By Carol Stiffler

At the first in-person awards ceremony since the COVID pandemic, the Michigan Press Association (MPA) announced winners of the 2023 MPA Better Newspaper Contest. For the second year in a row, The Newberry News was named Newspaper of the Year in the Weekly Class D category.

“We are excited and honored to receive the recognition,” said Steve Stiffler, publisher of the News. “Our small team works so hard and we really care about giving this community a quality paper full of local news and information. It’s very satisfying to know our effort shows.”

Members of the Pennsylvania Press Association reviewed nearly 3,000 entries for this year’s contest, representing work from 89 of Michigan’s newspapers and individual MPA members. State newspaper associations take turns evaluating each other’s work for these contests, which inspire journalists and publications to continually raise standards and do their best work.

In addition to the Newspaper of the Year award, Newberry News writers and contributors received the following honors: (In cases where a person has won twice in the same category, more than one article was entered and judged separately.)

Best columnist: Second place – Cossondra George, School culture series
Best editorial: Second place – Carol Stiffler, We’ll take a cup of kindness yet; Third place – Carol Stiffler, Howie’s girl
Best sports column: First place – Dan Hardenbrook, From the press box: A record-setting night of football
Best business/agriculture news: First place – Sterling McGinn, Fifty-five years as Newberry’s barber
Best sports feature: Second place – Dan Hardenbrook, UNFORGETTABLE; Third place – Dan Hardenbrook, The unstoppable Leah French
Best sports writing: Second place – Dan Hardenbrook, Indians win battle for the Little Brown Jug
Best feature story: First place – Carol Stiffler, A second chance at high school
Best newspaper design: First place – Lauren Burton and Carol Stiffler, July 19, 2023 issue
Best page design: First place – Carol Stiffler, For love and the game front page
Best digital presentation: Second place – Steve Stiffler,
Best digital ad: Second place – Steve Stiffler, ad for Oswald’s Bear Ranch

“This award is energizing,” said Carol Stiffler, editor of the News. “We aim to get better and better, raising our own standards while serving this area. A community needs a newspaper for so many reasons – an archive of local history, a method of accountability for local leaders, and a common place to get to know each other. I love that this is our job.”

Steve and Carol Stiffler are grateful to the staff for their good work, for contributing writers that sprinkle insight and entertainment into the paper, and to readers and advertisers who have supported The Newberry News for 136 years.