look at the short and tragic life of 5-year-old murder victim Evelyn Miller of Charles City.

The judges stated, “Compelling storytelling that hooks the reader from moment one and strings them through this unsolved mystery. Great reporting and research.”

The second place awards went to staff writer Matt Wilde for coverage of agriculture, Wilde and Regional Editor Dennis Magee and to graphic artist Jordan Hansen for best use of graphics.

For the farm-writing award, Wilde was praised for “covering a range of issues, from a column raising questions about a farmer’s methods to in-depth pieces on major farm issues.

Wilde and Magee were applauded for their series on Iraqi War veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. This judges wrote, “This strong series told compelling stories of the toll of war with excellent historic perspective and examination of the government’s role.”

Hansen was lauded for her “strong series of work and loads of detail.”

Third places were for coverage of education, best front page and best features pages.

The Courier’s second-place finish for best Web site was part of a Lee Enterprises sweep. First place went to the Sioux City Journal and the Quad City Times took third.

The Courier had the best advertisement for Classic Kitchen in the category featuring furniture, furnishings, appliances or hardware. Judges said, “Great ad! Excellent touch incorporating a child into the ad, it’s a unique approach for a business of this type.”

Nearly 4,000 entries in dozens of categories were judged by class, based on circulation

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February 3, 2007 Posted by | Waterloo Courier | Leave a comment