Stepping it up in class.
Competing in a larger division than any other Platte County weekly, The Landmark brought home eight awards in the annual Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the Missouri Press Association.
Landmark awards ranged throughout many coveted categories such as General Excellence, Best Coverage of Government, Best Editorial Pages, Best Sports Photographs, Feature Photographs and Editorial Cartoons.
The awards were announced at the 150th Annual Missouri Press Association Convention held at Chateau on the Lake in Branson over the weekend. The 2016 awards covered work that was performed in the calendar year of 2015.
The size of The Landmark’s circulation puts it in Class 2 of the contest for weekly newspapers. Class 2 is for newspapers with a circulation of 3,001 to 7,000 subscribers.
Other Platte County newspapers have a smaller circulation than The Landmark and compete in Class 1, the smallest level of competition. Class 1 is for newspapers with circulation range from 0 to 3,000.
In the category of General Excellence, The Landmark won an award for honorable mention, in a competition dedicated to the work of the entire staff and the entire product. In this category, judges look at breadth of news coverage; quality of writing; advertising design and layout; general layout; use of photos and artwork; editorial page; front page; sports page; headline language; and treatment of public notices.
Landmark staff members contributing in the General Excellence category for the contest period include Ivan Foley, Cindy Rinehart, Valerie Verkamp, Alan McArthur, Doug Baldwin, Matthew Silber, Chris Kamler, Brian Kubicki, Hearne Christopher and Bill Hankins.
Valerie Verkamp, Landmark reporter, did an in-depth piece on the female prison population in Missouri. Her work captured honorable mention in the category of Best Coverage of Government.
Doug Baldwin, Landmark sports and feature photographer, grabbed first place in the category of Best Sports Feature Photograph. The photo was of a rodeo clown in action at a bull riding event held at the Platte County Fairgrounds.
Doug Baldwin also won second place in the category of Best Feature Photo for his “Eagle Eye” photo, and he also captured second place in the category of Best Sports Photo for a “Keep Away” photo shot during a Platte County High School soccer match.
Matthew Silber, cartoonist for The Landmark, captured first place in the category of Best Editorial Cartoon for his piece entitled “War on Jobs.”
Silber also took third place in that same category with his cartoon entitled “Sky is Falling.”
In the category of Best Editorial Pages, The Landmark took home a prize, keeping alive a streak of several years in this category. The Landmark captured honorable mention in the category in which judges look at power of original editorial matter; layout and design of pages; quality of content; and informational value. The Landmark’s editorial pages are on pages A-2 and A-3 each week. Staff members who contributed to the editorial pages for the contest period of 2015 are Ivan Foley, Chris Kamler, Brian Kubicki and Matthew Silber.
Landmark staff members representing the newspaper at the convention in Branson included Bill Hankins, photographer emeritus who is a member of the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame, and Ivan Foley, Landmark publisher.
At the convention, Foley was presented with a national award from the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues (see related story). The honor--known as the Tom and Pat Gish Award--is in its ninth year of existence and is given to a journalist showing “courage, tenacity and integrity in rural journalism.”