Choteau Acantha owners Jeff and Melody Martinsen were reelected to board positions during the 134th convention of the Montana Newspaper Association June 6-8 in Big Sky.
Acantha publisher Jeff Martinsen was reelected as president of the Montana Newspaper Advertising Service. As MNAS president, he will also serve on the Montana Newspaper Association board. Summer Goddard, editor of the Valley Journal in Ronan, was elected vice president of the MNAS board.
Acantha editor Melody Martinsen was reelected as board chairwoman of the Montana Newspaper Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization that raises funds for journalism education scholarships, helps fund internships at Montana newspapers and is pioneering a collaborative reporting project among the member newspapers this fall.
The Acantha, competing in the weekly division for newspapers with 1,251 to 2,000 subscribers, won seven first-place awards, five second-place awards and five third-place awards.
The Acantha placed in the following categories:
•Best Newspaper Promotional Ad: first place, Sandra Dogiakos and Melody Martinsen.
•Best Ad to Sell or Promote Merchandise, black and white: first place, Jeff Martinsen, “At Home Flooring. Judge’s comments: “Creative ad design with the new kitchen in the background. Love the idea of coming home to a new kitchen.”
Third place: Jeff Martinsen, “Mountain Front Market: Sunscreen.”
•Best Use of Local Photography in an Ad: second place, Jeff Martinsen, “Augusta Rodeo thank you.”
•Best Ad to Sell or Promote Services, black and white: first place, Jeff Martinsen, “Choteau Education Foundation Trivia Night.”
Second place: Jeff Martinsen. “Choteau Chamber 3rd of July beer garden.”
•Best Feature Story: third place, Melody Martinsen. “Montana farmers investing in hemp.”
•Best Breaking News Story: third place, Melody Martinsen and Vonnie Jacobson. “Raging Teton River damages roads, cabin, gravel pit.” A lot of information. Some fantastic quotes and interesting stories about a weather event that left significant damage.
•Best Editorial: first and second place, Melody Martinsen for editorials on economic development, crime victims’ rights, the Montana Secretary of State, Mayor Jack Conatser, the tobacco-tax ballot issue and remembering 9-11.
•Best Continuing News Coverage: first place, Melody Martinsen for ongoing reporting on grizzly management and conflicts. Judge’s comments: “A good series that follows the breaking news and also steps back to consider the bigger picture.”
•Best Education Coverage: first place, Melody Martinsen for her feature on the Youth Aware of Mental Health program. Judge’s comments: “This was a very thorough look at a problem that was handled with competence and compassion. “
•Best Lifestyle Coverage: first place, Vonnie Jacobson for her story on the closure of the Power United Church of Christ. Judge’s comments: “A sad story, gracefully told. “
Third place, Melody Martinsen, for her story on a Chilean trade delegation checking out Montana cattle. Judge’s comment: “Thoroughly reported.”
•Best Page Layout and Design: third place, Melody and Jeff Martinsen, for the full-page feature, “Finding the Formula.” Judge’s comment: “Content is part of design — it’s really what everything is all about. This is a strong package with enterprising content. Good use of graphs to tell important information.”
•Best Portrait Photo: third place, Vonnie Jacobson for her photo of County Extension Agent Brent Roeder judging chickens at the Teton County 4-H fair. Judge’s comments: “Well organized. Viewers’ eyes are well directed and a story is evident here. Great focus and action.”
•Best Website: second place, Choteau Acantha staff.
MNA members chose Kellyn Brown, editor of the Flathead Beacon in Kalispell, as the 2019-20 president. Erin Leonard of the Madisonian was elected first vice president. Chad Knudsen of the Glendive Ranger Review was elected second vice president and George Hoffman of the Belgrade News was elected third vice president.
Mike Gulledge, former publisher of the Billings Gazette, was honored with the 2019 Master Editor/Publisher Award for his contributions to the Montana newspaper industry.
The late Bob Gilluly, a career newspaper man who retired from the Great Falls Tribune, was inducted into the Montana Newspaper Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame, established by the Montana Newspaper Association and the University of Montana School of Journalism, honors Montana journalists who have made outstanding contributions to the profession, the arts, and their community.
Advertising director Cindy Sease of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and office manager Theresa “Terry” Trang of the Glasgow Courier were honored with the 2019 Dick Crockford Distinguished Service Award for their contributions to the Montana newspaper profession and to their community.
The top awards from the 2019 Better Newspaper Contest were presented to:
•Billings Gazette — The Sam Gilluly Award for Best Daily Newspaper in Montana.
•Flathead Beacon — The Thomas Dimsdale Award for Best Weekly Newspaper in Montana.
•Roger Dey, Blackfoot Valley Dispatch — Mel Ruder Photograph of the Year Award.
•Ekalaka Eagle — Division 1 Newspaper General Excellence, weekly newspapers with circulation of up to 1,250 subscribers.
•Whitefish Pilot — Division 2 Newspaper General Excellence, weekly newspapers with circulation of 1,251 to 2,000.
•Lewistown News-Argus — Division 3 Newspaper General Excellence, weekly newspapers with circulation of 2,001 to 4,500.
•Flathead Beacon — Division 4 Newspaper General Excellence, weekly or daily newspapers with circulation of 4,501 or more.
•Billings Gazette — Division 5 Newspaper General Excellence, daily newspapers publishing six to seven days a week.
The mission of the Montana Newspaper Association is to advance and sustain the news publishing industry in Montana. The association has 84 professional member newspapers and was established in 1885.