Winners of the 2019 National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Editorial Contest were announced on Tuesday, June 11, and Herald staff earned accolades for their work in the daily and non-daily division for publications with a circulation between 3,000 and 6,000.
Herald reporter Sheila McGuire was awarded first, second and third place, sweeping the category, for serious column writing. Judges said, “Ms. McGuire is an excellent writer, which is why she’s sweeping first through third places.” Her entries were described as “thoughtful, intelligent and very well-written.”
First place went to column “Evanston Sounds” from June 2018, second to “Things Left Unsaid,” written following a friend’s untimely death in January 2018, and third to “Quite Aware of What They’re Going Through” from February 2018.
McGuire was also awarded first place for a feature story for her coverage of Evanston woman Tara Spero’s harrowing ordeal in February 2018 when she lost her leg in a shotgun accident. Judges said, “Couldn’t stop reading this one. The reality of an unreal set of circumstances presented in a manner sure to nab reader interest. . . writer weaves together in a clear manner the details and spices the story with great quotes. A compelling read.”
Herald editor Bryon Glathar earned second place honors for best business feature story with a piece written about City Drug’s program to distribute naloxone auto-injectors for people with opioid prescriptions, which saved at least one life that could have been lost due to accidental overdose.
Comments from the judges said, “Author deftly shows the human side of business — in this case, the local pharmacy where staff go out of their way to help ease the pain and worries of customers who are also their friends and neighbors. Well done!”
Herald publisher Mark Tesoro said, “I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work and dedication of Bryon and Sheila. The awards from NNA are well deserved. We’re competing with newspapers in California and Texas, papers from around the country. My kudos to our great journalists.”
Winners of the NNA awards will be recognized at an awards breakfast in Milwaukee in October during the association’s annual convention and trade show. Judging in the contest is primarily done by community newspaper editors and publishers throughout the country, as well as by retired university journalism professors and former newspaper professionals. More than 1,500 entries were received, and winners came from newspapers in 36 states.
Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association is described as “the voice of America’s community newspapers.”