The Daily News earns Michigan newspaper awards

These are challenging times for daily newspapers.

Even as website audience traffic grows, subscription and advertising revenues remain essential to supporting news departments that strive to deliver stories that are important — and even critical — to local communities.

In the interests of promoting better journalism, both the Michigan Press Association and the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors sponsor annual contests in which newspapers are invited to submit their work and have it judged by colleagues from another state. The Daily News, we can report, has been recognized for producing some of the best news, sports and special publications statewide.

In the Michigan Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, staff writer Theresa Proudfit earned first place in the feature story category for “‘We have lost a great man.'” Proudfit’s in-depth tribute to the late Bryan Stanchina of Norway, who died during a swim rescue in June 2017, was cited as a powerful and well-written memorial. There were 49 other feature story entries.

The MPA contest also recognized The Daily News for a publication promoting the Pine Mountain Continental Cup ski jumping tournament. It was deemed the best special section statewide.

Entries were judged by members of the Missouri Press Association, with The Daily News competing in Class C for daily newspapers with circulations from 5,001 to 11,000.

In the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors contest, The Daily News earned a trio of awards in Division I for newspapers with daily circulations under 10,000.

Adam Niemi, sports editor, received second place in the sports story category for “Part-time Pro,” which focused on local athletic trainer Jon Jungwirth’s work with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals. Niemi also placed second in the spot news category for “Kingsford, IM football rivalry to end,” a story that explained a decision by Iron Mountain school officials to end a 93-year tradition.

Associated Press judges from Ohio also recognized The Daily News with a third-place staff award for best headline writing.

In the previous year’s AP contest, The Daily News won awards for feature writing, editorial writing and public service, as judged by representatives from newspapers in Texas and Ohio.

“Gifts of life,” a four-part series by Proudfit, earned a second-place public service award. Her stories focused on people in the Dickinson County region whose lives have been touched by organ donation.

Proudfit’s feature story, “On the road again: Mom gets late son’s truck, restored by his friends,” received third-place honors. Betsy Bloom, managing editor, received a second-place award for editorial writing.