2019 MPA General Excellence Award

CHRISTIAN COUNTY HEADLINER NEWS EDITOR RANCE BURGER (right) accepts the Missouri Press Association 2019 General Excellence Award from Missouri Press Association Vice President Trevor Vernon (left) of Vernon Publishing, Inc. at the Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s North Kansas City on Sept. 28.


The Christian County Headliner News received a first place award for general excellence among all mid-sized weekly newspapers in Missouri.

The Missouri Press Association recognized the Ozark-based newspaper with 14 different awards at the 2019 Better Newspaper Contest. The Headliner News received first place in general excellence for Class 2 weekly newspapers.

Newspapers are judged on the breadth of news coverage, quality of writing, advertising design and layout, general layout, use of photos and artwork, editorial pages, front pages, sports pages, headline language and treatment of public notices. The judges conduct front-to-back comprehensive reviews of each entrant.

“Where to start? The quality of the writing, the creative headlines, solid sports and editorial pages. This paper serves its community well,” the judge wrote in recognition of the Headliner News.

Only six Missouri newspapers are selected for General Excellence Awards each year.

The Headliner News received first place in the category of best editorial pages, where opinion pieces and columns are housed each week.

“Honest and heartfelt writing and selections. If this is the personality of the paper, I imagine almost everyone thinks it’s likable, even those who don’t admit it’s respected. Nice work,” the judge wrote.

The Christian County staff, particularly Reporter Sydni Moore and Editor Rance Burger, were honored with a first place win for “best business story” for coverage of the announcement of Bass Pro Shops’ Finley Farms development and the relocation of the Riverside Bridge.

“I like the completeness of this coverage. It’s a project (projects) that will affect the community for years to come and I like the personal aspect of the story about the bridge,” the judge wrote.

Christian County Headliner News

2019 Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Contest Awards

First place: General Excellence

First place: Best front page

First place: Best sports photograph, “At the Plate” by Pat Dailey

First place: Best business story, “Finley Farms,” by Rance Burger and Sydni Moore

First place: Best story about agriculture, “Beetle Banishers” by Sydni Moore

First place: Best editorial pages

Second place: Best local business coverage

Second place: Best story about education, “Tunes of Change” by Rance Burger

Second place: Best story about agriculture, “Wicker Queen” by Sydni Moore

Third place: Best story about religion, “Cross Lights on” by Rance Burger

Third place: Multi-media reporting, “Air Force dad surprises kids” by Rance Burger

Third place: Best online newspaper or website

Honorable mention: Best overall design

Honorable mention: Best coverage of government

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