Newspapers of the Year honored during WNAF Awards Banquet

MADISON — The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation honored the work of newspapers across the state during the 165th WNA Convention & Trade Show on March 7-8 at the Madison Concourse Hotel in downtown Madison, Wis. 

(Back row, left to right) Lakeland Times photojournalist Dean Hall, Sports Editor Jeremy Mayo, Publisher Gregg Walker, investigative reporter Richard Moore, production employee Chris Frame, (front row) ad representative Laura Larson, News Director Brian Jopek, Production Manager Sasha Case, reporter Abigail Bostwick and General Manager Heather Holmes pose for a photo after the 2018 WNA Foundation Better Newspaper Contest Awards Banquet on Thursday, March 7 at the Madison Concourse Hotel. (Julia Hunter photo)

Recipients of 2018 Newspaper of the Year Awards were Publisher Sidney “Skip” Bliss and The Gazette, Janesville, (Daily Division) and Publisher Gregg Walker and The Lakeland Times, Minocqua (Weekly Division).

The 2018 WNA Foundation Better Newspaper Contest included 2,799 entries from 121 newspapers. Eligible entries were published between Sept. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018, and were judged by members of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.

Best in Division winners were: 

  • Division A: The Gazette, Janesville
  • Division B: Beloit Daily News
  • Division C: The Monroe Times
  • Division D: The Lakeland Times, Minocqua
  • Division E: The Ripon Commonwealth Press
  • Division F: The Valders Journal

The entire list of winners and judges’ comments is available by accessing the online version of the Better Newspaper Contest Awards Tab

The 2018 WNA Foundation Collegiate Better Newspaper Contest winners also were honored during the event at the Student Honors Luncheon on Friday, March 8. The collegiate contest included 20 categories and drew 283 entries from 11 campus newspapers.

Gov. Tony Evers addresses the audience Friday, March 8, 2019, at the Student Honors Luncheon during the WNA Convention & Trade Show in Madison, Wis. (Kevin Hoffman photo)

Recipient of the first-place General Excellence awards was The Clarion, Madison College. 

Collegiate Journalist of the Year went to Morgan Hughes, a recent graduate of Marquette University who served as executive projects editor at the Marquette Tribune. Hughes is now an education reporter at the (Cheyenne) Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

A full list of collegiate awards winners, with judges comments, is available here.

Gov. Tony Evers welcomed students to the banquet, which featured a special competition of the Wisconsin Civics Games.

Madison Memorial High School students Cory Forbes and Alex Blue — champions of the Madison-area Civics Games regional — faced off against a team of WNA and WNAF board members that included Kris O’Leary, publisher of The (Abbotsford) Tribune-Phonograph; Scott Peterson, editor of Now News Group South and president of the WNA Foundation; Heather Rogge, digital director for Conley Media; and Mark Stodder, president of Xcential Legislative Technologies.

About the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation

The WNA Foundation is a not-for-profit organization created in 1980. WNAF works to improve the quality and future of Wisconsin’s newspaper enterprises, the industry and the communities they serve.

The foundation solicits, manages and disburses funds and other resources for the benefit of Wisconsin’s newspaper industry and, ultimately, the citizens of our state.