Saturday, February 03, 2018

Rural journalists win awards from Iowa Newspaper Assn.

Several rural journalists won top awards from the Iowa Newspaper Association Friday at its Des Moines convention, perhaps the largest of any newspaper association in the United States. Two publishers and a newspaper co-owner were named master editor-publishers, an award based on hard work, sound judgment, unselfish influence and an honorable life. Two editors received distinguished service awards for their contributions to their newspapers, their communities and/or the newspaper industry.

Doug Burns interviewed Barack Obama in 2007.
Doug Burns, co-owner of the Carroll Daily Times Herald and other papers, is “active in all aspects of his family’s newspapers,” his citation said. “He is well known as an outspoken advocate for rural Iowa  . . . few politicians pass through Iowa without being interviewed by him, and he is not known to throw softballs . . . He has acted as a mentor to countless young journalists.”

Paula Buenger, publisher of the Spencer Daily Reporter, was a reporter, “a sports editor in a male-dominated field,” and finally a regional publisher for Rust Communications of Cape Girardeau, Mo. “She is known for her penchant for innovation, commitment to community and her stable, reassuring voice in what can be a volatile business.”

Dodie Hook, publisher of the Akron Hometowner, “embodies the ethos of the quintessential small-town family newspaper,” her citation read. After 20 years at her hometown paper, she started a competing paper and “quickly became successful.” She has “a great relationship with City Hall” but “does not hesitate to remind her local public offices of the state’s open-meeting laws.”

Scott Spurgeon of the Bloomfield Democrat received a distinguished service awrad for his “involvement with athletic and extracurricular events,” and being “an active and passionate advocate for young people.” Don Dauterive, who is retiring from the Iowa Falls Times Citizen, got a DSA for “growing a newspaper division from representing one state to more than 15 states, all without a background in the industry.”

In the INA’s annual contest, general excellence awards went to the Carroll paper (small dailies), the N’WestIowa Review of Sheldon (large weeklies), the Dickinson County News (smaller weeklies) and the Prairie City News (smallest weeklies).

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