Beacon Named Best Weekly Newspaper in Montana

By Beacon Staff

The Flathead Beacon won top honors among the state’s weekly and small daily newspapers in the Montana Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were handed out Saturday night at the association’s annual banquet in Missoula.

In all, the Beacon took home 39 awards and 15 first-place plaques, including General Excellence, Best Website and the Thomas Dimsdale Sweepstakes Award, which recognizes the best newspaper in every division except large dailies and is based on total points accumulated for placing in the various categories of the contest.

Dillon Tabish won the Mark Henckel Outdoors Award for his coverage of winter backcountry dangers in the story “Mother Nature’s Fatal Appeal.” Justin Franz won Best Spot News Coverage for his reporting on the wildfires that rattled the Blackfeet community in “Scorched Earth.” For his Agriculture Issues reporting on the Farm Bill, Myers Reece won first place for his piece “Billions in the Balance for Farmers.” Lido Vizzutti won top honors in three photography categories.

The Billings Gazette received the Sam Gilluly Sweepstakes Award recognizing the top daily newspaper in Montana.

The following is a roundup of categories in which the Beacon placed:


Thomas Dimsdale Award

General Excellence

Best Website

Best Front Page

Best Outdoors Pages

Best Spot News Coverage – Justin Franz “Scorched Earth”

Best Short Feature – Justin Franz “40 Years at the Fair”

Agriculture Issues – Myers Reece “Billions in the Balance for Farmers”

Environmental/Natural Resources – Dillon Tabish “Passing the Torch”

Health/Fitness/Medicine/Science Issues – Myers Reece “The Ironman Principal”

The Mark Henckel Outdoors Award – Dillon Tabish “Mother Nature’s Fatal Appeal”

Best Sports Photo – Lido Vizzutti

Best Photo Essay – Lido Vizzutti

Best Nature Photo – Lido Vizzutti

Best Web Project – Lido Vizzutti


Best Use of Headlines

Best Long Feature – Molly Priddy “Racing to Beat Cancer”

Agriculture Issues – Myers Reece “Crunch Time for Massive Water Deal”

Education Issues – Dillon Tabish “What the Future Holds”

Health/Fitness/Medicine/Science Issues – Dillon Tabish “New Descents”

Best Lifestyles Coverage – Myers Reece “The Roots of Philanthropy”

Best Sports Story – Myers Reece “Lacrosse Returns to its native Roots”

Best Graphics – Steve Larson

Best News Photo – Lido Vizzutti

Best Color Ad – Dane Williams and Sean Bradley

Best Advertising Series – Dane Williams and Kelly Siblerud

Public Service Journalism – Dillon Tabish “Still Searching for Noah”

Best Blog – Dillon Tabish “Montana Sidelines”


Best Long Feature – Myers Reece “Lessons from Ruby Ridge”

Justice System Issues – Myers Reece “Are We Protecting Our Kids

The Mark Henckel Outdoors Award – Dillon Tabish “Walking Among Giants”

Best Sports Story – Myers Reece “Kavanagh’s Journey from Near Death to the Paralympics”

Best Sports Column – Rob Breeding “Out of Bounds”

Best Sports Pages

Best News Photo – Lido Vizzutti

Best Sports Photo – Lido Vizzutti

Best Outdoor Activity Photo – Lido Vizzutti

Best Advertising Series – Dane Williams and Nic Headlee

Best Small Space Ad – Dane Williams and Nic Headlee

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