KEARNEY — The Cedar County News was honored Saturday night for having some of the top digital news coverage in the state.
The News was one of four weekly newspapers to earn the inaugural Edgcombe family Award for digital news.
The award was handed out as part of the Nebraska Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. The awards banquet concluded the 145th annual Nebraska Press Association Convention at the Kearney Holiday Inn with over 150 journalists from across the state in attendance.
The award is named for Geneva, Nebraska’s Edgcombe family. Six generations of that family have been Nebraska newspaper publishers, two of which have served as President of the National Newspaper Association.
The state’s newspapers entered their best news and sports video reports, Social Media news reports, website reporting efforts, and website advertising to be judged for this contest.
The Orchard News, Fairbury Journal and Ord Quiz were the other weekly newspapers to earn Sweepstakes award honors in their respective circulation divisions. The Orchard News was then named as the overall weekly newspaper winner.
The Kearney Hub is the first daily newspaper to win the Digital Sweepstakes Award, with two first-place awards, three second-place awards and two third-place awards.
The Cedar County News picked up a total of 10 awards on the night, including five first-place honors.
Cedar County News Co-Publishers Rob Dump and Peggy Year earned first-place honors for their editorial writing.
Judges were impressed by editorials urging Nebraskans to vote against incumbent State Auditor Charlie Janssen, who had admitted to spending several days a week at a Lincoln bar rather than at his desk in the State Capitol.
Judges were also impressed by another News editorial critical of the Trump administration’s Fake News tirades.
Dump also picked up a first-place plaque for his personal column writing.
Judges enjoyed his entertaining writing style in a column about walking his daughter down the aisle at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Judges also commented on the importance of a column he penned upon hearing of the death of former Gov. Charlie Thone.
Cedar County News reporter Jake Higgins also earned a first-place award for a photo he took during last year’s luminary ceremony at the Relay for Life event.
Higgins took first and second-place honors for his video reports.
Judges gave Higgins first-place honors for his report after the Hartington Wildcat track team won last year’s District Track title in dramatic fashion.
Judges commented on his solid camera work and excellent commentary. Higgins report after the Cedar Catholic - Stanton football game took home second-place honors. Judges were especially impressed by his athlete interviews after that contest.
The News also earned a first-place plaque for its breaking news coverage when the Hartington nursing home was forced into receivership last spring.
The Cedar County News website — www. hartington.net — was also honored as one of the top mid-sized weekly newspaper websites in the state, garnering a third-place plaque.
Cedar County News intern Elsie Stormberg earned a third-place plaque for a feature photo she took last year at the Hartington swimming pool.
Another Northeast Nebraska News Company newspaper, the Laurel Advocate, picked up a second-place plaque at the event for a special section they produced promoting that community’s Q125 celebration.
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