Messenger outdoor column places in national newspaper contest

A 2018 outdoor column by Morgan Messenger contributor Wade Shambaugh has placed second in the National Newspaper Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest.

Judging results were announced on Tuesday, June 11.

Wade Shambaugh.

Shambaugh’s outdoor column “Everyday Outdoors” about West Virginia’s buck season won second place for Best Sports Column for daily and weekly papers with a regular circulation between 3,000 and 9,999 readers.

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

There were 1,303 entries in the Better Newspaper Editorial Contest and 207 entries in the Better

Newspaper Advertising Contest for a total of 1,510 entries. A total of 485 awards were won by 97 member newspapers in 36 states.

Iowa had the most combined BNC/BNAC wins with 63, followed by Wyoming with 61 and California with 47.

Shambaugh’s column was the only winning entry from a West Virginia newspaper.

The lists of winners are available online at under the Contests/Awards tab.

“The quality of entries is always inspiring and encouraging,” said judge Mark Campbell, editor, Azle News (Texas). “Exceptional journalism continues to readily be available across the nation, as evidenced by the strong writings I judge annually.”

Shambaugh’s column, on the traditions and memories of West Virginia’s buck hunting season, received this comment from contest judges: “A superior personal reminiscence column that certainly rang true with many – not only hunters.”

National contest winners will be recognized at the National Newspaper Association’s 133rd Annual Convention & Trade Show in Milwaukee in October.

The National Newspaper Association (NNA) was established in 1885 and is the voice of America’s community newspapers. It is one of the largest newspaper associations in the country. The Morgan Messenger is a member paper of the NNA.