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Three-peat: DL Tribune named top weekly in Minnesota

DL Newspapers Publisher Dennis Winskowski and Minnesota Newspaper Association president Rollie Bergman. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham1 / 4
The DL Newspapers staff that attended the MNA Convention pose for a picture. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham2 / 4
Kristie Fritz, Nick Omberg and Jake Pfeifer pick up their awards for Innovative Online Advertising. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham3 / 4
Winskowski and editor Nate Bowe look over the Mills Trophy after the Detroit Lakes Tribune was named the top weekly newspaper in Minnesota. DL NEWSPAPERS/Brian Basham4 / 4

For the third year in a row, Detroit Lakes Newspapers has won the prestigious Mills Trophy, given annually to the best weekly newspaper in Minnesota.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead received the Vance trophy, given to the best mid-sized daily newspaper in Minnesota.

Detroit Lakes Newspapers received eight first-place awards, 11 second-place awards and four third-place awards, collecting enough points to edge out the Jackson County Pilot for the Mills Trophy.

The Detroit Lakes Tribune won first place for headline writing, best website, best use of multimedia, best sports photo and best coverage of veterans’ issues.

“The Tribune looks like a newspaper its readers can rely on,” wrote the judges in their comments about the newspaper’s headline writing submissions. “The headlines are well written, use of typography is effective in telling readers which stories are most important, and the red tag lines provide important information that makes the nut of each story clear and immediately accessible to readers who like to ‘scan’ the paper first.

“In short, these headlines are informative and make the paper easy to read. And isn’t that the point? Very well done!”

In reference to DL-Online, the newspaper’s website, the judges wrote, “Nice looking site that’s updated frequently. Good job.”

In the Best Use of Multimedia category, the Tribune won for its submission “The Greater Prairie Chicken.”

“Loved this idea and the conversational tone of the text throughout the video,” the judges’ comments read. “I know more about chickens than I did before, which is exactly what you want…Overall, wonderful execution and an example of alternative storytelling.”

The Tribune also won second place in the multimedia category for its submission, “Mr. Zunich, Teacher of the Year.”

Photographer Brian Basham took first place honors in the Best Sports Photo category, for his submission, “A tough loss,” which captured a moment of despair by a Laker football player after Detroit Lakes lost in the semifinals last fall.

“The total contrast between victory and defeat is captured in the top photo,” the judges wrote. “It well combines the action with emotion. While the game shot is also technically excellent, the post-game split second tells the story of a loss that will live in the hearts of the young men pictured for a long time.”

Detroit Lakes also took top honors for its coverage of military veterans’ news.

“The variety of coverage, readability and presentation make this entry the first place choice,” the judges wrote.

In the advertising categories, the Tribune won both first and second place for best advertisement, and it swept first-, second- and third-place in two categories — innovative online advertising and best use of color in advertising.

First place in the best advertisement category went to Mary Brenk and Luanna Lake for their Central Floral ad.

“The typography is fresh and fits the message,” the judges wrote. “The layout is clean, easy to read and has plenty of white space that adds an elegant touch…Great use of color.”

Second place for best advertisement went to the Tribune staff’s ‘Mother’s Day Pages.”

Innovative  online  advertising awards went to the Tribune’s Stacey Gravelle and Jake Pfeifer for “Wings Flight Training” (first place), Kristie Fritz and Jake Pfeifer for “Top Dog Attachments-CJ Inc.” (second place), and Nick Omberg and Jake Pfeifer for “TS Recreational” (third place).

For best use of color in advertising, Tribune winners included Mary Brenk and Luanna Lake, “Central Floral” (first place), Liz Warling and Rachel Poser, “9-11” (second place), and Carol Hennen and Nick Omberg, “Silver Leaf” (third place).

The newspaper won second-place awards for its editorial page, and for best use of photography.

It also won second-place for best advertising campaign (Stacey Gravelle, “Maid Rite”), best institutional advertisement (Mary Brenk and Carol Hennen, “Fireside”), best business story (Nathan Bowe, “Patients love new coordinated care”), best photo story (Brian Basham, “To Save a Species”) and best use of social media (Facebook).

The Becker County Record and photographer Brian Basham took second place in the Portrait & Personality Photo category, for “Cystic fibrosis hits home.”

The Tribune also won third-place for human interest feature story (Paula Quam, “All Smiles…On the Inside”) and best use of social media (Twitter).