The Columbia Missourian won 51 awards on Saturday in the 2021 Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper competition, including the Gold Cup award given to the news organizations with the most awards in its division.
The Missourian competed in the newspaper division with circulation 5,001-15,000 and won awards for written stories, visuals, multimedia, graphics, design and projects produced in 2020.
The awards were announced Saturday at the Missouri Press Association’s annual convention and awards luncheon held in Excelsior Springs this year.
Overall excellence, best overall design, best homepage, and best online newspaper or website: Missourian staff won first place in four team categories. General excellence, including VOX Magazine, was judged on breadth of content, quality of layout, art, design and advertising. The Best overall design category considered the layout, text design and photos of three entire print editions. The Better homepage the entry consisted of three cover pages and demonstrated a consistent quality of writing, layout, design, headlines and other elements. The Best website category is judged for ease of use and originality of the site.
Better coverage of rural life or agriculture, best business story and best news or series of reports: The Missourian, working with KBIA and KOMU, won first place for Washed Away, an occasional series about Missouri River flooding and dike failures in the state. Caitlyn Rosen and Seth Bodine won first prize in the Best Business Story category for the effect that dike failures have on Missouri farms. Rosen and Bodine worked with Mikayla Easley, Tynan Stewart and Lillie Hegeman on additional stories about the floodplains, earning a first place in the Best Coverage of Rural Life or Agriculture category and a second place in the Best Series category. news or reports.
Best Featured Photo: Cinematographer Brian W. Kratzer won first place for his fireworks photography at Columbia’s Fire in the Sky event.
Best Info Graphic: The Information Graphics team won a first place award for Ben Scott’s graphic on the effect of the pandemic lockdown on airlines, and Jessica Blake won a second place award for her graphic on respect of Columbia’s mask warrant.
Best Health Story: Janae McKenzie won first place for her story about some people’s reluctance to wear a mask despite local orders and mandates.
Best investigative report: Jordan Meier, Mawa Iqbal and Spencer Norris won top prize for their article on Political Action Committees and how politicians use PACs to bypass campaign spending limits and promote vested interests.
Best News or Obituary: Roshae Hemmings won first prize for her obituary on Gary Edwards, known to many in Colombia as the âWalking Manâ. Hemmings also received an honorable mention for his life story from Dr Gus T. Ridgel, one of the first black students to be admitted to MU. Connor Giffin won a second Lifetime Story Award from Missouri School of Journalism faculty member Mark Hinojosa.
Best report: Galen Bacharier won the top prize for his story on University of Missouri President Mun Choi’s refusal to remove the Thomas Jefferson statue from the MU quad after a removal request.
Best photo package: Missourian staff members including Ethan Weston and Elizabeth Underwood produced a set of first-place photos of Election Day scenes for a set called Defending Democracy. The November 6 edition of Friday Night Sights featuring the second week of the high school football playoffs also won an honorable mention in this category.
Best News Photo: Armond Feffer won first prize for his photograph of the March to Mizzou event sponsored by the Black Student Athletes Association. Zuofei Zephyrus Li won a second prize for his photo of protester Sterling Brown at a George Floyd protest in Colombia on June 3, 2020.
Multimedia report: Missourian staff took first place for their hyper-local election coverage, a deep dive capturing various scenes in audio, video and photography using online and print platforms.
Best News or Feature Series: The Missourian won first place for its First Pitches series, in which former Missourian sports writers share memories of their experiences here.
Public Service: The Missourian won a second prize for its fourth annual Progress Awards honoring the people and organizations who move Columbia forward.
Best government coverage: Missourian staff won second prize for garbage collection, recycling and wheeled carts analysis and coverage, including a comic book commentary by John Darkow.
Best story about rural farming life: Seth Bodine won a second prize for his story on how farms are adapting to the pandemic and the losses they are facing. Ziye Kelsey Tang won third place for a story about the Missouri maple syrup makers. Emily Wolf got an honorable mention for her story about a bill that would allow the retailing of raw milk.
Best Video: Missourian staff won a second place award for Unfulfilled: Documentary on the Senior Class of 2020 and Their Missed or Canceled Times Due to the Pandemic. The Long Wait won third place for Election Day coverage. The contributors were Zuofei Zephyrus Li, Grace Noteboom, Megan Oosthuizen, Minh Connors and Jacob Moscovitch.
Best Story on History and Best Sports Report: Max Baker won third place in the Best Story in History category for his article on the fifth anniversary of the 2015 anti-racism protests on campus and the united stand taken by Missouri football to support Concerned Student activists 1950 and their supporters. This entry also earned Baker an Honorable Mention in the Best Sports Reporting category.
Best Title Writing: The staff at the Missourian won a third place award for a body of work demonstrating clever word selection and creativity.
Best page design: The staff at the Missourian earned an honorable mention for the layout and design of the 2020 Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory.