On top of 34 awards and a trophy for Most Outstanding Weekly Newspaper in the Better Newspaper Contest organized by the Minnesota Newspaper Association, the Pine Knot News recently won two more awards from the Minnesota Society for Professional Journalists for 2020 work.
Competing in the category of newspapers with a circulation of under 50,000, newspaper page designer and reporter Mike Creger, editor Jana Peterson and other staff took third place in the category of Best Issue, for the entire issue from March 20 that focused on the rapidly expanding Covid-19 pandemic.
Peterson placed third in Breaking News Coverage, for her March 13 story package “Fond du Lac grieves mother, son” about the murder of pregnant mother Jackie DeFoe and her 20-month-old toddler, Kevin, along with the arrest of her boyfriend, Sheldon Thompson, who stands accused of murdering them.
Peterson said while the true reward of being a good newspaper lies in serving the community, the awards do show people how the paper measures up against other newspapers.
“Winning the MNA awards in January was unbelievable, but the SPJ awards are exciting because we went head-to-head with pretty much every other newspaper in the state except large Twin Cities papers,” she said. “I’ll take third place against those larger papers with more resources anytime.”
The Pine Knot News was started in October of 2018 and is the only locally owned independent newspaper in Carlton County.
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International Falls and Koochiching County has a new weekly newspaper, Rainy Lake Gazette. CherryRoad Media, which also owns the Cook County News-Herald, publishes the weekly broadsheet newspaper and regularly-updated online site.
“We want to keep printing the paper because we recognize that’s what makes it a newspaper,” said CherryRoad Technology CEO Jeremy Gulban. “There are people who want to put their hands on it and read it.”