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Cedar County News picks up national honors in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE — The Cedar County News was just one of three Nebraska newspapers to take home national recognition for news and editorial coverage during the three-day National Newspaper Association convention here last weekend.

News Publishers Rob Dump and Peggy Year were honored with four national awards in the National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest.

Dump earned the first-place plaque for a column he wrote about the death of a Bow Valley native — former Congressman and Governor Charlie Thone.

For the second straight year, the News was the only Nebraska newspaper to garner a first-place plaque.

The column pointed out Thone’s importance to not only the Hartington area, but to the state and the country.

Judges were impressed with Dump’s writing style and his knowledge of the former governor.

“The anecdotes on the former governor, the quotes, the reflective style of writing make this a column for reflection on what appears to be a great man,” judges wrote.

One of Thone’s most notable moments during his three terms in Congress came in 1977, as a member of a five-person House committee that investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He earned praise from CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite as the “conscience of the committee” for insisting on open meetings.

Dump also earned a third-place plaque for a column he wrote about walking his daughter down the aisle at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.

The News also earned honors for its social media reporting efforts in 2018.

Hartington’s hometown newspaper earned a second-place plaque for coverage of financial woes at the local nursing home, when in a late Friday afternoon court hearing in the state capitol it was revealed the local nursing home was in financial trouble. The facility was then placed into receivership.

Hartington area residents found out about the bad news the next morning as soon as News staffers were able to track down a couple of sources. News reporters spent much of that Saturday morning updating the website, NewsFirst and Facebook pages to keep people informed on what was happening with the local facility and down in Lincoln at the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Judges said the News was honored because of its, “great use of online tools to inform the public on a serious matter in an innovative way.”

This marks the eighth straight year the Cedar County News has won national recognition.

The Cedar County News has won 31 national awards since 2001, the  year the News first began submitting entries to the national competition.

The Cedar County News competes in the Daily and non-daily newspaper category with newspapers of up to 3,000 circulation.

There were 1,303 entries in the Better Newspaper Editorial Contest. A total of 485 awards were won by 97 member newspapers in 36 states.

Judging was performed primarily by active community newspaper editors and publishers, as well as retired university journalism professors and retired or former newspaper professionals.

“The quality of entries is always inspiring and encouraging,” said judge Mark Campbell, editor, Azle News (Texas). “Exceptional journalism continues to readily be available across the nation, as evidenced by the strong writings I judge annually.”

The Grant Tribune-Sentinel earned second place honors for its series about Down’s Syndrome.

The Washington County Enterprise of Blair earned an Honorable Mention citation in the Best Editorial category for an editorial entitled, “Think before you post.”

Two area daily newspapers, the Yankton Press and Dakotan and the Sioux City Journal, also picked up several national honors. 

Also during Friday morning’s sessions at the historic Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee, long-time Nebraska Press Association Executive Director Alan Beermann was honored with the national group’s President’s award.


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