Brainerd Dispatch earns 1st for General Excellence from newspaper association

The Dispatch earned a total of 31 awards in the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Better Newspaper Contest.

Brainerd Dispatch building in winter.
The Brainerd Dispatch building Jan. 31, 2023, in northwest Brainerd.
Matt Erickson / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — The Brainerd Dispatch won 31 awards, including General Excellence in the 5,000-10,000 circulation category, at the 2021-22 Better Newspaper Contest presented at the annual Minnesota Newspaper Association banquet Thursday, Jan. 26, in Brooklyn Park.

The Dispatch earned 12 first-place awards, 11 for second place, and eight for third place. The 31 awards are the most ever earned by the Dispatch, which finished third behind Duluth News Tribune and Fargo Forum in the Vance Trophy race for the top multi-day newspaper.

“Our staff and community can be proud of the awards for the Dispatch,” said Publisher Pete Mohs. “Especially winning the prestigious General Excellence award in a category with some of the state’s top newspapers.”

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Other first-place awards include: Advertising Excellence, Best Magazine (Dining Guide), Special Section (Veterans Salute), Human Interest Story (Chelsey Perkins), Local Breaking News (Tim Speier), News Photo (Steve Kohls), Best Advertisement (Jill Wasson and Andy Goble), Use of Color Advertising (Susie Alters and and Alex Dietz), Use of Photography, Design Portfolio, and Typography and Design.

Second-place awards included: General Reporting, Government/Public Affairs and Social Issues (Speier), Photo Story and Portrait and Personality (Kelly Humphrey), Sports Reporting, Sports Story (Jeremy Millsop), Sports Photo (Kohls), Investigative Reporting (Perkins), Use of Video, and Institutional Advertising (Kathy Bittner Lee and Sara Slaby).


Finishing third were Business Story and Investigative Reporting (Theresa Bourke), Press Photographers Portfolio, Portrait and Personality and Sports Photography (Humphrey), News Photo (Kohls), Website, and Use of Video.

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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