Monday, February 10, 2020

The Daily Iowan was named the Iowa Newspaper Association’s 2020 Newspaper of the Year on Feb. 7. The award marks the first time the DI has won the association’s top honor since 1981.

The independent student-run newspaper on the University of Iowa campus collected 43 awards in 32 categories, including 18 first-place finishes against daily newspapers with a circulation less than 10,000.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized as the Newspaper of the Year,” Publisher Jason Brummond says. “This is truly an impressive accomplishment for our student journalists, who compete for these awards against professional newspapers across the state of Iowa. We have a talented and dedicated staff who balance newsroom assignments with class work to deliver important news and storytelling to the UI community and beyond.”

Editor-in-Chief Marissa Payne says the awards were a fitting testament to the newsroom staff’s hard work, professionalism, and dedication to producing quality journalism.

“For more than 150 years, the DI has been a strong training ground for students to learn how to be journalists,” Payne says. “While we work in this learning laboratory, we are real journalists doing real work — investigating the UI administration, covering city council meetings, asking important questions of Iowa politicians, and documenting all Hawkeye sports. I’m so proud of our historic achievement, but the ultimate honor is the work we do every day as the UI’s paper of record informing the Hawkeye and Iowa City communities.”

Payne and 2019 graduate Gage Miskimen were editors during the contest period.

Payne also won the Harrison “Skip” Weber Investigative Reporting award for her April 2019 scoop on the UI’s nearly $4 million change order to replace Cedar Rapids construction firm Modern Piping with another bidder as a subcontractor on the Pharmacy Building project.

Other notable highlights include winning Best Newspaper Website for the fourth year in a row and sweeping first, second, and third for Personality Feature Story, Best Sports Photo, Best Video, and Best Slideshow.

The Newspaper of the Year is presented to the newspaper that accumulates the highest point total from placing first, second or third in the individual contests. The DI has won the award three times — 1976, 1981 and 2020.

First-place awards

  • General Excellence
  • Coverage of Education
  • Coverage of Agriculture
  • Best Newspaper Website
  • Best News Story – Julia Shanahan
  • Best Personality Feature Story – Kit Fitzgerald
  • Best News Feature Story – Julia Shanahan
  • Best Sports Feature – David Harmantas
  • Best Video – Roman Slabach
  • Best Slideshow – Katina Zentz
  • Best News Feature Photo – Katina Zentz
  • Best Sports Photo – Ryan Adams
  • Best Editorial Page
  • Best Feature Page
  • Best Newspaper Marketing
  • Best Ad Featuring Grocery, Food or Entertainment
  • Best Ad Featuring Financial, Insurance or Other Professional Service
  • Best Ad Idea for a Community Promotion or Event

Second-place awards

  • Coverage of Government & Politics
  • Coverage of Business
  • Community Leadership
  • Total Newspaper Design
  • Best News Feature Story – Brooklyn Draisey
  • Best Personality Feature Story – Jordan Zuniga
  • Best Video – Jenna Galligan, Katie Goodale and Brooklyn Draisey
  • Best Slideshow – Katina Zentz
  • Best News Photo – Roman Slabach
  • Best Sports Photo – Shivansh Ahuja
  • Best Front Page
  • Best Headline Writing
  • Best Ad Featuring Furniture, Furnishings, Appliances or Hardware
  • Best Web Advertisement

Third-place awards

  • Coverage of Court & Crime
  • Best Sports Section
  • Best Special Section – Editorial
  • Best Sports Story – Adam Hensley
  • Best Sports Feature Story – Brooklyn Draisey
  • Best Personality Feature Story – Katelyn Weisbrod
  • Best Video – Ryan Adams
  • Best Slideshow – Shivansh Ahuja
  • Best Sports Photo – Shivansh Ahuja
  • Best Photo Story – Shivansh Ahuja
  • Best Sports Feature Photo – Nick Rohlman