Missoulian Photography's 2018 Favorites 12

Toby Rath wrestles with a recliner while moving it to higher ground from a home in the flooded area at the north end of Nancy Lou Drive on the west side of Missoula in May 2018. Flood response managers warned at the time that as many as 2,000 homes across the county were at risk of flooding, around 800 of those in the Orchard Homes neighborhood.

The Missoulian staff won a dozen awards for writing, photography, page design, digital features and advertising in the annual Montana Better Newspaper competition.

The Ravalli Republic placed in 15 categories, including four first-place awards for associate editor Perry Backus.

The awards, handed out Saturday night at Big Sky, are given by the Montana Newspaper Association, and this year were judged by journalists in Michigan.

"The Missoulian and Ravalli Republic again had an outstanding showing in the annual Montana Newspaper Association awards competition," said Jim Strauss, publisher for both newspapers.

Strauss pointed out that he became publisher in mid-October, adding that "I can't really take credit for the accomplishments, but I can share in the celebration. What was most impressive to me is that they showed the breadth of their talent, winning awards across all areas from in-depth reporting to editorial writing to photography to all forms of advertising and specialty and niche publications."

Missoulian journalists winning first-place awards were Kurt Wilson for best news photo, Eve Byron for best continuing news coverage, and Bill Speltz for best sports and outdoor column writing. The advertising staff won for best online ad, and best color ad to sell or promote merchandise.

Backus took first place in the categories of best continuing news coverage, best lifestyle coverage, best sports feature story and best news story. Also at the Ravalli Republic, Dara Kilian took first place for best color ad to sell or promote merchandise.

The Missoulian earned second-place honors for:

Best editorial — Tyler Christensen

Best portrait photo — Kurt Wilson

Best lifestyle story — Eve Byron

Best niche publication – Jacque Walawander, Rachel Crisp-Philips, Joe Weston and Mike Gulledge.

Missoulian third-place honors went to:

Best feature photo — Kurt Wilson

Best niche publication — Jacque Walawander, Holly Kuehlwein and Adam Potts

Best newspaper special section — Emily Petrovski, Joe Weston and Mike Gulledge

The Ravalli Republic won second-place honors for:

Best news story - Perry Backus

Best feature photo — Perry Backus

Best sports feature — Kyle Houghtaling

Mark Henckel Outdoor Writing Award — Perry Backus

Best education coverage — Michelle McConnaha

Best page layout and design — Jessica Abell

Best front page — Jessica Abell

Best marketing campaign — Dara Kilian

Best sports page layout and design — Jessica Abell

And, the Ravalli Republic saw third-place honors in:

Best lifestyle coverage — Michelle McConnaha

Best page layout and design — Jessica Abell

The Flathead Beacon won the Thomas Dimsdale Award for Best Weekly Newspaper, and the Billings Gazette won the Sam Gilluly Award for Best Daily Newspaper.

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