HARTINGTON — The Cedar County News is one of only three Nebraska community newspapers to earn national honors at last week’s annual National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest.
The Hartington newspaper earned four national awards at this year’s annual convention.
The News earned a first-place plaque in the Breaking News category for the online and social media coverage by Rob Dump and Kenneth Ferrerria of an attempted murder in Fordyce and the ensuing pursuit and capture of Kevin Haug.
Judges were impressed by the constant updates the News put out about the happenings of the day.
Dump also earned a third place plaque for a sports photo he took during a Wynot girls basketball state tournament game.
Judges said the shot captured a great moment.
“The look on the defender’s face as the elbow approaches her — wonderful. Great timing on the photographer’s part,” the judge said.
The News also earned an Honorable Mention award for Ferrerria’s photo page about a television show being filmed by Hartington veterinarians Dr. Ben and Dr. Erin Schroeder.
The News picked up another Honorable Mention award for a video report of the Cedar Catholic volleyball team’s Distict championship game win.
The Blair Enterprise and Neligh Antelope County News also earned national awards.
One Nebraska college newspaper, the Chadron State College Eagle, also earned national recognition for General Excellence.
Each year NNA honors the best in community journalism in the Better Newspaper Contest.
The Cedar County News is routinely listed among the state’s best community newspapers. This marks the ninth year in a row the Cedar County News has collected at least one national award. The News has now won 35 NNA awards since 2001.
No other newspaper in the state holds that distinction.
This year a virtual convention and virtual awards ceremony was held Oct. 1-3, because of the pandemic.
Northeast Nebraska News Company Publisher Rob Dump said he was pleased his peers once again honored the Cedar County News.
“We’re not in this business to put plaques on the wall, but it sure makes a person feel to good to see how well we stack up against some of the best newspapers in the country,” Dump said.
Dump said none of the awards would be possible without the hardworking staff at the Cedar County News.
“There can be some pretty long hours once in awhile, and it might seem like a thankless job from time to time, but this sort of thing helps to make it all worth it,” he said.
The national contest has also garnered accolades for many of the News’ summer photo interns, several of whom have been able to write “National Award winner” on their resumes after a summer working at the Cedar County News. Along with Kenneth Ferrerria, other interns include, Anna Reed, and Amber Baesler, who won first place in the nation with a photo documenting the 2014 Coleridge Tornado.
“We’ve been priviledged to meet many publishers and reporters from across the country through the National Newspaper Association,” said co-publisher, Peggy Year. “Everyone of them shares the same feeling, ‘Everyone has a story,’ and the newspaper people love to share those stories with their communities.”
This year’s awards presentation coincides with the 80th annual National Newspaper Week. National Newspaper Week is a recognition of the service of newspapers and their employees across North America and is sponsored by Newspaper Association Managers. More on that can be found on page four of this week’s Cedar County News.
Judges were very pleased with the quality products of the nation’s newspapers.
“Community journalism is going strong! I read a number of stories that resonate with me still, weeks later. The ideas I gathered while judging this contest will augment both news-gathering and advertising efforts at my paper,” said one of the judges.