WHEATLAND – The Platte County Record-Times was named the best small weekly newspaper in Wyoming at the annual Wyoming Press Association (WPA) convention held virtually this past weekend. After more than a century of being in print, the Record-Times received first place in General Excellence for the year 2020.
General Excellence, was judged this year by the staffs at newspapers belonging to the Montana Newspaper Association. Newspapers are split up into different categories based on size: dailies, large weeklies (those with a circulation of over 2,500) and small weeklies. The Record-Times is in the small weeklies category, the largest competition with 25 newspapers from across the state. It is judged on a point system for news, feature, sports and family life writing, use of photos, advertising design and typography (including page layout, headlines and readability). The award comes with a traveling trophy and a permanent plaque along with the privilege of carrying, “Award-Winning Wyoming Newspaper 2020,” in the masthead which goes only to newspapers winning first-place awards.
But that’s not all. The Record-Times also won second place for Editorial Leadership for editorials written by journalist Mark DeLap. Editorials are judged on literary excellence, insight, scope, suitability and timeliness. They are judged by the winners of the NNA’s Better Newspaper Contest editorial writing awards. Rounding out the major awards won for the county, the Guernsey Gazette won first place in Advertising Excellence. Advertising is judged on design and layout, creativity and impact, selection of type and use of illustrations.
In addition, awards were won for the Pacemaker contest where individuals may submit their work to be judged separately. DeLap won second place for General News Story for his article, “Long-term structural market shift.” An article about the closing of BNSF in Guernsey. He also won second place for Sports News for his football story, “Bulldogs bust Broncos for homecoming” and Honorable Mention for “Hard hitting vision by women with padded gloves.” Lastly, he won second place in the Portrait/Personality photo contest for a photo featuring a young girl with her steer at the 4-H fair.
The Record-Times was additionally awarded second place for the best website, www.pcrecord-times.com. DeLap was also nominated in the state of Wyoming for the Veteran Journalist of the Year award for 2020 and his publisher and nominator, Rob Mortimer from Wyoming Newspapers, Inc. said, “Mark joined our editorial staff in November 2019, and made an immediate impact. Whether it’s covering a late-night fire or and early morning cross-country practice, Mark is there, gathering the story (even while running alongside the cross-country team.) The coverage of Platte County under Mark’s guidance has improved immensely, and our readers have taken notice. Almost on a weekly basis, we receive comments from the public about how much they enjoy reading Mark’s writings, and seeing him around the county. Mark has developed a great working relationship with members of the community, businesses and colleagues and has become a ‘go-to’ for those in the community who want to get a story or word out. Being recognized by your peers is a true testament to the staff we have at the Record-Times and the work they put in,” said Record-Times and Guernsey Gazette publisher, Mortimore. “As we’ve seen in recent years, Wyoming newspapers tend to lead the nation in good, quality journalism and for our staff to be among them speaks volumes. We are lucky to have hard working individuals representing the people of Platte County and sharing our news.”
The staff at the Record-Times is honored to be recognized for their hard work and dedication by fellow compatriots in the newspaper industry. And a special thank you to the community and people that make Platte County a phenomenal place to live, work and write about.