Toot, toot!

The Madisonian, Lone Peak Lookout shine at annual Montana Newspaper Association awards

We’re not one to toot our own horn, but here at The Madisonian we know when to make an exception. We and our sister paper, the Lone Peak Lookout, recently stood out from the crowd at the annual Montana Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest, taking home a combined 17 awards for our 2020 stories, ads and design.

Our team has worked tirelessly to deliver news that is important to the people who live here, and to do it in a way that meets the highest professional standards of journalism. We hope our readers know that this commitment comes from the heart. Our publisher, Susanne Hill and our editor, Cori Koenig were raised on ranches in the Ruby Valley and all of us, whether old-timers or newly arrived, share their devotion to Madison County. We are heartened to be recognized by our peers around the state, and even more motivated to continuously improve The Madisonian. We welcome your feedback. Anything we’re missing or could do more of? We’re open to ideas on how to amplify the concerns, aspirations and voices of people here. Let us hear from you:

While we’re excited about all the recognitions, an award that stood out for us was one of Keely Larson’s successes – she received the Mark Henckel Outdoor Writing Award for her story entitled “Raptor Rescue,” a piece highlighting the rescue of an owl named Ennis.

Judges also gave us kudos for Larson’s first-place story which touched upon the behind-the-scenes heroes of the pandemic, noting, “The writer did a great job of finding a unique angle to tell a pandemic story. She balanced compelling information with colorful storytelling.”

Hannah Kearse’s first-place feature story, “Kajun Kenny,” commemorating a recently passed character known for his Louisiana-inspired offerings at the annual Hunter’s Feed, was also a highlight and inspired a judge’s comment: “I felt like I got to know Kajun Kenny in this story. The writing and the photos brought this character to life.”

Heck, even our third-place award for Larson and Cori Koenig’s continuing news coverage of the Madison River inspires us to dust off the old trumpet. A judge’s comment on this entry sums up our job quite succinctly: “A true Montana experience – this series really illustrated why these local events, which often show up in the national press as "kicker stories," are so important to their communities.”

So, ahem, TOOT! TOOT! Here’s a list of all the awards The Madisonian and Lookout received, with The Madisonian categorized as a Division 3, weekly newspaper with a circulation from 2,001 to 4,500 and the Lookout a Division 2 weekly with a circulation of 1,251 to 2,000.

First Place

Best Ad to Sell or Promote Merchandise Black & White – Erin Leonard

Best Feature Story – Keely Larson

Best Investigative Journalism – Keely Larson

Best Lifestyle Coverage – Hannah Kearse

Best Marketing Campaign – Christine Dubbs, Erin Leonard

Best Newspaper Promotional Ad – Erin Leonard

Mark Henckel Outdoor Writing Award – Keely Larson

Second Place

Best Ad to Sell or Promote Merchandise Color – Erin Leonard

Best News Photo – Hannah Kearse

Best Sports Story – Keely Larson

Best Headline Writing – Jana Bounds (Lone Peak Lookout)

Third Place

Best Ad to Sell or Promote Merchandise Color – Erin Leonard

Best Continuing News Coverage – Keely Larson, Cori Koenig

Best Front Page – Erin Leonard

Best Lifestyle Coverage – Jana Bounds

Best Page Layout and Design – Erin Leonard

Best Page Layout and Design – Erin Leonard (Lone Peak Lookout)

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The Madisonian

65 N. MT Hwy 287
Ennis, MT 59729

Cori Koenig, editor:
Susanne Hill, billing: 
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