BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL — The Bureau County Republican captured 16 awards in the Illinois Press Association’s 2017 newspaper contest, as announced Friday at the IPA’s annual convention.
One of the awards came in the Sweepstakes Trophy contest, where the Bureau County Republican finished second in its circulation division to the Galena Gazette, which won the Harold and Eva White Memorial Trophy for medium-sized non-daily newspapers – a trophy that the BCR staff had won the previous year.
Kevin Hieronymus, BCR sports editor for more than three decades, captured a first place in the Sports Feature category for “Keeping count,” a story about high school pitchers and the new pitch count rule.
The contest judge wrote: “This is what I’m looking for in a feature story; a deep dive on a topic that impacts every team in the area in a variety of ways. Good work speaking with multiple coaches and teams. … Strong and informative piece. The chart that explains the new rules is the cherry on top.”
Hieronymus also received a second place for Sports Section (“Really comprehensive sports coverage including athlete profiles,” the judge wrote) and Sports Column, and Honorable Mentions for Sports News and Spot News Photo.
The late Terri Simon, who edited the BCR for much of 2017 until her death on Sept. 24, was awarded a third place for Original Column and an Honorable Mention for Editorial Page.
A project spearheaded by Simon, the BCR Voters Forum, captured second place in the Community Service category.
Of Simon’s columns, the judge wrote: “Love your columns. I bet the one about the store clerk having a bad day really hit home with readers – and me too.”
The BCR received a second place in Newspaper Design. The judge said: “Clean, consistent design. Good use of photos and breaker heads within story layouts.”
Senior reporter Goldie Rapp was the recipient of two Honorable Mention awards, one for Feature Writing and the other for Business/Economic Reporting.
Of Rapp’s feature, “The Kindness Project,” the judge wrote: “I enjoyed this story. It’s not super long, but well told and the kind of story I like to read.”
Of Rapp’s story, “Summit looks at economy,” the judge wrote, “Pretty good story covers what seems to be universal truths in the Midwest of manufacturers not being able to find workers.”
In the General News Photo category, Mike Vaughn won second place and third place for his photos, “Flying the flag at Homestead” and “First, Crush,” while Dave Cook received an Honorable Mention for his photo titled “Choo Choo.”
Of Vaughn’s second-place photo, the judge wrote: “The originality demonstrated in this low-angle shot is an excellent technique for this photo. The photographer timed it perfect to secure the story-telling aspect with the stars and stripes.”
Of Cook’s honorable-mention photo, the judge wrote: “The photographer did an excellent job using angle and depth of field to show this boy’s captivation with the model train and the size of the set-up.”
And Jeff Schlesinger received an Honorable Mention in the Sports Photo category for “Heartbreak.”
Said the judge: “Now that’s some emotion. Captured the feelings of some bad defeat. An end to something. … Good capture.”
More than 100 daily and non-daily newspapers competed in 36 editorial categories in the IPA contest. The Missouri Press Association and Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association judged the more than 2,500 editorial entries.
The Illinois Press Association, based in Springfield, represents about 450 daily and weekly newspapers.