At the end of a three-day conference held in the Queen City, Springfield Business Journal won four awards during the Missouri Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.
SBJ — in the Class 2 Weeklies category for a circulation of 3,001 to 7,000 — took home two first place honors and two honorable mentions at the Sept. 30 event at University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. More than 70 of MPA’s 236 newspaper members were honored during the conference. Attendance totaled over 300 as the MPA hosted its first annual conference in Springfield since 2004, said Matthew Barba, editor of MPA. The conference is scheduled to be held in Joplin next year.
Award information for SBJ, with judges’ comments, are below.
• Best Overall Design: Wes Hamilton and Eric Olson
“Simply amazing! Once I started flipping through this journal, it felt like the winner. Everything from the graphics, typography choices and use of negative space is perfect. Features like the 12 People You Need to Know and ‘The Science of Fundraising’ feel very fresh and modern. The square design and bright white paper also helps to convey this feeling.”
• Best Columnist — Serious: Eric Olson
“Eric Olson’s Eyes & Ears column offers an interesting look inside complex municipal issues without being stuffy or too wonky. Eric's choice of topics was diverse and brave. Great stuff here!”
• Best Breaking News Story: “Henley heads to rival” — Geoff Pickle
“Good job breaking the news before your competitor.”
• Best Business Story: “Digital Targets” — Emily Letterman
“Good explanatory story about something we all wonder about. More localization and cost figures would have moved this up.”
Other winners in SBJ’s coverage area were:
• Monett Times, 38 awards;
• Christian County Headliner News, 27 awards;
• Lebanon Daily Record, 13 awards;
• Bolivar Herald-Free Press, five awards;
• Branson Tri-Lakes News, four awards;
• Greene County Commonwealth, three awards;
• Lawrence County Record, three awards;
• Marshfield Mail, two awards; and
• Cedar County Republican, one award.
The MPA conference included break-out sessions featuring Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft; Reps. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, and Crystal Quade, D-Springfield; Sens. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa, Mike Cunningham, R-Marshfield, and Lyndall Fraker, R-Marshfield; former international journalist Jennifer Moore; and Jason Preston of 417 Drone Imaging, among others.
Ozarks Elder Law LLC closed on its acquisition of RTR Attorneys in Marshfield; Nashville-style fried chicken and catfish restaurant Hot Cluckers got its start; and the first Geico insurance office in the Queen City opened.
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