For the third year in a row, the Flathead Beacon took home the top honor among large weekly and small daily newspapers at the Montana Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were handed out Saturday night at the association’s annual banquet in Big Sky.
In total, the Beacon took home 18 awards and six first-place plaques, including General Excellence in Division 4, which “recognizes the very best newspaper” in each respective division.
Tristan Scott won awards for “The Legend of Le Grizz,” which chronicled the quirky history of a local 50-mile ultramarathon, and “Cruel and Unusual?” which looked at the death penalty in Montana. Justin Franz won the Mark Henckel Outdoors Award for his piece, “Warriors of Winter,” on soldiers in the 10th Mountain Division. Dillon Tabish won first place for headline writing and Steve Larson for front page design.
Other general excellence award winners included The Big Timber Pioneer (Division 1), Lone Peak Lookout (Division 2), Whitefish Pilot (Division 3), and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Division 5).
Next year the conference is in Whitefish.
FIRST PLACE AWARDS
Best Sports Story – Tristan Scott, “The Legend of Le Grizz”
The Mark Henckel Outdoors Award – Justin Franz, “Warriors of Winter”
Best Enterprise Journalism – Tristan Scott, “Cruel and Unusual?”
Best Headline Writing – Dillon Tabish
Best Front Page Design – Steve Larson
SECOND PLACE AWARDS
Best Niche Publication – Flathead Living
Best Feature Story – Tristan Scott, “In the Shadow of Tragedy”
The Mark Henckel Outdoors Award – Dillon Tabish, “In the Wild, Ready Fight”
Best Enterprise Journalism – Dillon Tabish, “Liquor License Lockdown”
Best Combination Print and Online Ad – Dane Williams and Kelly Siblerud
THIRD PLACE AWARDS
Best News Story – Justin Franz, “Amtrak’s Broken Builder”
Best Feature Story – Justin Franz, “The Forgotten Flood”
Best Lifestyle Coverage – Dillon Tabish, “A Family Legacy Born from the Ground Up”
Best Column Writing – Kellyn Brown
Best Sports Photo – Greg Lindstrom
Best Lifestyle Photo – Greg Lindstrom