National newspaper group recognizes the LVN

The National Newspaper Association awarded former LVN reporter Christina Kuklica first place for her 2015 breaking story on teen suicide.

The National Newspaper Association awarded former LVN reporter Christina Kuklica first place for her 2015 breaking story on teen suicide.

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The Lahontan Valley News produced five national winners in the Better Newspaper Contest administered by the National Newspaper Association.

Established in 1885, NNA is the voice of America’s community newspapers and is the one of the largest newspaper associations in the country. The LVN competed with newspapers with circulations between 3,999-6,000.

There were 1,436 entries in the Better Newspaper Editorial Contest and 316 entries in the Better Newspaper Advertising Contest for a total of 1,752 entries. A total of 470 awards were won by 151 member newspapers in 39 states.

Judging was performed primarily by active community newspaper editors and publishers, as well as retired university journalism professors and retired or former newspaper professionals.

Former LVN education report Christina Kuklica won first place on her article, “Community grieves for young life lost,” a breaking news story about a young girl who took her own life. Kuklica followed up on the story with more of an in-depth article five months later on the suicide and how communities may help those who feel “there is no way out.”

Wrote the judge: “Fantastic. Something about this particular youth tragedy struck me more. Quotes were appropriate, brief, telling and punctual. I also felt there was a great transition into information to try and avoid another tragedy like this one.“

The LVN received an honorable mention in Best Feature Series for newspapers 6,000 and below in circulation.

The presentation was awarded to both LVN Editor Steve Ranson and page designer Laci Thompson.

For three days, Ranson and navigator Charlote LaCombe, a Nevada history buff, crisscrossed Nevada to drive more than 1,000 miles to visit as many as 10 of 14 state historical markers in Northern Nevada. The rules of the contest sponsored by Travel Nevada called for travelers to visit a minimum of 10 markers in either Northern or Southern Nevada and then take a photograph selfie in front of the marker. Their travels took them across U.S. Highway 50 to Ely and then south to the Ward Charcoal Ovens. From there they maneuvered their Jeep Wranger up U.S. Highway 93 A to Wendover and across Interstate 80 to Reno. In Elko, though, one of the stops included Lamoille.

What followed was a story of some of the interesting people found along the route and a recap of their stops for the Travel Nevada requirements.

According to the judge, the article and sidebar were “Fun! Well told and beautifully presented in bite-sized pieces and well laid out page.”

In addition to printed articles, the travelers sent information to a following audience by both Facebook and Twitter and had a loyal following of more than 200 people following their quick Nevada trip.

Ranson and Thompson also teamed up for another honorable-mention piece, “Bringing History Back to Life” in the Best Photo Essay category. Ranson wrote about Bodie, California, an old mining camp from the mid- to late-1800s where volunteers are working feverishly trying go save it. Thompson took the photos and used a sepia tint to give them a rustic look from more than 100 years ago.

“Lovely layout and beautiful presentation of this story, warrants commendation,” said the judge.

In Best Editorial, Ranson earned honorable mention on the topic, “Teens & Driving.” The judge said, “Good points and well defended. Topic is of interest in almost any community. Nice work.”

LVN’s editorial pages also won honorable mention.

“Hard-hitting editorials. Like how these writers call it as they see it,” said the judge. “Great skill in sharing their opinions on issues.”


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