Platte County Citizen named top weekly paper for its category in state competition

The Platte County Citizen received top honors for its classification in this year’s Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.The newspaper based in Platte City received first place for general excellence among Class 2 weeklies for work done in 2014. The awards were presented during a luncheon held in Jefferson City, Mo. this past weekend. One of the Citizen's issues entered into contest

The Citizen won four awards total.

Currently, Ross Martin serves as publisher under the ownership of Will and Adam Johnson of Mound City, Mo. Former publisher Lee Stubbs sold the paper in the middle of last year.

The association holds a contest every year to honor newspapers in several different categories. The general excellence category is judged based on three issues — one each from two selected months and one of the newspaper’s choice. The Citizen entries came on both sides of the ownership change with two of them coming from November and December, respectively, under Martin’s leadership.

With its first place entry in general excellence, the judges had this to say: “Nice coverage of area, diverse topics. Good selection of news — staff generated and submitted. Writing is generally solid. Design is really attractive. Best use of fonts, decks, white space in contest. Solid photography — good sizing, cropping throughout. Dominant art used well. Sports sections are well done. Nice angles for leads on stories. Solid local editorials; well displayed editorial material. Front pages draw readers in with photos, typography, diversity.”

“I am very pleased with the effort the entire staff has shown in order to win the general excellence award,” commented Ross Martin, publisher of the Citizen. “To get recognized in this category is probably the most important because the entire newspaper is evaluated by its peers.”

In addition to having the top newspaper in its classification, The Citizen received a third place award for best sports news story or package (Stubbs) and best sports photo (longtime Citizen photographer Chris Patterson).

Jeanette Browning-Faubion, a longtime reporter at The Citizen, took honorable mention honors for best news or feature series for her work reporting on the Platte County Commission appointed jail committee last summer. She wrote numerous articles on the citizen group tasked with exploring the potential need for expansion at the Platte County Detention Center, which included disagreements, resignations and early end to the process when the committee presented findings ahead of schedule.

The sports awards came for a story about former Platte County High School athlete Shelley Laures and the “importance of the pop” in jumping events during track and field season.