Detroit Lakes Newspapers won a number of awards in the Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Minnesota Newspaper Association Jan. 28-30 in Bloomington.

The newspaper won first place in its circulation category for best use of photography. The judges said: “Great mix of solid news photos with interesting feature shots. Well-played, crisp production. Good sports action shots, too.”

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The newspaper also took first place for headline writing. “An easy choice for first place,” the judges wrote. “The most consistently creative entry of the bunch…”

Nick Omberg and Luanna Lake took first place in the Best Institutional Advertisement category for a Dynamic Homes ad. Seven Sisters Spirits ad took second place in this category as well.

The Dynamic Homes ad also took first place in the Best Advertisement category.

Paula Quam took first place for Best Social Issues Story. “Men of the Compassion House” took an “in-depth look at what it means to homeless,” wrote the judges. “An original piece of work that makes a reader think twice before judging others.”

Pippi Mayfield took first place for Best Business Story for a story on the M State nursing program.

“Pippi Mayfield writes the best example of what all reporters need to remember, regardless of the type of story they are writing,” the judges said. “You need to talk to people to get your story. Instead of just juggling a few statistics and talking to a few representatives in the industry, she incorporates many voices into her story to get a correct perspective on the state of nursing in her county. This hard work paid off – Bravo!”

Mayfield also won third place in Investigative Reporting for a story on a Frazee wrestling coach accused of assaulting a student.

Quam won first- and second-place awards for Government/Public Affairs reporting for stories on the DL school bond vote and the academic turnaround at Waubun-Ogema schools.

“A great overview of a school bond election,” judges said of the first story. It was “written cleanly and without jargon that we saw in other stories.”

Of the second story, the judges wrote, “too often, government reporting is dry. Not this story. It is alive with colorful writing…”

Dawn Armato-Brehm won first place in the Use of Information Graphics for a full-page graphic explaining the Detroit Lakes school bond project.

In the Advertising Campaign category, Mary Brenk and Lake took third place for their Central Floral campaign. Winners were chosen from all daily and weekly newspapers in the state. “Beautiful ads! Great job,” the judges said.

A Central Floral ad designed by Brenk and Jake Pfeifer also won third place among all weeklies for Most Innovative Online Ad. “Nice presentation - no clutter,” the judges wrote. “This is not the extraneous noise seen on most webpage ads. The ad is quiet – but it is an attention-getter.”

Vicki Gerdes took second place for Best Sports Story for a story on Detroit Mountain’s original ski club members. “A fascinating look back at the origins of a ski facility,” the judges said. “The interviews of founding members added much depth and interest to the story.”

The newspaper took second place for Advertising Excellence. The judges said: “Consistently creative ads throughout each section of publication. Good headline writing and graphics.”

And the newspaper took second place in Typography and Design. “This newspaper clearly knows the importance of faces on the front page of the newspaper. The “Need for Speed” Variety page layout on the Jan. 8 edition was excellent.”

Brian Basham won second place in the Photo Story category for “Triple the      fun,” a photo page on the Young Life Triathlon.

Lake took second place for Best Promotion or House Ad for her Crazy Day promotion.

Basham won third place in the Competitive Human Interest Story category for his story and photos entitled “Wanted: Sucker Creek Outlaws take cowboy shooting to the next level.”

“Great lead plus good descriptive writing with photographs and headlines that bring readers into the story..,” the judges wrote.

Basham also won third place for an Arts and Entertainment story called “Muskie guide with an artistic side.”

“Great story, subject,” the judges wrote. “Let the subjects tell the story with great use of quotes.”

The newspaper won second place for Best Use of Video for a DWI video that went with a Brian Wierima series on getting a DWI.

The newspaper also won second- and third-place awards for Best Use of Multi-media, and third place for Best Use of Social Media.

Various points are awarded for each award, and Detroit Lakes Newspapers missed winning the Mills Trophy by one point.

The Mills Trophy goes to the best weekly newspaper in the state, and Detroit Lakes Newspapers carried the trophy the past three years. This year it went to the Jackson County Pilot, which lost by one point last year.

The Vance Trophy for best daily newspaper went to the St. Cloud Times. The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead held it last year.

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