Daily Times wins 7 awards in NNAF Better Newspapers Contest

The Daily Times staff
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Daily Times won seven staff and individual awards in the National Newspaper Association Foundation’s 2022 Better Newspaper Contest.

The Daily Times placed third in General Excellence in the Daily Division for the second year in a row. The first place winner was the Wyoming Tribune Eagle of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and second place went to the Sioux City Journal of Sioux City, Iowa.

"I'm proud of our staff and our layout team," Editor John Moses said of the wins. "We competed against some much larger publications, and I'm thrilled that our efforts were acknowledged."

Reporter Mike Easterling won first place for Best Non-Profile Feature Story for his feature article, "Fossil discovery helps unlock ancient mystery."

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"The reporter showed a tremendous ability to tell the story and paint vivid pictures in the minds of readers," a contest judge wrote. "From historical notes to modern day facts, no stone was left unturned ‐ literally. Incredible job."

The Daily Times was awarded first place in the Daily Division for a Front Page Design by page designer Sydney Clark. "Strong photo. Clean design," a judge wrote.

This layout by page designer Sydney Clark won First Place in the National Newspaper Association Foundation's 2022 Better Newspaper Contest. The photo was taken by reporter Noel Lyn Smith.

The Daily Times also won third place for Best Newspaper Website in the Daily & Non-daily Division. First place went to The Taos News, and second place to the Idaho Mountain Express of Ketchum, Idaho.

"Clean sections allow readers to get to the news," a judge wrote of the Daily Times website. "Nice, clear signs to which stories are for subscribers. Good news coverage. Nameplate somewhat understated."

Reporter Easterling and former staffer Hannah Grover won second place for Best Investigative or In-Depth Story or Series for a three-part series titled "Rebuilding San Juan," which revisited a May 2020 project that examined aspects of San Juan County's pandemic-damaged economy.

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Moses won second and third place in Best Editorial – Daily Division for two examinations of state policy in managing the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department. First place and honorable mention in that category went to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

"Solid editorial with a lot of good analysis and detail to give readers a clear picture of why this action is so wrong," a contest judge said of the CYFD editorial headlined "AG must review CYFD’s practice of destroying chats, records."

Organizers said there were 1,333 entries in the Better Newspaper Editorial Contest and 228 entries in the Better Newspaper Advertising Contest. There were 586 awards won by 92 newspapers in 40 states.

The Wyoming Press Association won the "Best of NNA" Award for fielding 81 winning entries, "beating out Iowa with 51 wins and New Mexico with 48 wins," the NNAF's news release said.

The contest was judged by community newspaper editors and publishers, as well as retired university journalism professors and retired or former newspaper professionals, the release stated.

The National Newspaper Association calls itself "the voice of America's community newspapers" and is the one of the largest newspaper associations in the country.

The NNA Foundation (NNAF) is the group's educational arm with a mission to "promote news literacy, protect the First Amendment, and enhance the quality, role and capabilities of community newspapers and community journalists," the news release stated.