2013 Contest Winners 

2012 Contest Winners 

2011 Contest Winners

Volunteer to judge!

WNPA will judge the Arizona Newspapers Association contest June 1-13. WNPA newspapers who provide judges will receive a credit for 2014 contest fees, $50 for providing one professional judge and $75 for three or more judges from the same newspaper.


Register by May 23 (webform) to apply your judging credits to this year's contest.


2014 Better Newspaper Contest


2014 Contest Poster (pdf) with deadlines and details


Contest period

Regular Entries: April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014
Tourism/Community Guide Special Sections: June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014

Contest Categories and Rules

Spreadsheet of all categories (xls)

General Contest Rules (pdf)

Advertising Categories and Rules (pdf)

Special Section Categories and Rules (pdf)

News Categories and Rules (pdf)

Web Categories and Rules (pdf) 

Photography Categories and Rules (pdf)



WNPA plans to create photoboards for the convention (Oct. 2-4, Chelan) using jpegs submitted as contest entries. Rudi Alcott, publisher of the Federal Way Mirror and a Better Newspaper Contest Committee member, is donating printing on a color copier.Details on jpeg file specs are in the Photo Rules. 

Important dates

April 4 • Begin submitting entries on www.betterbnc.com website
May 15 • Extended deadline for Regular Entries and General Excellence
June 6 • Deadline for Tourism/Community Guide Special Sections
Aug. 6 • Announcement letters mailed to publishers whose staff have won awards
Oct. 3 • Winners announced at WNPA 127th annual convention, Chelan


 Entry fees

$6.50/entry for Group I, $8.50 for Groups II & III, $9 for Group IV


Circulation Groups

Group I, up to 2,500; Group II, 2,501-5,000;  Group III, 5,001-12,750; Group IV, over 12,751

If a newspaper is listed in the wrong group on www.BetterBNC.com, please email Mark O'Deady to correct it.


Contest judging

WNPA is partnered with the Arizona Newspaper Association for 2014 contest judging and will judge ANA's contest in June.


Contest traditions

The annual contest recognizes excellence in editorial, advertising, photography, special sections, online work and service to communities by members of WNPA. 

  • Draws 2,600 entries from approximately 80 percent of eligible members
  • Open to regular WNPA members in good standing
  • Judged by press-association partners in other states
  •  Rewards members with awards in 600 categories across four circulation groups 
     for first-, second- and third-place winners in most categories 
    Special trophies for Feature Writer, News Writer, Photographer and Sportswriter of the Year 
    Plaques for winners of Community Service, General Excellence


In 2007 WNPA partnered with SmallTownPapers to launch the Better Newspaper Contest website. Of more than 130 media organizations that have used www.betterbnc.com since then, WNPA is proud to have been the first. SmallTownPapers is an affiliate member of WNPA based in Shelton, Wash.  


2014 Better Newspaper Contest

Deadlines and rules for the 2014 contest will be available here in April 2014. Our judging partner is Arizona Newspaper Association, and WNPA members will judge their contest in June. Awards will be presented Oct. 3, 2014, in Chelan. The contest website, betterbnc.com, will open in April.


 2013 Better Newspaper Contest Awards


BNC tab available now! Thanks to the Wenatchee World, the sponsor of our 2013 BNC winners tab, WNPA has downloadable optimized file (11 MB) and a high-resolution file (51 MB) of the 2013 BNC award winners' tab.


Winners of the Washington Better Newspaper Contest were announced Oct. 4, 2013 at the awards dinner during WNPA's 126th annual convention in Olympia. The contest was judged by members of the Tennessee Press Association.


The winners' list is available in a spreadsheetFor information about 2013 circulation groups, participation, judging partners and sponsors, download the pdf here.



Circulation Group I

1st Place            Whidbey Examiner, Coupeville

2nd Place           Islands' Sounder, Eastsound

3rd place            Dispatch, Eatonville 

Circulation Group II

1st Place            South Whidbey Record, Langley

2nd Place           Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum 

3rd place            Vidette, Montesano 

Circulation Group III

1st Place            Daily Record, Ellensburg

2nd Place           Lynden Tribune 

3rd place            Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle 

Circulation Group IV

1st Place            Issaquah Press

2nd Place           Federal Way Mirror 

3rd place            Central Kitsap Reporter, Silverdale         


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1st Place     SnoValley Star, Snoqualmie: Homelessness 

2nd Place    North Kitsap Herald, Poulsbo

                   Poulsbo Lions/Raab Foundation Bellringer Fund 

3rd place     Arlington Times: The Pink Edition



Feature Writer of the Year: Jeremiah O'Hagan, Stanwood-Camano News 

News Writer of the Year: Jessie Stensland, Whidbey News-Times, Oak Harbor

Sportswriter of the Year: Mike Dashiell, Sequim Gazette

Photographer of the Year: Brian Myrick, Daily Record, Ellensburg




Fire Camp. Brian Myrick, Daily Record, Ellensburg




Wing Point Golf & Country Club. Karen Johnson, Bainbridge Island Review


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2012 Better Newspaper Contest Winners

Awards presentation 
Sept. 28, 2012, Red Lion Hotel, Yakima

Judges New York Press Association, Albany

Winners list Download a spreadsheet of all winners (pdf)



Circulation Group I

1st Place            Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune, Oroville

2nd Place           Othello Outlook

3rd place            Whidbey Examiner Coupeville

Circulation Group II

1st Place            South Whidbey Record, Langley

2nd Place           Chinook Observer, Long Beach

3rd place            Mercer Island Reporter

Circulation Group III

1st Place            Newport Miner

2nd Place           SnoValley Star, Snoqualmie

3rd place            Bonney Lake/Sumner Courier-Herald

Circulation Group IV

1st Place            Central Kitsap Reporter, Silverdale

2nd Place           Sammamish Review

3rd place            Port Orchard Independent         


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1st Place            Liberty Lake Splash, Blessings Under the Bridge:
                          The 12 Dollars of Christmas Drive

2nd Place          Renton Reporter, Taking Care of Those Who Serve

3rd place            Liberty Lake Splash, Relay For Life



Feature Writer of the Year: Matthew Nash, Sequim Gazette

News Writer of the Year: Jessie Stensland, Whidbey News-Times, Oak Harbor

Sportswriter of the Year: Josh Suman, Bellevue Reporter

Photographer of the Year: Damian Mulinix, Chinook Observer, Long Beach













The Rescue of Dale Ostrander. Damian Mulinix, Chinook Observer, Long Beach  



Reasons to Play for Father's Day. Rudi Alcott, Cindy Ducich, Mary Lou Goss, Marcie Shannon. Federal Way Mirror


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2011 Better Newspaper Contest Winners


Early morning fire engulfs Olympic Theatre
Lonnie Archibald, Forks Forum


Dancing with the Steers, Darla Hussey and Josh Crosier, Othello Outlook

Awards presentation Oct. 7, 2011, Holiday Inn Downtown Everett

Judges Texas Press Association

Winners list  Download a spreadsheet or pdf



Circulation Group I

1st Place            Ferndale Record

2nd Place           Whidbey Examiner Coupeville

3rd place            Othello Outlook

Circulation Group II

1st Place            Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

2nd Place           Journal of the San Juan Islands

3rd place            South Whidbey Record, Langley

Circulation Group III

1st Place            Port Townsend Leader

2nd Place           Arlington Times

3rd place            Chinook Observer, Long Beach

Circulation Group IV

1st Place            Issaquah Press

2nd Place, Tie    Covington/Maple Valley Reporter
                           Kent Reporter

3rd place            Sammamish Review


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1st Place            Federal Way Mirror, Quality of Life, Federal Way

2nd Place            Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle, Centennial Celebration

3rd place            Lake Stevens Journal, Relay For Life



Feature Writer of the Year: Kelly Moore, Liberty Lake Splash

News Writer of the Year: Warren Kagarise, Issaquah Press

Sportswriter of the Year: Colter Nuanez, Daily Record, Ellensburg

Photographer of the Year: Chad Coleman, Bellevue Reporter


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Dancing with the Steers, Darla Hussey and Josh Crosier, Othello Outlook






Early morning fire engulfs Olympic Theatre
Lonnie Archibald, Forks Forum 





2010 BNC Winners  

The 2010 contest drew 2,491 entries from 77 newspapers and was judged by Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. A total of 587 awards were presented on Oct. 1, 2010, in Wenatchee at the 123rd annual WNPA Convention. 


Download the winners' list as a spreadsheet or as a PDF.


The 2010 AD OF THE YEAR Award went to Terry Hamberg and Deanna Plesha of the Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Cle Elum.



First Place: Issaquah Press, Debbie Berto, Publisher
Second Place: Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle, Roger Harnack, Publisher
Third Place: Northern Kittitas County Tribune, Jana Stoner, Publisher



Circulation Group I (up to 2,500 circulation)
First Place:  Ferndale Record, Mike Lewis, Publisher
Second Place: The Islands' Sounder, Eastsound, Elyse Van den Bosch, Publisher
Third Place: Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune, Oroville, Bill Forhan, Publisher


Circulation Group II (circulation 2,501-5,000)
First Place: Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, Daralyn Anderson, Publisher
Second Place: Stanwood/Camano News
Third Place: Camas-Washougal Post-Record, Mike Gallagher, Publisher


Circulation Group III (circulation 5,001-12,000)
First Place:  Sequim Gazette, Sue Ellen Riesau, Publisher
Second Place: Peninsula Gateway, Gig Harbor, George LaMasurier, Publisher
Third Place: Chinook Observer, Long Beach, Matt Winters, Publisher


Circulation Group IV (circulation 12,000+)
First Place:  Port Orchard Independent, Rich Peterson, Publisher
Second Place: The Herald, Puyallup, George LaMasurier, Publisher
Third Place: Samammish Review, Debbie Berto, Publisher



Miles Turnbull Master Editor/Publisher Award

Walter C. Woodward
Freedom's Light Award

Dixie Lee Bradley Award


For outstanding commitment
and achievement 

These awards are presented during WNPA conventions, at the discretion of the WNPA Board of Trustees.


Miles Turnbull Master Editor/Publisher Award
Past Honorees 


The WNPA Board of Trustees created the Master Editor/Publisher Award in 1993 to honor an active editor or publisher who has worked hard and unselfishly and made a significant contribution to his or her newspaper, community and state, as well as to WNPA. Selection criteria also include service to a free press or freedom of information and to the cause of community newspapers.


In 1994 the Board of Trustees renamed the award in recognition of Miles Turnbull, who died during that year. Miles was a quintessential community newspaper publisher, a past president of WNPA and former WNPA executive director.


Recipients receive a plaque and is are memorialized on the WNPA companion plaque that lists all honorees. 


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Walter C. Woodward Freedom's Light Award

Past Honorees


The Freedom's Light was created by Washington Newspaper Publishers Association in 1995 to honor individuals who have protected or advanced the First Amendment in Washington state, a critical aspect of which is access to public information.

In 2008 this award was renamed in honor of the 1998 recipient, Walter Carlson Woodward. Woodward, publisher of the Bainbridge Island Review during World War II, made journalism history with his passionate, eloquent stand against the internment of 240 of his Bainbridge Island neighbors during the early months of World War II. Their only "crime" was their Japanese ancestry.


As the rest of America, and virtually every other journalist, watched silently, a total of 110,000 Japanese Americans living along the West Coast were rounded up and jailed in prison camps scattered around remote areas of the West for the duration of the war. Woodward editorialized against this injustice and published regular reports from his neighbors imprisoned in the internment camp in Manzanar, Calif. Woodward and Millie, his wife and close business partner, owned the Review from 1940 to 1963. Millie Woodward died in 1999, and Walt Woodward in 2001.


The Walter C. Woodward Freedom's Light Award recognizes a person who has been unwavering in his or her support and practice of the First Amendment. It honors someone who not only believes in the freedom of the press, but who has worked hard and consistently to protect and advance it.


In addition to Woodward, it has been presented to attorneys and elected officials who have devoted their careers to protecting public access to government proceedings.


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Dixie Lee Bradley Award


Past Honorees 


Dixie Lee Bradley served members for 45 years as associate director of WNPA. This award, conceived in 1996, symbolizes her devotion to and passion for community newspapers. It recognizes newspaper staff members who work long and hard, often behind the scenes, to see that the best possible community newspaper is produced and distributed each week.


Among the selection criteria is a demonstrated record of consistent, quality work over a considerable time period in any facet of the community newspaper industry, from production and circulation through front office support. Staff members in positions such as photographer and advertising sales are not eligible because these people can be recognized in WNPA's Better Newspaper Contest.

Winners receive an engraved clock and a cash prize of $500. The nominating newspaper and WNPA each contribute $250 to the award. 


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  • 2013   Mike Dillon, Pacific Publishing Co., Seattle
  • 2012   Sue Ellen Riesau, Sequim Gazette
  • 2011    Manfred Tempelmayr, Sound Publishing Inc.
  • 2010    No award given
  • 2009    Dave Pinkham, Stanwood/Camano News
  • 2007    John L. Fournier Jr., publisher, Prosser Record-Bulletin,
                Grandview Herald
  • 2006    Ted Grossman, editor, Islands' Sounder, Eastsound
  • 2005    Scott Wilson, publisher, Port Townsend-
                Jefferson County Leader
  • 2004    No award given
  • 2003    Deborah L. Berto, publisher, Issaquah Press
  • 2002    No award given
  • 2001    Jerry Robinson, Robinson Newspapers
  • 2000    Jane Meyer, general manager, Mercer Island Reporter
  • 1999    Thomas C. Taylor, publisher, Peninsula Gateway, Gig Harbor
  • 1998    James Flint, publisher, Toppenish Review, Wapato Independent
  • 1997    Jeffrey G. Fletcher, publisher, Grant County Journal, Ephrata
  • 1996    Henry G. Gay, publisher, Shelton-Mason County Journal
  • 1995    John E. Andrist, co-publisher, Omak-Okanogan
                County Chronicle
  • 1994    Frank W. Garred, co-publisher, Port Townsend-
                Jefferson County Leader
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  • 2013    Frank Chopp, State Representative (43rd District), Seattle
  • 2012    Rowland Thompson, Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington   
  • 2011    No award given
  • 2010    No award given
  • 2009    Frank Garred, former publisher of Port Towsend-
                Jefferson County Leader
  • 2008    Justice Richard B. Sanders, State Supreme Court
  • 2007    Lynn Kessler, State Representative, Hoquiam
  • 2007    Rob McKenna, Washington Attorney General
  • 2006    Toby Nixon, State Representative, Kirkland
  • 2005    No award given
  • 2004    Judge C. Kenneth Grosse, Washington Court of Appeals
  • 2003    Ronal Serpas, Chief, Washington State Patrol
  • 2002    Adam Kline, State Senator, Seattle
  • 2001    Clyde Ballard, Speaker of the House
  • 2000    Brian Sonntag, State Auditor
  • 1999    Michael Killeen, Davis Wright Tremaine
  • 1998    Walt C. Woodward, former publisher and editor,
                Bainbridge Island Review
  • 1997    Former U.S. House Speaker Thomas Foley
  • 1996    Retired Chief Justice James A. Andersen
  • 1995    Cal Anderson, State Senator, Seattle
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  • 2011  Linda Chittim, Beacon Publishing, Mukilteo
  • 2010  Lavonne Saunders, Ritzville-Adams County Journal
  • 2008  Patti Rydeen, Stanwood/Camano News
  • 2007  Rhonda Dicksion, Monroe Monitor/Valley News
  • 2005  Marilyn Bardin, Methow Valley News, Twisp
  • 2004  Betty Grewell, Port Townsend-Jefferson County Leader
  • 2001  Renné Duke, Monroe Monitor/Valley News
  • 2000  JoAnn Anderson, Cashmere Valley Record
  • 1998  Nellie Williams, Whidbey News-Times, Oak Harbor
  • 1997  Elizabeth Widel, Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle

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© 2012 Washington Newspaper Publishers Association