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Sioux City Journal runner up in National Newspaper Association contest

Sioux City Journal runner up in National Newspaper Association contest

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SIOUX CITY -- The Sioux City Journal finished runner up for general excellence in the 2020 National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest.

In the NNA's Better Newspaper contest, the Journal captured a total of 22 awards, including 11 first-place honors. 

“It’s gratifying to receive this kind of recognition for doing the kind of local journalism that has always been a hallmark of our newspaper,” Journal editor Bruce Miller said. "We've very proud of all the hard work that we do for our readers."

The Wyoming Eagle Tribune won first place in the daily division of the general excellence category, which recognizes newspapers that achieve excellence in the quality of writing, headline language, design and typography, use of photos and artwork, front page, editorial page, sports pages, family life/living pages, advertising design and layout, handling of classified and/or reader ads and taste, and treatment of public notices.

The Journal has now placed first or second in general excellence for the NNA's daily division for seven straight years, winning top honors in 2018, 2016, 2015, 2013 and placing second in 2020, 2019, 2017 and 2014.

Community newspaper editors and publishers, retired university journalism professors and retired or former newspaper professionals judged the contest. 

The Journal’s awards in the 2020 NNA contest are listed below.


Best Business Story: Reporter Mason Dockter for his coverage of the rapid expansion of Dollar General in smaller Siouxland towns.

Best Feature Series: Reporter Dolly Butz for her series that highlighted the growing number of grandparents who have taken on the parenting role for their grandchildren.

Best Investigative or In-Depth Story or Series: Former intern Garrett Looker for a story that detailed how the unsolved 2014 murder of Alicia Hummel still haunts her family and friends. 

Best Reporting on Local Government: Reporter Bret Hayworth for his continuing coverage of county supervisor Jeremy Taylor's residency issues. 

Best Profile Feature Story: Editor Bruce Miller for a feature on Spencer Bailey, three decades after the publication of a famous Journal photo showing Lt. Col. Dennis Nielsen carrying the then-3-year-old Spencer from the wreckage of United Airlines Flight 232 in Sioux City. 

Best Sports Feature Story: Miller for his story on Morningside College standouts Trent Solsma and Connor Niles reflecting on the school's first NAIA football title.

Best Review: Miller for his review of the film "1917."

Best Sports Column: Former columnist Tim Gallagher for a column on East Sac High School wrestler Evan Boger.

Best Editorial Pages

Best Family Life/Living Section/Pages - Siouxland Life magazine, which is printed quarterly. 

Best Sports Section


General Excellence 

Best Editorial: Former opinion page editor Mike Gors for a Journal editorial calling for Rep. Steve King to resign following his published comments on white supremacy.

Best Breaking News Photo: Photographer Jesse Brothers for his photo of Julie Schoenherr reacting to election returns showing her winning a seat on the Sioux City Council.

Best Feature Photo: Photographer Jesse Brothers for a photo of Sandra Pearson directing the MLK Community Choir.

Best Front Page Design


Best Serious Column: Reporter Nick Hytrek for a column efforts by three Sutherland, Iowa, residents to find relatives of the town's World War II veterans.

Best Sports Column: Zach James for a column on Dordt University track and field performer David Temte.

Best Breaking News Story: Dockter for a story documenting an exchange of gunfire outside a night club that wounded South Sioux City Police Officer Brian Van Berkum.

Best Business Story: Hytrek for a story exploring Big Ox Energy's financial troubles.

Best Video Journalism: Former videographer Justin Wan and Butz for a video that accompanied Butz's grandparents series.


Best Health Story: Butz for a story highlighting a surge in sexually transmitted disease cases in metro Sioux City.

Copyright 2018 The Sioux City Journal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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