APPLETON - The Post-Crescent won 22 awards for its journalism — the most of any paper in its division — in the 2021 Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation Better Newspaper Contest.
"I'm proud of the work our journalists do every day, so I'm thrilled for them to receive this recognition," Post-Crescent editor Larry Gallup said. "We can't serve the Fox Cities, as we've done since 1853, without the community's support. So I'm also grateful for the support that allows us to do this work."
The awards were given Friday during the WNA's awards ceremony. The WNA Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in 1980 that works to improve Wisconsin’s newspaper enterprises.
The 2021 contest had 2,117 entries from 98 newspapers. Eligible entries were published between Sept. 1, 2020, and Aug. 31, 2021, and were judged by members of the West Virginia Press Association.
Here's what to know about The Post-Crescent's awards:
Five first-place awards for photos, visual storytelling, feature story, business coverage
Photojournalist Dan Powers won three first-place awards — for sports action photo, sports feature photo and, with content strategist Jordan Tilkens, visual storytelling.
The sports action photo showed Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones bursting through the line in a game against the Los Angeles Rams, The photo also won honorable mention as one of the top 10 action photos of the 2020-21 season in the Pro Football Hall of Fame 53rd Annual Photo Contest.
The sports feature photo showed Preston McGinnis of the Appleton Firefighters after his team won the Little League Major Baseball City Championship.
The visual storytelling award is for Powers' photo essay and Tilkens' digital presentation of Powers' 25 years at The Post-Crescent.
Powers finished with six awards in the contest.
Courts and criminal justice reporter Chris Mueller won the feature story (non-profile) category for his story about how Wisconsin became the first state to abolish the death penalty in 1853.
Buzz columnist and business reporter Maureen Wallenfang won the business coverage category for a collection of stories about the pandemic's effect on restaurants and other businesses and on the labor shortage.
Five second-place awards, including general excellence
The Post-Crescent got a second-place award for general excellence, with the judge saying, "Lots of local content, and that’s important in an era where half the nation doesn’t believe in the mainstream media anymore. ...
"The investigative story 'Lock Up Disparity' shows your readers that the Post-Crescent is willing to spend the money, time and space on an important issue. ...
"The extensive local news coverage in the Post-Crescent reminds readers why newspapers remain an important part of their daily lives."
The Post-Crescent also got second-place awards for best feature/lifestyle pages and in the community engagement award for its coverage of the Celebrating Volunteers program.
Reporter Samantha West got a second-place award in the feature story (non-profile) category for her story about three sisters who, 25 years ago, married three brothers.
Photojournalist Wm. Glasheen got a second-place award for sports action photo for his photo of a collision at home plate, one of six awards Glasheen won in the contest.
Eight third-place awards
Glasheen received four third-place awards:
Powers got a third-place award in the feature photo for his photo of kids hanging out in hammocks on a spring day in Menasha.
Ricardo Arguello got a third-place award in the sports news story category for his story about local athletes left in limbo by the University of Minnesota’s decision to drop men’s track and field.
Duke Behnke got a third-place award in the environmental reporting category for his story about the No Mow May effort in Appleton.
Arguello, Brett Christopherson and Jim Rosandick got a third-place award in the visual storytelling category for Varsity Game of the Week livestreams.
Four honorable-mention selections
Powers got two honorable-mention awards - in the spot news category for his photo of Fox Crossing and Grand Chute firefighters working to contain a house fire and in the sports feature category for his photo of Wauwatosa East basketball player Marsean Billips celebrating a victory against Kimberly.
Glasheen got an honorable-mention award in the general news photo category for his photo of Miss Rock River Valley Jennifer Schmidt being named the new Miss Wisconsin.
Mueller got an honorable-mention award in the breaking news reporting category for his story about Grand Chute police looking for a suspect in a deadly Fox River Mall shooting.
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin wins six statewide awards
In addition to The Post-Crescent's 22 awards, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin won six statewide awards, including three firsts. Here's more about those awards:
Network staff, as a group, claimed first place in the community engagement award for its school COVID-19 crowdsourcing.
Reporters Natalie Brophy and Nusaiba Mizan won first place in the ongoing/extended coverage category for their series that explored Wisconsin businesses' worker shortage.
Reporter AnnMarie Hilton took third place in the feature story (non-profile) category for her story about Wisconsin’s water towers.
Reporters Jeff Bollier, Brophy and Mizan won third place in the enterprise/interpretive reporting category for their series “Unaffordable: No place to call home.”
Reporter Frank Vaisvilas, a Report For America corps member who covers Indigenous affairs for the network, was awarded honorable mention in the investigative reporting category for his story about American Indian incarceration rates.
This article originally appeared on Appleton Post-Crescent: Appleton' Post-Crescent wins 22 awards in Wisconsin journalism contest