The Grand Rapids Herald-Review earned recognition at the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA) 153rd annual convention this week.
The MNA’s Better Newspaper Contest judges entries from newspapers throughout the state for the best in a variety of categories from public affairs reporting and local breaking news to sports photography and use of social media.
In a new category this year, Herald-Review staff members Britta Arendt, Kassandra Tuten and Emily Carlson were honored for excellence in local and regional coverage of mental health issues. The newspaper won second place among all non-dailies in the state for strong coverage of mental health issues and how they affect families and our community. The stories entered included content published between September 2018 and September 2019 and featured news on hope found with behavioral health urgent care services; local collaborations; concerns among those living with mental illness; the Crisis Response Team; and inspiration from musical entertainment.
“We make a point to focus on issues in our community that require attention to promote awareness and understanding with the hope that we can work together to improve lives,” explained Herald-Review Editor Britta Arendt. “I’m proud of our staff for finding relevant stories and writing them in a way that inspires our readers to take action. I’m also glad that the Minnesota Newspaper Association chose to shine a light on work surrounding mental health this year. Mental illness can take many forms and affect people in different ways. It has touched just about everyone in some form. By giving it attention, we hope to fight the stigmas surrounding it and make it real for our readers so that we can find hope.”
This year, Arendt also won first place for best columnist for non-dailies (circulation 3,001-7,000).
“To win first place in this category means a lot to me,” says Arendt. “We take great time and effort to write meaningful, creative and entertaining staff columns each week. It’s nice to be recognized for my writing on a state level.”
MNA represents the hundreds of newspapers, dailies and non-dailies, throughout the state. For more information, visit www.mna.org.