The Newton News, Jasper County Tribune and PCM Explorer received 30 top-three placements — including 11 first-place plaques — for its reporting, beat coverage and photography during the 2024 Iowa Newspaper Association Awards Ceremony on Feb. 8 at the Marriott hotel in downtown Des Moines. This years Iowa Better Newspaper Contests had more than 2,875 entries and were judged by the Illinois Press Association.
Newton News received a total of 10 top-three placements in the Class IV, Multi-Day category, including first place for: Coverage of Business, Coverage of Courts and Crime and Best Sports Feature Photo for sports editor Troy Hyde’s image of the Lynnville-Sully football team’s reaction to the win over AHSTW in 2022.
Second place finishes were awarded to Newton News for Best Sports Section, Best News Feature Photo for Christopher Braunschweig and Best Sports Story for Hyde. Third place finishes were awarded for Best Photo Story, Best News Feature Photo and Best Series by Braunschweig and Best Sports Feature Story for Hyde.
“I am extremely proud of our staff and the hard work we have put in which resulted in being honored with almost a dozen first place finishes at the INA awards,” editor Jamee A. Pierson said. “It always feels great to be recognized by fellow journalists for what is our passion – working to keep the local public informed.”
Jasper County Tribune received a total of eight top-three placements in the Class I, Weekly category, including first place for: Best Sports Section, Coverage of Government and Politics, Coverage of Agriculture, Best News Feature Story for Braunschweig’s article about a local pencil collector breaking the Guinness World Record and Best Sports Story for Hyde’s article on Colfax-Mingo wrestler Emma Cook.
Second place finishes were awarded for Jasper County Tribune for Coverage of Business and Best Sports Photo. Hyde also received a third place award for Best Sports Feature Photo.
The JCT was also eligible for General Excellence, an award for the top three newspapers in each category. The newspaper came in second and was only two points behind the first place finisher.
Braunschweig said, “I couldn’t be more proud of my colleagues for showing up strong at the INA Awards. As community journalists, it is not our goal to earn awards, but rather inform our readers and tell important stories. But it’s wonderful to be recognized for our hard work and the thousands of words we put to print.”
PCM Explorer received a total of 10 top-three placements in the Class I, Weekly category, including first place for: Coverage of Business, Best Sports Feature Story for Hyde’s article about the retirement of PCM basketball coaches Fred Lorensen and Joel Grier and Best Series for Braunschweig’s articles about the Jasper County EMS enhancement program and the struggles of volunteerism.
Second place finishes were awarded to the PCM Explorer for Best Sports Section, Coverage of Government and Politics and Coverage of Agriculture, and Best Sports Story, Best Sports Feature Story and Best Sports Columnist for Hyde. A third place finish was also awarded for Best Sports Photo for Hyde.
PCM Explorer was also up for General Excellence and finished third, four points out of first.
“I don’t do this job for awards, but it’s nice to be recognized,” Hyde said. “We as a staff did some great work this past year and it’s great to be recognized for the hard work we put in. I think our entire team did an awesome job of keeping our readers informed.”