Friday, August 12, 2022

Inter Lake claims top awards for journalism, advertising

by Daily Inter Lake
| June 21, 2022 10:00 AM

The Daily Inter Lake garnered 15 awards at the Montana Newspaper Association’s 2022 Better Newspaper Contest, including top prizes for investigative journalism, column writing and advertising.

The awards were presented Saturday at the annual Montana Newspaper Association convention held in Glendive.

The Inter Lake’s special report examining domestic violence in the Flathead Valley placed first for investigative journalism among daily newspapers. The judges praised Lynnette Hintze, Kianna Gardner, Bret Anne Serbin and Chad Sokol’s work as in-depth and valuable to the community.

“The reporters should be proud of how well-written these articles are, and for bringing this information to their readers,” the judges commented.

Community editor Carol Marino placed first in column writing among daily newspapers for her bi-weekly column “Good News,” which has appeared in the Inter Lake since 2003.

Education reporter Hilary Matheson placed second in education reporting and news writing for her extensive coverage of the suicide crisis facing Northwest Montana youth.

Creative specialist Heidi Gaiser earned second-place accolades for her Montana Life page designs, as well as for headline writing.

Sports editor Katie Brown got the nod with a second-place award for her coverage of girls wrestling.

“Katie Brown does a tremendous job conveying the experiences and emotions of the high school girls' wrestlers who are making history with the sport's sudden ascent in Montana,” the judges commented.

Inter Lake photographer Casey Kreider placed third for his sports images, while Sokol took third for his reporting on the local housing crisis.

In advertising, the Inter Lake claimed first-place awards for promotional ads and local photography. The newspaper also placed for marketing campaigns, online ads and promotional ads. The Inter Lake’s special magazine “Destination” placed second for niche publication.

The weekly newspapers owned by Hagadone Montana Publishing also racked up ample awards.

Notably, the Whitefish Pilot staff claimed the general excellence award for weekly newspapers, earning 21 awards for journalism and advertising.

The Western News in Libby secured six awards, including first and second place in investigative reporting. The Hungry Horse News won first place for feature writing, news photos and video production, while the Lake County Leader in Polson scooped up 14 awards, including the top prize in sports and feature photography, education reporting and page design.

The Sam Gilluly Award for the best Montana daily newspaper went to the Havre Daily News, while the Thomas Dimsdale Award for the best Montana weekly newspaper went to the Boulder Monitor.

A complete list of winners is online at

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