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INA banquet always inspires and reunites

As you maybe read Monday, Creston News Advertiser won four awards in the Iowa Newspaper Association's 2013 Better Newspaper Contests. A group of us attended the banquet Saturday evening.

The CNA won first place for best special section for tornado coverage in the first ever Sunday special section in the history of the CNA. It was a total team effort to get that Sunday edition out from editorial to circulation to production. I don't want to downplay that. It was a total team effort.

But, I'd like to praise a certain reporter for her devotion to the tornado coverage. Amy Hansen, now news editor for Osceola Sentinel-Tribune, put in major hours that week as a general reporter for the CNA.

She was there, on scene, the night of the storm taking photos and gathering information. She covered every news conference including the tour of Greater Regional with Gov. Terry Branstad and pumped out story after story that week.

And, sitting at the INA banquet Saturday, that was the common theme with every major award. A reporter or staff decided to go above and beyond to inform or entertain their community and its readers.

I love going to the INA conference.

You get the chance to see work from quality newspapers across the state. You start putting faces with bylines. You meet new reporters filled with enthusiasm and ready to conquer the newspaper world. You meet veterans you can tell have covered the big story, probably several big stories, and relate the principles of good journalism.

Also, I go as often as possible to the INA to reunite with people I've worked with or met over the years. I stood with Adam Wilson and Scott Levine Saturday. Both are former CNA employees.

Wilson was the sports editor at the CNA when I was a junior and senior in high school. Levine and I both worked at the CNA as sports assistants about a decade ago.

Levine won Young Iowa Journalist at the banquet. Read more about that in today's News Advertiser. It was great to see someone like Levine, who really is a jack of all trades in this business, win the award. It's nice to see him get recognized for all his hard work.

Another INA banquet in the books. Another year of opportunity to make improvements to the editorial pages of the CNA.


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