Times wins honors in MO Press Association statewide competitions
The Ozark County Times brought home two first place awards, two third place awards, some honorable mentions and placed third in general excellence at the 2017 Better Newspaper Contest awards luncheon during the Missouri Press Association conference Sept. 15 at Sheraton Westport Lakeside Chalet in St. Louis. “I’m proud of the Times staff,” said publisher Norene Prososki. “Jessi Dreckman’s design talents and reporting, along with Sue Ann Jones’ experience as a writer and editor are real assets to the paper and the community.”
The Times competed against newspapers of similar size across the state, and for the second consecutive year took first place for having the best front page. The category is judged on design, photography and quality of writing. A contest judge cited the “strong photography and great use of white space” in the comments accompanying the award.
Dreckman also won first place for writing the best story about the outdoors with her article “Access Answers” written about river access points following last year’s historic flood. “This story was a great public service to community members who use the river,” commented one contest judge.
The staff took third place in the best news or feature series with their series “Historic Devastation” on last year’s flood. “The most comprehensive of several flood coverage entries,” wrote a judge in the comments accompanying the award. “The use of before and after photos was a gut punch for readers and showed the enterprise of the news team in digging up the ‘before’ images.”
Prososki earned an honorable mention in the Tilghman Cloud Memorial weeklies editorial category for her Thanksgiving column. “Thoughtful Thanksgiving column,” wrote a contest judge. “Liked how you gave the reader insight to the day-to-day operations of the newspaper.”
Jones also earned an honorable mention in the best feature stories category with her story, “Rooftop Rescue,” that detailed the amazing rescue of Peggy Donahue and her daughter and son-in-law Autumn and Joshua Shirley who were stranded on the roof of their home during last year’s flood.