Big Horn County News receives 3 first place distinctions at MNA Better Newspaper Contest

Thursday, June 13, 2019
Article Image Alt Text

Photo by Andrew Turck

Andrew Turck’s photo of water escaping a broken water main won third place in the best news photo category of the 2019 Better Newspaper Contest. The photo accompanied the article “City crews fix broken water main in downtown Hardin,” which ran in the Big Horn County News on March 3, 2018.

The Big Horn County News won 12 awards in nine categories, including three first place awards, at the Better Newspaper Awards ceremony during the 134th Montana Newspaper Association annual convention held June 7 and 8 in at the Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana.

The News took home first place awards for best sports page layout and design for the School and Activities page designed by graphic designer Barb Eben in the Sept. 27, 2018 issue featuring the Hardin High School cross country team; best page layout and design for a photo page designed by publisher Jim Eshleman and reporter Gary Rood in the Aug. 23, 2018 issue featuring the centennial Crow Fair celebration; and best headline writing by Rood for the Hardin High School boys’ basketball state championship front page article from the March 8, 2018 issue.

“We could not have done it without the staff of the Big Horn County News and all the hard work they put in to put out a weekly paper,” Eshleman said.

The News also won nine second and third place awards.

Second place: Best news photo, Andrew Turck for “The Crow Tribe does/does not endorse.”

Third place: best portrait photo, Andrew Turck for “Facebooking through the creative marketplace”; best sports page layout and design, Barb Eben from the Schools and Activity page for the Dec. 13, 2018 issue; best sports story, Gary Rood and Andrew Turck for “32 minutes that will last a lifetime”; best headline writing, Gary Rood for “10 days, 10,000 words, one book”; best news photo, Andrew Turck for “City crews fix broken water main in downtown Hardin”; best investigative journalism, Andrew Turck for “Raid, rinse, repeat”; best continuing coverage, Andrew Turck and Carl Danelski for “A way out”; and best website, for

The News competes in Division 1 with 33 other weekly newspapers state-wide with circulations of 1,250 or less. Competition judging was completed this year by members of the Michigan Press Association.

Montana Newspaper Association members chose Kellyn Brown of the Flathead Beacon as the 2019-20 president. Erin Leonard of the Madisonian was elected first vice president. Chad Knudsen, from the Glendive Ranger-Review was elected second vice president, and George Hoffman of the Belgrade News was elected third vice president.

At the Montana Newspaper Advertising Service annual meeting, Jeff Martinsen, Choteau Acantha, was elected president and Summer Goddard, of the Valley Journal, was elected vice president.

Mike Gulledge, former publisher of the Billings Gazette, was honored with the 2019 Master Editor/Publisher award for his significant contributions to the Montana newspaper industry.

The late Robert “Bob” Gilluly was inducted into the Montana Newspaper Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established by the MNA and the University of Montana School of Journalism, and honors Montana journalists who have made outstanding contributions to the profession, the arts, and their community.

Cindy Sease of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and Theresa “Terry” Trang of the Glasgow Courier were honored with the 2019 Dick Crockford Distinguished Service award for their contributions to the Montana newspaper profession and to their community.

The Sam Gilluly Award for Best Daily Newspaper in Montana was awarded to the Billings Gazette; The Thomas Dimsdale Award for Best Weekly Newspaper in Montana was awarded to the Flathead Beacon; Roger Dey of the Blackfoot Valley Dispatch was awarded the Mel Ruder Photograph of the Year Award.

General Excellence awards went to the Ekalaka Eagle, Division 1; the Whitefish Pilot, Division 2; the Lewistown News-Argus, Division 3; the Flathead Beacon, Division 4; and the Billings Gazette, Division 5.