Iowa Newspaper Association honors Gazette with 37 awards

DES MOINES — Michaela Ramm, health reporter for The Gazette, was honored last week with the Jay P. Wagner Young Reporter Award from Iowa for outstanding reporting.

Gazette reporter Michaela Ramm (The Gazette)

Its first prize was one of 37 honors bestowed on The Gazette in the Better Newspaper contest sponsored by the Iowa Newspaper Foundation and the Iowa Newspaper Association.

The Wagner Prize honors Jay Wagner, a journalist and newspaper editor from Iowa, whose passions included encouraging young reporters and promoting excellent community journalism. A graduate of Iowa State University, Ramm began her career at The Gazette as an intern.

Editor-in-chief Zack Kucharski was named editor-publisher, becoming the sixth Gazette staffer to earn this recognition since the award began in 1932. The award recognizes leadership among editors and publishers of newspapers and is selected by past recipients of the award. Kucharski, who started at The Gazette as an intern in 2000, created the Iowa Ideas project six years ago. The project offers Iowans the opportunity to explore and discuss issues impacting the state.

Gazette Editor-in-Chief Zack Kucharski gives opening remarks Sept. 21, 2017, during the Iowa Ideas Conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex. (The Gazette)

Additional rewards include:

First place: Best Newspaper Website; editorial writing (Adam Sullivan); Bill Monroe Special Digital Project (derecho birthday); agriculture blanket; best sports section; court and crime coverage; best podcast; special publicity section by Chad Willenborg; newspaper marketing (Iowa Ideas).

The second place — General Excellence; sports report photo (Jim Slosiarek); better COVID-19 coverage; better features page; business coverage; editorial special section; community leadership; master chronicler (Sofia DeMartino); headline writing; sports columnist (JR Ogden); advertising offering food or entertainment; advertising presenting various products; better web advertising; ad campaign by Chad Willenborg; special advertising section by Jacob Willenborg; newspaper marketing.

Third place — Best Reporting (Erin Jordan); breaking news story (Vanessa Miller); master chronicler (Todd Dorman); Best Sports Story (Vanessa Miller); coverage of politics and government; best editorial page; personality story (Ali Gowans); advertisement featuring agricultural products; better advertising campaign; ad featuring insurance products.