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Forum staff reports, Published February 04 2012

Forum wins 18 Minnesota newspaper awards

The Forum earned 18 awards in the 2011 Minnesota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest announced Jan. 26 at MNA’s annual convention in Bloomington.

Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski was honored with the Herman Roe Editorial Writing Award, meant to recognize excellence in editorial writing for his July 17 editorial, “Fargo tree ordinance falls short.”

The Forum also won the Category X Award, which this year honored the paper that provided the best continuing coverage of diversity in a community. The winning entry was “Cultures in Conflict,” a series of stories written by reporter Kristen Daum about individuals who were born in other countries known for social unrest, political change or culture conflict and their transition to living in our community.

Other first-place finishes were for sports reporting, photography as a whole, headline writing and advertising excellence.

Individuals receiving first-place awards were:

- Mila Koumpilova for her human interest story on Bhutanese resettled in the area and their challenges to succeed.

- David Samson’s news photo of firefighters battling an apartment blaze with the moon overhead.

- Erin Crommett and her page-design portfolio.

The newspaper’s staff as a whole won second-place awards for its freedom of information efforts, best use of social media, and typography and design.

Individuals receiving second-place awards were:

- Samson for press photographer’s portfolio.

- Zaleski for editorial page as a whole.

- Troy Becker for use of informational graphics and graphic illustrations.

- Marino Eccher for a business story about the names behind historic downtown buildings.

- J. Shane Mercer for an arts and entertainment story previewing a redneck comedy tour coming to the area.

- Sports reporter Ryan Clark received an honorable mention for his sports story on the eligibility questions surrounding a local high school hockey player.