COLUMBIA—The Missouri Press Association (MPA) on Saturday presented Gold Medal Awards to seven newspapers that won the most points in its annual Better Newspaper Contest.
Awards were presented during the Association’s 146th Annual Convention, held Thursday-Saturday at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. Gold Medal plaques went to weekly newspapers in four circulation classes and daily newspapers in three classes.
Weekly newspaper winners: Class 1 (smallest), The Republic Monitor; Class 2, Christian County Headliner News, Ozark; Class 3, Lee’s Summit Journal; Class 4, Washington Missourian (Wednesday edition).
Daily newspaper winners: Class 1, Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal; Class 2, Columbia Missourian; Class 3, The Kansas City Star.
Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association judged the MPA contest.
A highlight of the annual meeting brought together candidates for U.S. Senate and Missouri governor for Friday morning forums. Missouri Press has a tradition of hosting candidate forums during election years.
Participating candidates for governor were incumbent Democrat Jay Nixon, Republican Dave Spence and Libertarian Jim Higgins. U.S. Senate candidates were incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, Republican Congressman Todd Akin and Libertarian Jonathan Dine.
David Lieb, the Associated Press chief correspondent in Jefferson City, moderated the forums.
Questioning the candidates were Bill Miller Sr., editor and publisher of The Washington Missourian; Jeff Fox, a writer for the Independence Examiner; and Hilary Niles and Nassim Benchaabane, students in the Missouri School of Journalism.
Friday evening the Association inducted six people into its Missouri Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Inducted were Dave Berry, Bolivar, vice president of Neighbor News of Missouri and publisher of eight newspapers in the Springfield area; the late Bill French, who owned the Current Wave in Eminence; Tom Miller Sr., former co-publisher and owner of The Washington Missourian; R. Dean Mills, Columbia, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism; and Steve and Linda Oldfield, publishers of The Adrian Journal and The Drexel Star.
The convention included speakers on many newspaper topics Friday and Saturday and ended with the Awards Luncheon.
2012 Missouri Press President Phil Conger, publisher of the Bethany Republican-Clipper, presided at the Convention. He will be succeeded on Jan. 1 by Mark Maassen of The Kansas City Star. Maassen and other officers and directors were elected during the Convention.
Others elected are: First Vice President, Richard Gard, St. Louis Daily Record, Missouri Lawyers Media; Second Vice President, Jim Robertson, Columbia Daily Tribune; Secretary, Tay Smith, Perryville Perry County Republic-Monitor; Treasurer, Matt Daugherty, Liberty Tribune; Directors Carol Stark, The Joplin Globe; Joe Spaar, Odessa Odessan; Jeff Schrag, Springfield Daily Events; and James White, Warsaw Benton County Enterprise. Trevor Vernon, Eldon Advertiser, will continue as the MPA’s National Newspaper Association state chairman.
MPA, based in Columbia, was founded in 1867. Its membership includes virtually every newspaper in Missouri, and its missions include advocating for and promoting newspapers and assisting its members in their work.