MSN Wins Big at 2018 NAMPA Conference

You may have noticed a new logo addition to our masthead. Our publishers Bob and Janet Hunt returned from the North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA) conference in October with 11 — count ‘em, ELEVEN — awards in hand for our two publications (Montana Senior News and sister publication Idaho Senior Independent). Our papers were judged in the Class B division, for publications with 25,001-50,000 circulation.

Since the Hunts acquired the papers in 2017, staff has worked diligently to make improvements with overall design and written content. We are happy to say our efforts have really paid off.

Here’s a line-item report of how we ranked, along with the judges’ comments, for each category in which we placed.

1. General Excellence

SECOND PLACE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS

“The array of content here is really quite breathtaking. What reader wouldn’t be pleased to find more than four dozen articles under a wide range of topics from health and money to recreation, nature, travel, photography, fitness, nutrition, caregiving, entertainment, pets, recipes, home and lifestyle, Montana history and more. Uniformity in typography helps maintain consistency, and the writing adds personality and a strong sense of life in the West.”

2. & 3.  Most Improved

FIRST PLACE TIE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS/IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

“Montana Senior News switched its cover format from a newspaper to a magazine design. It certainly adds a kick to the overall look. In addition, content is better organized and set off with attractive section headers. The content remained largely the same, but new organization makes it easier to access.”

4. Column Review

SECOND PLACE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS (Book Reviews)

“Aaron Parrett’s book reviews are detailed and descriptive.”

5. Senior Issues

FIRST PLACE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS (“Montana’s Suicide Battle — A Major Health Issue,” by Maureen McInnis;  June/July 2018)

“Maureen McInnis writes clearly and compassionately about senior suicide.”

6. Briefs/Shorts

SECOND PLACE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS (“Lunch at the Great Falls Senior Center — A Best-Kept Secret,” by Aaron Parrett; “Why Do We Collect?” by Jeremy Watterson;  April/ May 2018)

“Parrett writes in praise of the burgers at the Great Falls Senior Center — it’s enough to make you head out for your favorite diner. Jeremy Watterson’s piece about collecting baseball cards — a way to recollect memories and hold on to a piece of history. Both are evocative articles and sure to appeal to others enjoying their memories.”

7. Personal Essay

THIRD PLACE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS (“Thieves,” by Ella Mae Howard; June/July 2018)

“These are four-legged thieves, not the usual two-legged scalawags, in this observational column about calves and cows and feeding time. It gives cows credit for a level of sneakiness not usually known — so it’s both fun and educational.”

8. Profile Entries

SECOND PLACE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS (“Helena’s New Mayor, Making History,” by Aaron Parrett; February/March 2018)

“Aaron Parrett introduces us to both Helena’s new mayor and to some of the challenges he faces in his new job. A nice balancing act.”

9. HOW-TO GUIDE

FIRST PLACE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS (“Fermented Dill Pickles vs. Vinegar Dill Pickles,” by Steve Heikkila; October/November 2017)

“Heikkila’s article about the two pickling techniques covers the topic thoroughly, from the how-to to the historic whys. Even if you never intend to practice pickling, this article is worth a read.”

10. Best Single Ad-color

SECOND PLACE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS (The Peaks)

“This advertisement, for an independent living business, is presented in a cool blue to reflect the name (The Peaks) and the location. The information is presented vertically, and the size of the elements takes us down the page.”

11. Website General Excellence

THIRD PLACE: MONTANA SENIOR NEWS/IDAHO SENIOR INDEPENDENT

“The rolling photos show off the broad [array] of content. The photo cropping captures your eye immediately. The page is clean, branded and organized. The categories of news are easily accessible from the strip across the top. The story promos are well written to tease readers.” MSN

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