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Published January 31 2010

Forum named Minnesota's best newspaper in state newspaper contest

The Forum received the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s Vance Trophy after receiving 33 awards, including 18 first-places, during the group’s 2009-2010 Better Newspaper Contest.

The Vance Trophy is a traveling award given to the best non-metro daily newspaper in the state each year. This is the second time The Forum has won the award.

The Forum also received top honors for general excellence.

As an overall product, judges commented that The Forum has “great use of graphics and maps, in-depth and interesting package pieces, (a) balanced combination of world and local news,” and a sports section “packed with local coverage.”

Judges also noted that the newspaper excelled in investigative reporting: “The Forum had a great deal of quality entries in this category,” they wrote. “Their readers should be proud to have such a diligent watchdog in their community.”

Lynn Smith Community Leadership Award for its coverage of the spring 2009 flood.

“When the Fargo community was facing a literal life and death event, The Forum became a lifeline for information, activism and inspiration,” judges wrote. “What is evident … is The Forum’s importance and value to its community and readers as a resource for information and a source of leadership.”

Forum reporter Kelly Smith, who covers North Dakota K-12 education, was honored as the outstanding new journalist of the year among Minnesota, non-metro dailies.

Judges called Smith “the clear winner” in the category. “It’s hard to believe this reporter has less than two years of experience,” they wrote. “Her writing and interviewing skills are exceptional. It appears she can write almost any type of story. This is a very talented journalist with a bright future.”

The Forum also won the following awards for dailies of more than 10,000 circulation:

First-place awards:

Second-place awards:

Honorable mentions: