Meth series claims two major honors
The Pilot-Tribune was honored with 17 top awards at the Iowa Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest awards banquet in Des Moines Friday.
Judges described the newspaper as "insightful," "superb work," "dramatic," "compelling," and "spectacular," with "writing style that shows the passion you have." The Pilot "left me thinking afterwards" and features "editorials that hit home," said the judges, members of the Missouri Press Association.
The Pilot was presented with top awards for General Excellence, Best Editorial Page and Coverage of Education.
Holly Schnitzler, a Buena Vista University student interning with the Pilot, won the prestigious Harrison Weber Investigative Reporting award for her work in an exhaustive 2005 series on "The Faces of Meth." Only one such award is presented to a non-daily newspaper in the state each year, and the Pilot-Tribune has won it for two consecutive years.
Judges said, "Way to take an issue that many people believe doesn't affect them and open the eyes of your community to make them realize that it does."
Schnitzler also received an award for Best News Story for the series.
Larsen received honors for Best News Feature Story, for a profile of a student who lived in a cardboard box to dramatize the plight of the homeless, and Best Personality Story for an interview with a former gang hitman, "Blood In, Blood Out."
Lorri Glawe received the first place Best News Photo award as she captured the arrest of a bicycle-powered armed bank robber literally caught with his pants down.
Michael Tidemann earned an award for Best Spot News Photo for coverage of the dedication of a local windfarm.
Dana Larsen received a Best Feature Photo award for a kissing couple in the water at sunset, "Love in the Lake."
The Pilot also swept to multiple awards in advertising, newspaper promotion, circulation campaigns and Best Use of Graphics.
The Pilot's sister newspapers, the Spencer Daily Reporter and the Dickinson County News, also earned multiple top honors.
Elsewhere in the area, Storm Lake Times management John and Art Cullen were named winners of the Iowa Master Editor-Publisher award, joining a line of Storm Lake journalists to be so recognized, including W.C. Jarnagin, Phil Jarnagin, John B. Anderson and Dana Larsen.
Dana Larsen was named Iowa Master Columnist. Trudy Schroeder also received an award in the same category. Larsen received an award for sports commentary as well.