The Journal-News Staff Wins Awards From SIEA


The Southern Illinois Editorial Association has announced the winners of the 2021 Better Newspaper Contest, and The Journal-News took home a variety of awards in the competition.

In the Large Weeklies division, the newspaper staff won third place in advertising excellence, first place in best editorial page, third place in best local news coverage, second place in best local sports coverage, first place in best use of photography.

Winning overall general excellence in the Large Weeklies division was The Republic Times in Waterloo, and the editor there is Corey Saathoff, who was an intern at The Hillsboro Journal more than 20 years ago when he was a college student at Greenville College.

The Journal-News also won several awards in the open division, where member newspapers compete from Champaign south, regardless of the size of circulation.

Publisher Mike Plunkett won first place in best editorial for his submission, “The Virus That Stole Christmas.”

In the community service category, the newspaper took home first place honors for its special coverage of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

In the best education story category, Editor Mary (Galer) Herschelman won first place for her story, “Schools And Students Learning From Home.” Plunkett won an honorable mention for his school board story “Coffeen School Transitions to Pre-K” in the same category.

In the feature story division, Sports Editor Kyle Herschelman won thirdplace for his story “Thin Line Between Black and Badge.” Mary (Galer) Herschelman won honorable mention in the best news story category for “Eight-Week Window a Struggle for Businesses.”

The newspaper took home several photography awards.  In the best feature photo division, Bethany Martin won third place for “Skeletons Are Masked Up for Halloween” and Plunkett won honorable mention for “They’re Off to See the Wizard at the Drive-In.” Mary (Galer) Herschelman won honorable mention in best photo essay category for “Reverse Parade Gets Christmas Going in the Right Direction,” and Kyle Herschelman won second place in best sports photo for “Topper Senior Earns Second Shot at Sectional.”

In the Charlie Feirich Original Column contest, the newspaper took home three of the four prizes. Mary (Galer) Herschelman won first place for “Remember Grace Changes Everything,” while Christy Mollett won third place for “God’s Surprise Comb,” and Tori O’Dell won honorable mention for “Bleed and Fight for Them.”

The newspaper also won second place for best website.


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