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Paper’s awards reflect

great communities, staff

For the second time in three years, the Vilas County News-Review was named last Friday as the Best Weekly Newspaper in the circulation category that comprises the state’s largest and best weekly newspapers, those with more than 3,500 subscribers.


The “Best Weekly” honor came from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA) at its annual convention in Waukesha, where winners of the 2013 Better Newspaper Contest were announced. Judging was based on a point system for each award, with firsts garnering the most. No other newspaper in our division won more editorial and advertising awards.


The News-Review and its sister publication in Oneida County, The Three Lakes News, received a newspaper-best 17 awards. Of the total, the News-Review won eight firsts, five seconds and four thirds. Most of them came in competition with the state’s 60 largest weekly newspapers.


The biggest honor aside from the Best Weekly designation was winning first in the Open Records/Freedom of Information category for a story and editorial related to the town of Three Lakes’ struggle to get its former town chairman to turn over thousands of emails that are public records.


Other first-place plaques were received for publishing the state’s best editorial/opinion pages, for the editorial content of the 2013 Military Salute special section, for All-Around Newspaper Photography, and in the photo essay category — this particular entry showing off the North’s splendid wildlife.


Second-place awards came for Gary Ridderbusch’s environmental reporting on issues related to aquatic invasive species, for news and feature photos taken by Anthony Drew, and for the best special pages — in this case, our Outdoor pages. The News-Review’s coverage of the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby took a third-place honor for sports writing, the 11th time in 12 years that Derby coverage won an award.


On the advertising side of the contest, graphic artist Betsy Bleicher and staff won three first-place plaques for best design, best newspaper promotion and best use of local photography. A Derby ad thanking the community won first for the best overall ad of the year — The Bill Payne Award.


Though honored to be recognized and extremely proud of our small but talented staff, the credit is not all ours to take. There are those who came before us and left a legacy of quality journalism. There are real people in all sorts of places who trust us with their news tips, stories, comments and photos.


Loyal subscribers and advertisers make it all possible. A newspaper staff cannot fulfill the responsibilities of a free press for very long without economic success. Our readers and business partners make that possible. Much of what fills our paper every week is in response to what is happening in some of the most vibrant communities in Wisconsin.


This is a community newspaper — your newspaper — which is why we devote so much time and space to events put on mostly by volunteers. Our editorial staff is among the smallest in Wisconsin, but it makes up the difference with talent and decades of experience. It’s a team effort.

Behind the editorial ‘we’


Members of the Vilas County News-Review editorial board include Publisher Kurt Krueger, Editor Gary Ridderbusch and Assistant Editor Anthony Drew.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 11:23 AM

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