Leader wins General Excellence
Leader Publisher Steve Tinnen receives the paper’s awards on Sept. 28. Missouri Press Assoc.
For the second time in three years, The Clinton County Leader won the Missouri Press Association’s top honor for excellence in the newspaper industry.
The Leader won the 2019 Missouri Class 1 General Excellence Award for weekly newspapers during the 153rd Missouri Press Association Convention on Saturday, September 28, at Harrah’s North Kansas City. It was one of nine honors The Leader won this year, and one of five first-place awards.
“There are some businesses that are fortunate to have employees whose work reflects their success,” said publisher Steve Tinnen. “The Clinton County Leader is one of those businesses. For 52 weeks out of the year, our staff provides coverage of the towns of Plattsburg, Lathrop, Gower, Trimble and Turney. Reporting the news in these communities and beyond requires dedication, talent, and hard work. That’s why I’m especially proud of our publication receiving this award.”
The Leader also won the Class 1 General Excellence Award in 2017, in addition to back-to-back Missouri Class 1 Gold Medals for weekly newspapers in 2013 and 2014. Since 2008, The Clinton County Leader has been one of the winningest publications in the state, winning hundreds of awards in the annual Missouri Better Newspaper Contest for writing, reporting, photography, sports coverage, graphic design and more.
Judging for the General Excellence award is rigorous, covering all aspects of the weekly newspaper – breadth of coverage, quality of writing and reporting, page layout, sports pages, headline writing, treatment of public notices, and more. The award goes to the staff, including publisher Steve Tinnen, editor Brett Adkison, graphic designer Autumn Barnett, manager Betty Dickinson, and advertising manager Nikki Keling. Additional staff members include ad representative Linda Langford, reporter Jim Bonebrake, social media specialist Cassidy Troyer, proofreader Connie Collins, court reporter Skip Willdermood, and delivery manager Keith Stayton.
“It’s an honor to receive the General Excellence award again,” said Adkison. “We’ve set and maintained the standard for great journalism here in Clinton County and beyond. It means a lot to us because this is our hometown newspaper. Our staff members were raised and live in Lathrop, Plattsburg and Gower, so there’s a lot of pride in our work.”
The Leader won four other first-place awards in the 2019 contest, including top honors for Best Front Page, Best Sports News Story (Lathrop defeats Lamar, Brett Adkison and Clint Dye), Best Feature Obituary (The late Jean Gassman, by Steve Tinnen) and Best Sports Feature Photo (Plattsburg Wrestling by Brett Adkison).
The Leader also took second place for Best Sports Feature (Lathrop Ends Lamar’s Historic Streak, by Brett Adkison) and honorable mention Best Sports Feature Photograph (Heartbreaker, by Clint Dye).
“Our sports coverage is always one of our strongest qualities, and that wouldn’t be possible without the great student-athletes, coaches and educators we have in our coverage area,” Adkison said. “It’s great to see our local students set their eyes on the target and succeed.”
The Leader also received second place for Best Photo Illustration (New East Buchanan Swing, by Brett Adkison) and honorable mention for Best Feature Photograph (Water Fight, by Brett Adkison).