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LCR named top in its class

Laclede County’s newspaper wins General Excellence, Gold Cup and 31 other awards from the Missouri Press Association

Lebanon’s hometown newspaper has been named the top newspaper in its class by the Missouri Press Association.

The Laclede County Record took home the top two prizes for Class I dailies on Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., during the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest awards ceremony. The LCR competed in the dailies category for the last time, as it was still the Lebanon Daily Record for half of 2018.

For the first time in its history, the LCR/LDR won the Gold Cup for Class 1 dailies and First Place General Excellence. The newspaper also earned more than 30 additional awards for everything from design to stories.

“I cannot describe how incredibly proud I am of the staff of the Laclede County Record. In the past two years, we’ve gone through some huge changes and transitions, and this is proof that all of our hard work has paid off,” said Laclede County Record editor Fines Massey. “This is a historic moment for the newspaper. What better way to send off the Lebanon Daily Record than with two awards that it had never won in its long history?”

The Gold Cup is the top award in each class. The winner is determined by the newspaper that earns the most points, which are given out for each award the newspaper wins. General Excellence is awarded based on breadth of news coverage, quality of writing, advertising design and layout, general layout, use of photos and artwork, editorial page, front page, sports page, headline language and treatment of public notices. The newspaper contest is judged by journalists from other states. In some instances the judges left comments.

In response to the LCR’s editorial page, the judge said it was “like visiting with a good neighbor.”

“I have a feeling that if I lived in Lebanon or Laclede County, as a reader I would be spending a lot of time with these folks,” the judge said.

Other praise included comments on a series of articles by editor Fines Massey about the 2018 Lebanon R-3 school bond issue. The judge called them “the type of articles that really make a difference in journalism.” Some of the LCR’s photos also received praise, including calling one photo package “eye catching” and talking about the emotion captured in another.

The LCR also won awards for its special sections and magazines. The judges called the LCR’s “Day in the Life” publication, which was a book of photographic essays by Lebanon High School students, as “a wonderful idea well executed.”

The LCR’s long running outdoors magazine, Trout Talk, earned top honors in its category.

“Everything you would expect in a fishing mag. The stories and photos of real folks out fishing gives this publication such a familiar and inviting feel. I’d read it from cover to cover,” the judge wrote.

The Laclede County Record won 15 first place awards:
Best Magazine/Alternative Publication
Best Page Design
Best Military Story by Chris Roden
Best Story About Education by Chris Roden
Best Story About Religion by Laura Valenti
Best Story About Rural Life Or Agriculture by Chris Roden
Best News or Feature Special Section
Best Photo Package by Steve Smith
Best Photo Illustration by Shawna Bradley
Best News Photograph by Fines Massey
Best Editorial by Fines Massey
Best News or Feature Series by Steve Smith, Fines Massey, Chris Roden and Shawna Bradley
Best Breaking News Story by Fines Massey
General Excellence

Eight second place awards:
Best Page Design by Fines Massey
Best Story About Education by Fines Massey
Best Story About Religion by Steve Smith
Best Editorial Pages
Best Photo Package by Chris Roden
Best Photo Illustration by Shawna Bradley
Best News or Feature Series by Fines Massey
Best Breaking News Story by Steve Smith

Seven third place awards:
Best News or Feature Obituary by Kirk Pearce
Best Headline Writing by Fines Massey
Best Page Design by Shawna Bradley
Best Story About History by Laura Valenti
Best Story About Education by Chris Roden
Best Story About Rural Life Or Agriculture by Chris Roden
Best Breaking News Story by Fines Massey

Two honorable mention awards:
Best Page Design by Megan Gibbs
Best Business Story by Chris Roden

The awards were given out at the 153rd Missouri Press Association Convention, which was held last weekend at Harrah’s North Kansas City Hotel and Casino.

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