The evidence that GateHouse Media newsrooms #DoJournalismWithImpact was on full display at our 2016 Best of GateHouse contest, and we could not be more proud to announce our Newspapers of the Year and Editors of the Year.
Challenges in the industry have only emboldened these leaders and their newsrooms to deliver enterprising work that reveals systemic injustice and demands change. The expanding horizon of digital storytelling has provided new avenues of creativity and interaction with readers — and our top editors and newsrooms are leading the way.
A huge thank you goes out to our judges from Ball State University’s College of Communication, Coordinator of Unified Media Juli Metzger and Ball State Daily News adviser John Strauss, for making incredibly difficult decisions amid our largest-ever number of phenomenal submissions.
Also of note, Mark Baldwin, executive editor of the Rockford Register Star, has been awarded the first GateHouse Media #DoJournalismWithImpact Leadership Award.
“Mark is a national advocate and expert for news literacy, and his engagement efforts in the Rockford community have been courageous and thoughtful,” said Bill Church, senior vice president of news. “He exemplifies an editor who understands the importance of high-touch journalism.”
Please join us in congratulating these talented individuals and tenacious newsrooms.
EDITORS OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Dennis Anderson, Journal Star, Peoria, Illinois, for demonstrating high-level community engagement by nurturing relationships with his readers and doing important journalism, including uncovering how local law enforcement were doing personal business on the taxpayer’s clock.
RUNNER-UP: Mike Smith, Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, South Carolina
WINNER: Angie Muhs, State Journal-Register, Springfield, Illinois, for leading a wide range of reader engagement programs and directing bold coverage, concentrated on state and government accountability, including a front page editorial calling for resolution to the state budget impasse.
RUNNER-UP: Lynne Sullivan, Herald News, Fall River, Massachusetts
WINNER: Eric Dundon, Courier-Post, Hannibal, Missouri, for demonstrating sophisticated reader engagement using social media, events and public service journalism. This may be a small newsroom but it shows focus and grit, executing on impactful journalism and using analytics to increase its reach across platforms.
RUNNER-UP: Jason Hunsicker, Daily Express, Kirksville, Missouri
NEWSPAPERS OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Florida
This newspaper sets the gold standard for community journalism. It has powerful design, smart reader engagement and killer enterprise. Their investigatory journalism goes beyond the ordinary. In fact, there is nothing ordinary about the Herald-Tribune.
RUNNER-UP: Register Star, Rockford, Illinois
WINNER: Herald News, Fall River, Massachusetts
In a very competitive field of smaller newspapers, the Herald News stands out with its big ambitions, local community leadership, excellent print presentation and creative digital storytelling. The newspaper made an impressive demonstration of not only setting a news agenda, but fostering solutions-based community engagement.
RUNNER-UP: Gainesville Sun, Gainesville, Florida
WINNER: Courier-Post, Hannibal, Missouri
This newspaper developed new ways to engage readers including a monthly health and wellness insert celebrating New Year’s resolutions and thoughtful reporting in several multi-day series throughout the year. This scrappy newspaper also dived into social media, and made smart use of Google Analytics to decide how and when to play stories, demonstrating an understanding for the technology, which in concert with strong journalism grows digital traffic.
WINNER: Wareham Courier, Wareham, Massachusetts
This newspaper has a strong local, local presence. Photos are included with nearly every story and headlines are engaging. This paper also interacts with readers in print and online. The digital presence is equally strong, with videos and photos. The Facebook page is an intimate snapshot of life in Wareham.