Gazette wins!

The Daily Mining Gazette was in top shape in the recently announced Better Newspaper Awards from the Michigan Press Association. Staffers, past and present, from the newspaper won seven awards including three first place wins. Based points from the paper’s awards, the Gazette won third place honors in the General Excellence category.

Former staff writers Erin Alberty and I won a first place award in spot news for our package of stories entitled “The Ultimate Sacrifice.” The two stories told the story about the death of Staff Sgt. Paul J. Johnson and its impact on his family and friends.

In the same category, I won a third place award for my coverage of the Michigan Tech University Board of Control’s removal of President Curt Tompkins. I assembled three stories on deadline about the decision and its effect.

Results from the Michigan AP awards

This is my first “number one” award from the Michigan Press Association and the first time I’ve won more than one award in a competition. To date, I’ve won a total of six awards from the MPA and the Michigan AP Editorial Association for my work at the paper. To see the award-winning stories, please click here.

Here’s a breakdown of other Gazette award-winners:

  • The paper won first place in Special Sections for the annual magazine entitled Copper Country Snapshots. The magazine included short stories and photos sampling the different walks of life and activities in the region. I contributed several stories to the section as well as other reporters and photographers.

  • The professional walleye championship was another winner for Gazette writers who earned a first place award for its coverage of the pro walleye trail. Writers included writers Garrett Neese and Jim Junttila as well as former Gazette writers Kevin Colbert and Erik Johns. The series previously won a first place award from the Michigan AP for sustained coverage of a single sports event.

  • Gazette Writer Brad Salmen won a third place award in feature writing for his profile on Stephen Dresch of Hancock.

  • Former staff writer Zac Anderson won an honorable mention award in enterprise reporting for his series “The Final Bell” about the last days of White Pine High School. Anderson’s series previously won the sweepstakes award from the Michigan AP.

I’m extremely pleased by the number of awards that the newspaper has received. During my tenure at the paper, I always believed that The Gazette was the best publication in the Upper Peninsula. I was always willing to go the extra mile to make sure we were.

It is a shame that there are so many former staffers from the paper (including myself), but I hope these awards are a tribute to the hard work everyone contributed to the newspaper. When I think of these awards, I’ll always remember Archy, Barry, Beth, Bruce, Cathy, Dan R., Dan S., Dave, Elliot, Erik, Erin, Garrett, Ginger, Jeff, Jesse, Julie, Katie, Kevin, Mark, Marshall, Matt, Michele, Mike, Olivia, Pat, Peter, Roger, Serg, Steve, Will, Zac and everyone else.