The Brainerd Dispatch won five awards in the 2012 Morris Journalism Excellence Awards announced recently. The Dispatch competed in the category for newspapers with circulations of less than 40,000.
Brian S. Peterson and Denton Newman Jr. won the Community Engagement contest by initiating community involvement in the Ultimate Fishing Town Contest, sponsored by the World Fishing Network. They used Facebook posts and email pushes to more than 20,000 addresses and promoted the contest and voting with print and online ads and news stories. Peterson is outdoors editor. Newman is new media director.
Matt Erickson, Jennifer Stockinger, Renee Richardson and Mike O’Rourke won the Community Service Award for news stories and an editorial on the racially motivated beating of a 53-year-old black man. Erickson, formerly a staff writer is now night editor. Stockinger is a staff writer. Richardson is senior reporter and O’Rourke is associate editor.
O’Rourke earned an honorable mention in the Commentary category for editorials on safety and conflicts of interest at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.
Peterson won the Headline Writing category for his headlines in the outdoors section.
Photographer Kelly Humphrey and Newman earned an honorable mention for videography on a story that dealt efforts to keep the art of blacksmithing alive.