News & Features

Beacon Wins Top Honor at Montana Newspaper Contest

Newspaper named best weekly in the state; Flathead Living named best niche publication

The Flathead Beacon was named the best weekly newspaper in the state at the Montana Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were handed out Thursday night at the association’s 135th annual convention — hosted in Kalispell but held virtually for the first time in its history.

In total, the Beacon took home 53 awards and 24 first-place plaques, including General Excellence, Best Overall Website, and the Thomas Dimsdale Award for Best Weekly Newspaper. The Beacon’s quarterly magazine, Flathead Living, won Best Niche Publication.

The Billings Gazette won the Sam Gilluly Award for Best Daily Newspaper in Montana.

Beacon Editor in Chief Kellyn Brown is the president of the association, and the convention was originally scheduled to be held in June at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kalispell but was postponed because of the pandemic. It was later decided to be held remotely. Brown will be succeeded as president by Erin Leonard of the Madisonian. She will serve a one-year term.

First Place Awards

Thomas Dimsdale Award (Best Weekly Newspaper) – Flathead Beacon

General Excellence – Flathead Beacon

Best Niche Publication – Beacon Staff, Flathead Living magazine

Best Website – flatheadbeacon.com

Best Digital Presentation – Beacon Staff, “Best of Preps – Fall 2019”

Best News Story – Justin Franz, “Lessons from the Spill”

Best Sports Story – Andy Viano, “Browning’s Beautiful Game”

Best Sports Feature – Andy Viano, “The Olympic Grind”

Best Education Coverage – Andy Viano, “We Shouldn’t Have to Choose”

Best Investigative Journalism – Myers Reece, “Constructing a Fraud”

Best Sports and Outdoors Column Writing – Rob Breeding, “Hospital on the Hill”

Best Headline Writing – Tristan Scott

Best Front Page – Pierce Ware, “The Mine Next Door”

Best Page Layout and Design – Steve Larson, “The Allure of Everest”

Best Graphic – Steve Larson, “Data Points”

Best News Photo – Hunter D’Antuono

Best Sports Photo – Hunter D’Antuono

Best Feature Photo – Hunter D’Antuono

Best Portrait Photo – Hunter D’Antuono

Best Online Ad – Dwayne Harris

Best Ad to Sell or Promote Merchandise – Dwayne Harris

Best Ad to Sell or Promote Services – Dwayne Harris

Best Use of Local Photography in an Ad – Dwayne Harris

Best Marketing Campaign – Pierce Ware

Second Place

Best News Story – Andy Viano

Best Sports Story – Andy Viano

Best Feature Story – Andy Viano

Best Lifestyle Coverage – Molly Priddy

Best Investigative Journalism – Tristan Scott

Best Column Writing – Myers Reece

Best Sports and Outdoors Column Writing – Myers Reece

Best Front Page – Steve Larson

Best Graphic – Steve Larson

Best Portrait Photo – Hunter D’Antuono

Best Online Ad – Dwayne Harris

Best Ad to Sell or Promote Merchandise – Dwayne Harris

Best Use of Local Photography in an Ad – Beacon Staff

Best Marketing Campaign – Dwayne Harris

Best Digital Presentation – Beacon Staff

Third Place

Best News Story – Tristan Scott

Best Sports Story – Myers Reece

Best Feature Story – Tristan Scott

Best Sports Feature – Andy Viano

Best Lifestyle Coverage – Maggie Dresser

Best Education Coverage – Maggie Dresser

Best Investigative Journalism – Tristan Scott

Best Column Writing – Kellyn Brown

Best Sports and Outdoors Column Writing – Myers Reece

Best Sports Page Layout and Design – Steve Larson

Best Graphic – Pierce Ware

Best Ad to Sell or Promote Services – Dwayne Harris

Best Digital Presentation – Beacon Staff

Best Niche Publication – Beacon Staff