Verndale Sun, Independent News Herald receive awards for photography

The 2019-2020 Minnesota Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest was held virtually on January 28.

The Independent News Herald and Verndale Sun received four awards.

Ray Benning received two awards. He placed third in Photo Story for the Verndale Sun. The photo story “Orlando does it again...Three-time State Champion” was a front-page spread of wrestler Craig Orlando taking the state title. Judges' comments were: “This photographer knows where to look to get the shot—both in the thick of the action and in the moments of celebration.”

Benning also took first place in Feature Photo for the Independent News Herald for the photo “Todd County to be well represented.” This front-page photo was of four boys watching the Wolves wrestling match. Judges comments were: “What a great moment. This photo really tells an interesting little story that speaks to the larger story. Overall, it really invites the reader into the page. And I really like the composition with the wrestler’s figure pointing to the kids, and the layers this creates is really interesting.”

Trinity Gruenberg took second place in Portrait and Personality for the Independent News Herald. The photo “Not your ordinary graduation” was on the front page and portrayed the Bertha-Hewitt graduation ceremony. The judge’s comment was “Again, another reminder of what the Coronavirus wrought: the high school graduation, a happy time, done from a distance.”

Mason Jambor placed third in Sports Photography for the Independent News Herald. The photo “Safe or not?” was of the Browerville Little League team in action. The judges' comments were: “Generally, when covering sports, newspapers are focused on prep sports, but this is a reminder that great moments can be just as easily found in youth sports. There is a playfulness to this photo that made me smile. This photo is not only fun and brings joy, but is technically sound."


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