The Glasgow Courier on Saturday hauled in a dozen awards during the Montana Newspaper Association 2010 Better Newspaper Contest Awards – the highest total in many years for The Voice of Valley County Since 1913.
The awards recognized Courier excellence in a range of newspapering aspects, from writing and editing to advertising and design to the high quality of the Opinion page and Hi-Line Farm & Ranch section.
The MNA also named Courier publisher Jim Orr to its board of directors during the press organization's 126th annual convention, which the Yogo Inn in Lewistown hosted Thursday through Saturday. Orr said he was honored with the appointment and looking forward to serving the board as a representative of The Courier, Glasgow and Northeast Montana.
MNA executive director John Barrows said he couldn't recall The Courier winning more awards than this year's 12. Courier editor Samar Fay said likewise. She's been on the staff since 1996.
Fay again brought home multiple awards, three this year, to lead The Courier in individual honors in the competition among Division II weeklies papers with circulations of 1,500 to 2,999.
Fay placed second in the Best Feature Photo category for a Northeast Montana Fair roller coaster photo and third in Best Government Issue Coverage for her extensive reporting on the medical marijuana debate. She also won honorable mention for Best General Feature Story with her piece, "May You Ride in Beauty," about two Native American men riding horses from South Dakota to Rocky Boy's Reservation.
Fay's writing and photography also contributed to Hi-Line Farm & Ranch placing third in Best Niche Publication judging, the third straight year that F&R has won an MNA award. The Courier and Havre Daily News produce F&R.
Orr captured an individual first-place plaque for Best Headline Writing. He and The Courier also were singled out for second place in Best Editorial Page.
Orr and Courier sports editor Terry were a force in Best Headline Writing, with Terry taking second to give The Courier the top two spots statewide. Terry also placed second in Best Sports Column for his entries about the Glasgow wrestling team, Montana scholastic track records, and the nature of constant rebuilding in high school sports.
Former Courier graphic designer Donna Roness placed second in Best Graphics for her presentation of election results and received honorable mention in Best Black & White Ad for a Christmas open house at Favorite Finds.
Virgil Vaupel is The Courier's Hinsdale sports correspondent, but he won over judges in another category, Best Column Writing, for his musings about truckers, cell phones, a saw and an arrowhead. Vaupel earned honorable mention, which in this case meant fourth place statewide.
The Courier also ranked third in General Advertising Excellence, recognizing a number of staffers who sold and designed ads over the course of 2010.
Courier owners Gary Stevenson and Robb Hicks traveled from Wyoming to attend the convention.
Stevenson's detailed reflections about Boulder Monitor publisher Jan Anderson, this year's MNA Master Editor/Publisher Award winner, were read Saturday during the Master Editor/Publisher Luncheon. Anderson edited the Whitehall Ledger under Stevenson's ownership in the 1990s.
Orr was named to the MNA board during the luncheon, adding to the presence of Stevenson newspapers during the prestigious event.
This year's contest judges were from Wyoming newspapers.