The Hometown Press took home 11 awards from the Iowa Newspaper Association (INA) Awards Banquet on Feb. 6. The Co-Line-owned newspaper earned four first places, two seconds, and five thirds.
In only its third year of being eligible for awards, the Hometown Press finished second in general excellence judging in the Weekly Class 1 division for papers with a circulation of 1,150 or under, a significant accomplish for the paper considering it’s only five years old. The Hometown Press accumulated a total of 26 points, behind The La Porte City Progress-Review with 34 points as the top newspaper based on points for awards received.
Three members of the Hometown Press staff, Faye Brand, LeAnn Hjelmeland, and Margaret Vander Weerdt, spent the day with Iowa newspaper professionals at the annual INA Convention.
The INA Awards Banquet was held at the Marriott in Des Moines. The theme for this year’s event, DIG-IT-ALL, encouraged convention-goers to embrace everything digital while at the same time recognizing the rich tradition of the newspaper industry.
Aside from placing second in general excellence, another standout accomplishment was the Hometown Press also received third place overall for its first-place ad featuring financial, insurance, or other professional service when all the categories were judged together.
The 11 awards the Hometown Press received was more than double what it received for the past two years, five awards each year, since it became eligible for awards.
Best Ad Featuring Financial, Insurance, or Other Professional Service (14 entries)
First Place and Third Place Best of Weekly Class I Advertising: JH Travel
Second Place: Dowie Pest Control
Best Ad Featuring Grocery/Food/Entertainment (16 entries)
Third Place: ZIP IN
Comments: Graphic is so clean and the food looks good. Easy to read with an eye-catching heading. Like the change in typestyles in the copy.
Best Newspaper Website (4 entries)
First Place: www.hometownpressia.com
Best Feature Page (5 entries)
First Place – 8/14 Fopma's Aronia Berries, 2/27 Wooden Spoon, 7/24 Harthoorn Family Double Blessing
Comments: Enjoyed all the pages and stories. Creatively designed with photos. Good headlines also.
Best Newspaper Marketing (8 entries)
Third Place: 12/26 Hometown Press page ad, front page graphic, and page three article all announcing the launch of the newspaper's new website
Comments: Catchy ad. Great use of color. Creative content. Nice.
Best Sports Feature Story (8 entries)
First Place – "The Final Quarter"
Comments: Nice narrative lead draws in reader. The writing leaps off the page and is fun to read.
Third Place – "Once a Hawk, Always a Hawk"
Comments: Fun-to-read feature on a local prep football player.
Best Use of Graphics (8 entries)
Third Place: 2/6 Kennedy Roland feature, 10/17 Stella Turnbull feature, 12/19 front page, 2/27 FFA Salute, 7/17 Van Kooten Mustang feature, 12/5 Jasper County Freedom Rock feature