Clintonville paper recognized for excellence
The Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation named the Clintonville Tribune-Gazette one of the top newspapers in the state with a circulation up to 2,000.
The Tribune-Gazette, published by Multi Media Channels, was honored at the 2016 Better Newspaper and Advertising Contest in Middleton held Friday, Feb. 24.
The Tribune-Gazette earned an honorable mention in the General Excellence category, trailing behind three other papers including its first-place sibling newspaper, the New London/Hortonville Press Star. Both publications are produced by Multi Media Channels and share staff.
The Tribune-Gazette submitted three issues printed between Sept. 1, 2015, and Aug. 31, 2016 to the WNA Foundation. Judges from the Illinois Press Association rated submissions based on criteria including quality of writing, headline language, use of photos, and advertising design and layout.
A judge called the Tribune-Gazette a “nice little newspaper” and complimented the news selection. The judge suggested “crisper” writing but said the newspaper is “headed in the right direction.”
The award-winning issues of the Tribune-Gazette were primarily written by then-editor and now-correspondent Bert Lehman. Some coverage was produced by staff writers Scott Bellile and Waupaca County Post editor Robert Cloud. Sue Schroeder and Rhonda Graverson designed the papers.
The Tribune-Gazette took home 13 more awards in Division F, the circulation group of 2,000 or fewer:
• First Place, Sports News Story: Lehman’s reporting on Clintonville racer Lucas Lamberies competing at the IMCA Super Nationals in September 2015 earned the Tribune-Gazette its highest award.
• Second Place, Front Page: A judge evaluating page one of several issues stated, “The Tribune-Gazette has a good, clean layout with good use of headlines using a variety of set fonts. Stories are all appropriate front page worthiness.”
• Second Place, General News Story: Lehman reported on Rexford/Longfellow Elementary School kindergarten teacher Stannye Meads hitting 50 years in her teaching career and the surprise in-school celebration that followed.
• Second Place, Reporting on Local Education: Lehman reported on high school scheduling changes, a proposed facilities referendum and Clintonville High School’s selection as a Top Global Learning School. A judge called his work “[g]ood coverage of important issues to the public.”
• Second Place, Ongoing/Extended Coverage: Lehman produced five stories on the 2015 fire that remains unsolved at Clintonville’s outdoor swimming pool.
• Second Place, Portrait or Artistic Photo: Bellile photographed Clintonville family Maggie Hintz-Polzin, Mark Polzin, Finn Polzin and Delaney Hintz dressed as “Star Wars” characters at the premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at New London Grand Cinema Theatres in December 2015.
• Second Place, Spot News Photo: Advertising salesman and photographer Jeff Hoffman earned an award for capturing the wreckage in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 45.
• Third Place, Ongoing/Extended Coverage: Bellile reported on an October 2015 arson that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to a 13th Street home. The home was randomly targeted by juveniles while homeowner Lynne Simpson was away.
• Third Place, Best Niche Publication – Out of Paper: The 2016 “Discover Clintonville” caters to tourists or business owners and residents who want to know their city better.
• Honorable Mention, Open Records/FOI Award: Lehman obtained records from the Wisconsin State Fire Marshal’s Office in covering the outdoor swimming pool fire.
• Honorable Mention, All-Around Newspaper Photography: Photos were primarily captured by Lehman, Hoffman, Bellile and Waupaca County Post reporter Greg Seubert. “Plenty of fantastic community photojournalism on display here,” a judge stated.
• Honorable Mention, Best Special Section: An insert previewing the 2016 Firemen’s Festival last August landed an honorable mention.
• Honorable Mention, Spot News Photo: Hoffman documented firefighters cleaning up the scene where a car struck a gas pump at the Clintonville Shell station in December 2015.
Additionally, current Tribune-Gazette sports reporter Erik Buchinger took home a First Place Sports Reporting Award in the Group B category of the 2016 Collegiate Contest. His award-winning story appeared in the UW-Oshkosh Advance-Titan student newspaper before he graduated from college and joined the Tribune-Gazette. His article focused on a UW-Oshkosh quarterback who underwent a bone marrow transplant to save the life of a young Indiana girl with leukemia.