Dillon Tribune wins 14 awards in Montana Newspaper Contest

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Dillon Tribune earned 14 awards in the Montana 2022 Better Newspaper Contest for work completed during the 2021 calendar year. The awards were presented during the banquet of the 138th Montana Newspaper Association Convention, held at Glendive June 16-18.

The Tribune earned five first place awards, three seconds and six thirds competing in the weekly division II category. The bulk of the Tribune’s awards were awarded in editorial categories. The North Dakota Press Association judged this year’s Montana contest and in turn, the Montana Newspaper Association judged the North Dakota contest. Judges comments are included below, but not all judges added comments.

Staff reporter Casey S. Elliott had her hand in seven of the awards, including three first place honors. Elliott’s first place awards came in the categories of best breaking news story, best graphic, and best continuing news coverage, an award she shared with staff reporter M.P. Regan. Elliott earned second place honors in the categories of best lifestyle coverage and best continuing news coverage. She also earned third place awards for best graphic and best news story.

In addition to his shared first place award with Elliott in the category of best continuing news coverage, M.P. Regan earned a third place award for best sports feature story.

Dillon Tribune Editor/Publisher J.P. Plutt earned a first place in the category of best column writing and a third place in best sports page layout and design.

The Dillon Tribune staff took home a first place in best newspaper special section, a second and third place award for best niche publication, and a third place for best website.

Montana Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest

Best Breaking News Story Casey S. Elliott, first place. Second Dillon man arrested. The story focused on the arrest of a Dillon man for his role in the Jan. 6 riot in Washington D.C. Judges comment - What must be a controversial topic at the time, this story and its intricate twists and turns was handled extremely well. Solid lead with objectivity and a variety of information and sourcing that captured the story in a concisely woven group of details.

Best Continuing News Coverage

Casey Elliott and M.P. Regan, first place. The coverage included stories on the initial reaction to the Jan. 6 D.C. riot from Dillon citizens, the arrests of two Dillon residents for their actions in D.C., and a feature story on one of those residents. Judges comment – Great local coverage, factual and thorough. Casey S. Elliott, second place. Elliott earned the award for a weekly series of stories during Mental Health Month on various challenges and issues surrounding mental health.

Best Column Writing J.P. Plutt, first place. The column focused on free speech, facts and opinion.

Best Lifestyle Coverage Casey S. Elliott, second place. Elliott earned a second award for her weekly series of stories during Mental Health Month on various challenges and issues surrounding mental health. Judges comment – Without a doubt, this is an impactful series that aimed to tackle many facets of a complex, delicate issue. The care the reporter put into the series is clear.

Best Newspaper Special Section

Dillon Tribune staff, first place. Beaverhead Agriculture. Judges comment – The amount of staff written stories made this a first. Nice all around section.

Best Niche Publication Dillon Tribune staff, second place. Discover Dillon and Southwestern Montana. Judges comment – I like the cover, colorful and fun. Glossy cover always gets picked up more. The printing is very clear and readable.

Dillon Tribune staff, third place. College Success Guide.

Best Graphic

Casey S. Elliott, first place. The graphic illustrated the COVID numbers in Beaverhead County, including vaccination rates, total cases, active cases and deaths.

Casey S. Elliott, third place. County statistics.

Best News Story

Casey S. Elliott, third place. Dillon woman sentenced. The story focused on the sentencing of a woman involved in a murder. Judges comment – A difficult topic to cover, but it was done very well.

Best Sports Feature Story M.P. Regan, third place. Double OT: trainers during COVID. Judges comment – Smart idea to profile some area athletic trainers, who are an increasingly integral part of collegiate and youth sports teams nationwide. A stronger editing touch would work wonders, so that the writing does not risk rambling at times and detracting from their story.

Best Sports Page Layout and Design

J.P. Plutt, third place. Judges comment – A solid page that combines a clean layout with some nice art.

Best Website

Dillon Tribune staff, third place.

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