Brainerd Dispatch earns 16 Minnesota Newspaper Association awards

The Dispatch received seven first-place awards, including winning the General Excellence category, at the 2020-21 Minnesota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

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The Brainerd Dispatch received seven first-place awards, including winning the General Excellence category, at the 2020-21 Minnesota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest during the association’s annual convention Thursday, Jan. 26, in Brooklyn Park.

The Dispatch earned a total of 16 top-three finishes for its editorial, design and advertising work.

“I’m proud of our staff’s performance since we’re competing against hundreds of other media companies, including some of the largest newspapers in Minnesota,” said Dispatch Publisher Pete Mohs. “Our staff works hard to produce many great products, and we’ve been rewarded with 30 top-three finishes over the past two years of the MNA contest.”

Besides the General Excellence award, the Dispatch staff finished first in typography and design and use of photography as a whole.

Theresa Bourke
Theresa Bourke

Individual first place winners were reporter Theresa Bourke, for a human interest story about a Brainerd World War II veteran’s dog tags found in Northern Ireland; reporter Frank Lee, for a social issues story remembering veterans on Memorial Day ; reporter Jennifer Kraus for a hard news on the continuing efforts to solve the 2009 disappearance of Peter Achermann ; and photographer Kelly Humphrey, portrait and personality, for a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Claus during a drive-up visits during the pandemic as seen through the vehicle.


Frank Lee (headshot)
Frank Lee
Kelly Humphrey Mug.jpg
Kelly Humphrey

Runner-up finishes for the staff included second place finishes for sports reporting and special section — the Salute Veterans Day magazine.

Individuals finishing second were Editor Matt Erickson and Chelsey Perkins, community editor, for the Best Use of Social Media award for a Facebook Live event called Ask the Editor ; and Humphrey, sports photo of a water show performance where the Jet Ski driver is captured during a flip appearing in a standstill upside down over the water.

Matt Erickson
Matt Erickson

The Dispatch earned third place for general reporting and advertising excellence while individuals placing third included: Perkins for best use of graphics and illustrations for interactive graphics showing the pandemic’s toll in the region ; Bourke, social issue story about an initiative at Central Lakes College to bring awareness to racial concerns ; and Kraus, for hard news as a sheriff’s deputy agreed to separate from Crow Wing County and for local breaking news on the arrest of Nisswa Mayor Fred Heidmann .

Jennifer Kraus.jpg
Jennifer Kraus

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Hi, I'm the Brainerd Dispatch. I started working a few days before Christmas in 1881 and became a daily paper two years later. I've gone through a lot of changes over the years, but what has never changed is my commitment to community and to local journalism. I've got an entire team of dedicated people who work night and day to make sure I go out every morning, whether in print, as an e-edition, via an app or with additional information at News, weather, sports — videos, photos, podcasts and social media — all covering stories from central Minnesota about your neighbors, your lakes, your communities, your challenges and your opportunities. It's all part of the effort to keep people connected and informed. And we couldn't do it without support.
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