Newspaper wins 40 awards in statewide contest
Competing against midsize dailies as well as weeklies, Marion County Record won 40 statewide awards — including all major awards for overall news coverage — in the 2022 Awards of Excellence competition by Kansas Press Association.
The Record learned this week that it won first place for:
- Overall news and writing excellence.
- Best front page.
- Best editorial page.
- Overall design and layout excellence.
- Best special section for Explore Marion County.
It also won first place in four individual reporting categories:
- Investigative reporting, for Eric Meyer and Phyllis Zorn’s story about how 28% of voters in a watershed election may not have been qualified to vote.
- Education reporting, for Rowena Plett’s story about a non-traditional student getting her diploma from Centre High School. Plett also won second place in the same category for a story about a lamb’s visit to a Centre classroom.
- Religion reporting, for former reporter Mindy Kepfield’s coverage of the Father Emil Kapaun pilgrimage. Plett also won second place in the same category for a story about whether Kapaun’s remains would be returned to Pilsen.
- Agriculture reporting, for departing rookie reporter Madeline Reida’s very first feature story, about a rural Goessel couple’s menagerie.
Meyer also won second place among all newspapers in the state, not just midsize dailies and weeklies, for best story based on public notices, for his reporting about whether taxes actually were rising or falling under the state’s “revenue neutral” law.
Competing against reporters from midsize dailies and weeklies, Plett won second place for reporting about seniors for a story about seniors in their 90s and for an environmental portrait of free-range chickens.
Meyer won second place for headline writing, and Zorn and Kepfield won second place for health reporting for a pair of stories about a dispatcher’s CPR instructions and an overdose victim dying after refusing aid.
Kepfield also won thirds for feature photography from the Fourth of July, for a story/photo combination about inner workings of the courthouse clock, for a photo package about a Marion Advancement Campaign banquet and auction, and for health reporting about a stroke victim.
Meyer won third-place awards for editorial writing, column writing, and photo illustration for an end-of-year picture montage.
Zorn won third-place in governmental and political reporting for a story about Marion’s city council suspending city code.
Zorn and Kepfield shared a third-place award in general news coverage for stories about hogs desecrating a cemetery.
And Ryan Richter won third place for sports reporting about Hillsboro’s loss in the state football playoffs.
In advertising, the Record won multiple awards for ads created by salesperson Debbie Steele and designed by Meyer in several categories:
- Hardware advertising, sweeping first, second, and third with an ad for G&R Implement and two ads for The Building Center.
- Automotive advertising, winning first for Hillsboro Ford and second for Midway Motors.
- Professional services advertising, winning first for an Animal Health Center ad and third for an ad for Great Plains Federal Credit Union.
- Furniture advertising, winning first for an ad for AhhsSpas and second for an ad for Affordable Home Elevator.
The Record also won first place for most adaptable promotion for its monthly community service signature ads, created by Steele, Meyer, and Cheri Bentz.
The Record’s Steele and Meyer won second-place awards in specialty advertising for an ad for The Cut Above and in community event advertising for an ad for Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce.
The Record also won third-place awards for best agricultural advertising for another Animal Health Center ad and for political advertising for a city council candidate.
About the competition
Overall, the Record has won 300 statewide awards, including 109 first-place awards, in annual Kansas Press Association contests in the past 10 years.
The paper formerly competed only against midsize weeklies but now competes against midsize dailies as well
Classes are based on circulation. Newspapers in the same circulation class as the Record include such nearby publications as the Emporia Gazette, the McPherson Sentinel, the Newton Kansan and Harvey County Now in Newton, the Butler County Times-Gazette in El Dorado and Augusta, the Ark Valley News in Valley Center, and Clarion in Andale. Results, if any, from other newspapers were not released.