The Dearborn County Register received third place in General Excellence among non-daily newspapers with circulation over 3,000 during the 2017 Hoosier State Press Association Better Newspaper Contest Awards luncheon Saturday afternoon, Dec. 2, in Indianapolis.
The award was a great way to wrap up the ceremony for the Register Publications staff who together won a total of 19 state awards for The Dearborn County Register, The Journal-Press and The Ohio County News/The Rising Sun Recorder. Links to some of the winning stories can be found at
The Dearborn County Register
In the category of Best General Commentary, Register Publications nabbed the two top spots.
Assistant editor Denise Freitag Burdette won first place with the judge stating, “Thoughtful commentary, and the global warming column was a delightful surprise. A strong entry.”
The column pointed out the biggest fear of parents regarding global warming, children having two weeks off for spring break with no snow days to make up.
Managing Editor Joe Awad’s often complimented columns received a close second place. Awad, however, has refused to let Freitag-Burdette wear a best columnist crown in the newsroom.
Sports editor Jim Buchberger was not to be outdone, however, with a third place for Best Sports Commentary.
The St. Leon Historic Pole Raising, a presidential election year tradition since 1892, was the subject of the Best Multiple Picture Group third place winner for Freitag-Burdette.
Awad won second place for Best Editorial Page and shared second place for Best Business Page with Freitag-Burdette.
Awad and Freitag-Burdette also shared accolades for the second place award in Community Service for reporting about Dearborn County possibly removing the outdoor warning sirens, used for events such as tornados, in favor of more technology-based warning systems.
The judge commented, “Excellent work to inform the community. Job well done.”
For the second consecutive year, Freitag-Burdette received an award for the Register Publications special section Salute to Veterans, which is published in honor of Veterans Day.
Second place was awarded to Freitag-Burdette and production staff Kyle Joyce and Lydia Morath for their creation and use of original graphics. The judge especially liked the graphics created for the state bicentennial torch run in September 2016.
“The torchbearer map was really well done with this whole page telling a great story between the visuals and text.”
Freitag-Burdette teamed with Buchberger and Morath to capture third place in Best Newspaper Design.
The Journal-Press
In the division for smaller circulating non-dailies, The Journal-Press also scored awards.
For Best News Coverage with No Deadline Pressure, Awad, Freitag-Burdette and contributor/newspaper legend Chris McHenry received third place for the story, “Cities, county scramble to address cell legislation.”
Freitag-Burdette’s story on a book written about a Dearborn County native part of the Donner Party, received third place for Best Short Feature Story.
Awad showed off his photography skills capturing first place for Best Spot News Photo used in the story “Heroin Must Go,” an emotional moment captured of an anti-heroin rally speaker. The judge commented, “ Good capture of emotion. You can really sense the pain she’s feeling for her brother.”
On the more light-hearted side, a bucking bull was the subject of his third place winner named Get off My Back. According to the judge, “Love the motion in this shot, along with the sense of movement of the horizontal fencing. The four people in the background looking toward the focal point really frames it nicely.”
Awad captured another Best Editorial Page Award with a third place in this division.
Freitag-Burdette also won a third place award for Best Use of Graphics with the judge commenting on a graphic used to show the new license plate possibilities for Indiana as well as one created about the county parks. “The license plates graphic was a fun way to get a reader to think about what the story was telling them and to imagine what it could mean for them. The use of the colors for the County Parks graphic helped create an inviting look to the page.”
The Ohio County/
The Rising Sun Recorder
Reporter Chandra L. Mattingly also let her voice be heard as the third place winner in the same division as The Journal-Press in Best General Commentary.
Her top award of the afternoon, however, was first place for Best Business/Economic News Coverage about internationally known Rees Harps, located in downtown Rising Sun. The judge commented, “An unusual, well-reported story that gave readers insight into the instrument and its craftspeople.”