Ardith Van Riper and Ken Luchterhand of the Hocak Worak attended the annual 165th Wisconsin Newspaper Association Convention and Trade Show on March 7-8 at the Madison Concourse Hotel.
The convention was an opportunity to learn new techniques in the ever-changing world of journalism, to make connections and renew old ones, and to honor the winners of the annual Better Newspaper Contest.
This year, Hocak Worak reporter Ken Luchterhand was honored with a first-place award for Feature (non-profile) writing for his September 29, 2017, article “Deputy makes a hoop dream come true for children.”
Also, Luchterhand received an honorable mention in Local Education Coverage for “Newly-formed club, Indigenous Students United, to help students with culturally-sensitive issues”; “Youth learn about culture and tradition at annual summer camp”; and “School mural created to emphasize the inclusion of all people.”
The recognitions were presented during the Better Newspaper Awards Banquet on Thursday evening.
Many seminars throughout the two days allowed attendees to improve their writing, investigation, social media, and photography skills.
At noon on Friday, participants could attend the Student Honors Luncheon in which Gov. Tony Evers gave encouragement to those professionals in the journalism field.
In the center area, copies of the winning newspaper entries were on display. In addition, the area provided booths for vendors and other newspaper services.
Breakout sessions included topics such as “Pushing Photography to Video,” “Solutions Journalism,” “Facebook and Instagram to enhance your storytelling,” “Profile Writing: Capturing the soul of your successes,” “Watchdog 101: Using open records laws to uncover secrets,” “Accessing Court Records,” and “Getting Your Photos to Pop Off the Page.”
The 2018 WNA Foundation Better Newspaper Contest included 2,799 entries from 121 newspapers. Eligible entries were published between Sept. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2018, and were judged by members of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. Each year, the entries are always judged by another state’s newspaper organization to eliminate the possibility of bias or prejudice.