The Michigan Press Association has honored the Grand Haven Tribune with three awards of excellence in its annual Better Newspaper Contest.
The Tribune snapped up first place in General Excellence for its content and design.
“This is an outstanding achievement,” said Cheryl Welch, director of content and audience development. “Fifteen newspapers competed against us for this award, and independent journalists chose us as the best of the best. Our readers have a stellar newspaper delivered to their doorsteps each day, and this proves it.”
The content team at the Tribune also won first place in Spot News for its coverage of the crash involving five Grand Haven High School girls who were on their way to Lansing in March to cheer on the girls’ basketball team. The Tribune took first place among 35 contest entries in this category.
Here are the judge's comments regarding the Tribune’s coverage of the crash and its impact on our community:
"The staff at the GHT did a remarkable job reporting this crash that severely injured five teenagers. It is spot news at its finest – not only reported with gripping detail from every angle on tight deadline, but written powerfully to capture the community's shock and emotion without resorting to sensationalism. The reporters did a commendable job going beyond the basics from authorities, proving that awesome storytelling is possible even under the most difficult circumstances. Well done!"
Nate Thompson, Matt DeYoung, Becky Vargo and Welch took a team approach to covering this incident from all angles – here at home, at the crash site and at the game in Lansing. The Tribune delivered the news with constant updates at grandhaventribune.com, via Facebook and in the newspaper.
"I'm extremely proud of our staff for their accomplishments,” said Publisher Kevin Hook. “A great deal of hard work and dedication goes into being recognized as the General Excellence first-place winner.”
The advertising team at the Tribune also received high honors with an award in the Best Promotional Ad category for its “Don’t let beach conditions catch you by surprise” campaign.
“The Tribune is here for the Tri-Cities community,” Welch said. “We report on the news that matters to readers, and provide them with the information and advertisements they need to make decisions about life. These awards serve as affirmation of our excellence.”
Hook said that despite living in a time in which many newspaper companies are making deep cuts in order to survive, he’s proud to say the Tribune is in a position to be able to invest in the necessary resources to make its products better for readers and advertisers.
“This recognition is testimony that the investments are paying off,” he said.