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Echo Press wins nine state awards

The Echo Press received nine awards in the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s (MNA) Better Newspaper Contest.

Staff members from the newspaper picked up the awards at the MNA’s annual convention in Bloomington last Thursday.

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Here are the awards the Echo Press received:

• Advertising Excellence, first place. The judges noted, “No fear to use color throughout all sections; feature tributes in each issue and overall design makes you keep turning pages, then want to go back again. Flat-out impressive in every aspect. Edged out number two finisher but top two were miles ahead of the rest of the field.”

• Headline Writing, first place. The judges noted, “In addition to some great turns of phrases, headlines were strong throughout the paper. Even simple stories had creative heads that made for a more enjoyable reading experience.”

• Classified Ad Section, first place. “Strong, clean layout,” noted a judge.

• Self Promotion or House Ad, second place to Jody Hanson and Karla Mikkelson. The award was for a series of ads promoting the members of the newspaper’s editorial team. “A window into your newspaper designed with class,” said a judge. “Popping the employee with color and clip pathing draws attention. Well done.”

• Use of Color in Advertising, first place. This was for a design-a-bra contest the newspaper organized to support breast cancer awareness and research. “A very clean, neat, easy to read ad with good use of color. Sometimes we tend to over-use color and this ad used the color properly,” said a judge.

• Best Advertisement, third place to Shelly Beaulieu and Deb Zens for a Pete’s County Market hamburger ad. “Good use of prominent graphic,” noted a judge. “Was bold ad in its taking on the competition. Message was clear and immediate. Made me want a good burger!”

• Sports Story, first place to Eric Morken for his two-part series on hockey player Kalley Kragenbring’s recovery from a concussion. “Interesting feature, very readable,” said a judge. “A good cautionary tale about the dangers of concussions for athletes, parents. All parents who have kids who play sports should read this.”

• Sports Photo, second place to Blaze Fugina for his photo of a runner sliding safely into home for the Brandon-Evansville Bluedogs in a game that gave the team the Resorters West title. “Always hard to catch this good of a picture,” said a judge. “Great photo.”

• Best Magazine, third place for Chicz. “The cover was cute and had great color and photo choices,” said a judge. “The overall magazine was geared toward women and it showed in the choice of colors, graphics, copy and layout. It is a great niche magazine and really captures its targeted audience.”

This year’s MNA contest was an exciting one for Forum Communications Company, which owns the Echo Press. The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead won the prestigious Vance Trophy, which is awarded to the daily newspaper that earns the most points in the contest; and another FCC newspaper, the Detroit Lakes Tribune, earned the coveted Mills Trophy, given to the top weekly newspaper in the state, for the second year in a row.