The Hinsdalean wins top honors at IPA

Paper takes home the sweepstakes in editorial and advertising for mid-size nondailies

The Hinsdalean was crowned the No. 1 midsize nondaily newspaper in the state for editorial and advertising content last week by the Illinois Press Association.

The Hinsdalean received 23 awards in the 2019 Best of the Press contest en route to receiving the Harold and Eve White Memorial Trophy and 19 awards in the advertising and marketing contest to win the Sam Zito Award of Excellence and the Division H trophy.

"I never thought, with such a small staff, we would be in a position to win the sweepstakes in both advertising and editorial in the same year," publisher Jim Slonoff said. "Our sweep is especially sweet since most our competition has much larger operations. We all work hard to produce the best community newspaper we can for our readers. It's nice to be recognized for doing that."

Editor Pamela Lannom was equally surprised.

"I wasn't sure we'd be in a position to win a sweepstakes at all, much less two in one year," she said. "We've always considered praise from our readers more important than any awards we might win. So to receive the wonderful feedback on the paper that we do from readers and win the top two prizes in the state for a weekly newspaper our size is just amazing. I'm so proud of everyone on staff here."

In the editorial contest, the paper brought home seven first-place awards.

Lannom, Ken Knutson and Slonoff received a first place in community service for the paper's Making a Difference partnership with the American Legion Post 250.

Knutson and Lannom won first for a three-part series on microbreweries in the area titled "Brewing in the burbs."

Knutson received first for his sports feature, "Freshman making varsity waves."

Lannom received top honors in the obituary feature category for "Preschooler's short life filled with love."

Slonoff received two first-place awards, one for feature photo ("Walking in a Halloween wonderland") and one for portrait/personality profile ("A great night to be a Red Devil aunt"). Both photos ran as front covers.

The sports section also earned a first place. (See sidebar for a full list of all awards.)

The editorial contest drew 2,030 entries from 122 newspapers.

In the advertising contest, Becky Campbell received seven first-place honors for small ad, best full color ad, miscellaneous ad, garden ad and real estate ad (she swept that category, winning everything from honorable mention to first place). She received a total of 19 awards in the contest. (See sidebar.)

"Many advertisers will point out an ad and say, 'I want my ad to look like this,' " said Lisa Skrapka, advertising account executive at The Hinsdalean. "Becky knows just how to create something similar yet completely different, and it is always beautiful.

"Becky's greatest ads are created when I give her carte blanche or let her 'drive the bus,' as I put it. Her eye for design is top notch."

Forty-six newspapers submitted 504 entries in the advertising contest.

Members of the Nebraska Press Association judged both.

Author Bio

Author photo

Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean