(JARED ARNOLD/Chewelah Independent)
The staff of The Independent walked away with seven awards last month in the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were announced at the association’s annual meeting on October 12 in Olympia.
Brandon Hansen, Managing Editor of The Independent, was recognized as the third place recipient of the prestigious Feature Writer of the Year award, which honors writers for their work producing multiple feature stories over the course of the year. Hansen also received a second place award in the Sports Page Design category for his page ‘A Fortnite of district battles,’ third place in Breaking News Photo for ‘Wreck blocks 395,’ third place in News Headline for ‘Pitcher Perfect,’ and third place for his In-Paper Special Section ‘Spring Sports Preview.’
The Independent received top honors in the Color Photo Essay category for its coverage of the Chataqua Festival. The WNPA recognized photographers Brandon Hansen, K.S. Brooks, Ed Broberg and Jared Arnold for their work on the section.
Reporter Colin Haffner received a second place award in the Election Story category for his article ‘Allegations of misconduct,’ which covered corruption allegations made by the Judge Gina Tveit campaign against the prosecutor’s office and Tveit’s opponent in the race for the District Court seat, Lech Radzimski.
“I am so proud of the work that our crew and contributors do to produce this newspaper for the community every week,” publisher Jared Arnold said about the staff at The Independent. “They work tirelessly to cover every facet of our town and it’s wonderful to see them recognized by their peers in the industry.”
Arnold also thanked the community for its support of local journalism.
“To paraphrase The Independent’s original publisher William Brownlow: our newspaper is really just a reflection of the community it covers. We can have a vibrant, award-winning newspaper only because of the vibrancy and spirit of Chewelah. I want to thank the readers for their continued subscriptions and the local business leaders for their advertising support of the newspaper,” Arnold concluded.
In all, 58 newspapers across Washington state made 1,889 entries in the contest. The Independent competes in Circulation Group 2, which includes weekly newspapers with circulation between 2,500 and 5,000. Entries this year were judged by the North Carolina Press Association.