Monday, September 18, 2006

Graber does it again; Press ME captures two of three MPA photography awards

Serving as both general manager (essentially publisher) and managing editor of The Carthage Press would be more than most people can handle, but Ron Graber, a veteran of more than 14 years at The Press, remains the top newspaper photographer in the area and one of the best in the state (he also is an award-winning investigative reporter).
Graber captured two of the three top photograph awards for smaller daily newspapers in the annual Missouri Press Foundation Better Newspaper Contest.
Graber took first place for Best News Photo and Best Sports Photo. This is either the third or fourth time, if memory serves correctly, that Graber has won at least two of the three categories.
I was fortunate enough to work with Ron for nearly seven years, during which time his photos helped to dramatically increase the impact of my writing and that of other reporters on the Press staff.
The Press also took a third place award in the general excellence category in the medium sized newspaper category, finishing behind only the Columbia Missourian and the Branson Daily News.

Other area results compiled from the Better Newspaper Contest list posted on the Missouri Press Association website include:

General Excellence- Class 1- 1. Neosho Daily News, HM Nevada Daily Mail; Class 3- 3. Joplin Globe; Class 4- 3. Springfield News-Leader
Best Newspaper Design- Class 1- 2. Neosho; Class 2- 3. Springfield
Best Front Page- Class 1- 2. Neosho Daily News
Best News Story- CLass 1- 2. Neosho Daily News, Rick Rogers; Class 2- 2. Joplin Globe, Wally Kennedy; HM Joplin Globe, Jeff Lehr; Class 3- 1. Springfield News-Leader, Matt Wagner
Best Feature Story- Class 2. 1. Joplin Globe, Derek Spellman; HM Joplin Globe, Sadie Gurman
Best News or Feature Series- HM Nevada Daily Mail, Scott Moyers
Best Editorial- Class 1- 1. Neosho Daily News; 2. Neosho Daily News; 3. Neosho Daily News
Best Humorous Columnist- 3. Mike Pound, Joplin Globe
Best Feature Photo- Class 1- 3. Buzz Ball, Neosho Daily News; HM Buzz Ball, Neosho Daily News
Best Sports Photo- Class 2- HM T. Rob Brown, Joplin Globe
Best Photo Illustration- Class 2- 3. Dean Curtis, Springfield News-Leader; HM Dean Curtis, Springfield News-Leader
Best Photo Package- Class 1- 2. Rick Rogers, Neosho Daily News; Class 2- 3. Bob Linder, Springfield News-Leader; HM Roger Nomer, Joplin Globe
Best News Content- Class 1- 2. Neosho Daily News; Class 2- 3. Joplin Globe, HM Springfield News-Leader
Community Service- HM- Neosho Daily News
Best Editorial Page- Class 1- 1. Neosho Daily News, Class 2- 2. Springfield News-Leader, 3. Joplin Globe
Best Sports Page- Class 1- 3. Neosho Daily News; Class 2. 3. Springfield News-Leader
Best Sports News Story or Package- Class 1- 3. Cody Thorn, Neosho Daily News; Class 2- 2. Kyle Neddenriep, Springfield News-Leader
Best Sports Feature Story- Class 2- HM Karry Booher, Springfield News-Leader
Best Investigative Reporting- Class 1- 2. Neosho Daily News
Best Business Story- Class 2- 3. Springfield News-Leader
Best Coverage of Government- HM- Neosho Daily News
Best Story About Religion- 2. Linda Leicht, Springfield News-Leader
Best Story About Education- HM- Steve Koehler, Springfield News-Leader
Best Story About History- 2. Wally Kennedy, Joplin Globe
Best Online Newspaper- 2. Springfield News-Leader; HM Joplin Globe


Anonymous said...

But there was no mention in the Carthage Press of the awards. Did you overlook that, Randy, or did I?

Randy said...

I knew I had not seen any mention on the Press website, but I only get to see print editions every once in a while and I have not seen any of them since the awards were announced. I just figured there had been some mention in the print edition.

Anonymous said...

Well, I would think that your criticism would be even and fair, since you have continually blasted the Globe for not printing their results.

Randy said...

You cannot make any legitimate comparison between Globe editors not giving their reporters recognition for their awards and The Carthage Press not printing its MPA awards (if that is the case).
If The Carthage Press did not print its awards, the decision was made by Ron Graber, and he was the one who won the only individual awards earned by the newspaper. It is a big difference deciding not to publicize your own accomplishments and purposely not giving recognition to talented, hard-working employees.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Not to belittle Graber, who is an excellent shooter, but do keep in mind that due to the classes -- his photos are in competition with other smaller daily newspapers. Smaller dailies typically have just one pro shooter, if that. Most of the smaller daily shooters are at an earlier point in their career. I realize Graber is an exception to that rule to his vast experience. His consistency in the MPA awards has also been noted and most impressive.

Back to my earlier point: Metros include large staffs like the Kansas City Star and the St. Louis Post Dispatch with more than a dozen professional shooters each (not to mention a group of photo editors who are experts at cropping and toning their images, a managing editor for photography and an assistant managing editor for photography, both of whom are pro shooters) -- they shoot a lot more photos (as a whole staff) and have a lot more to choose from for their award entries. Their departments have more planning time, better direction, and a more coordinated effort than medium to smaller dailies. They also have access to more hard news, crime and things that might often be quite rare in a town the size of Joplin.

Each newspaper is allowed to enter a maximum of four photographs from its entire staff per category (with the exception of photo pages, where an entire series counts as one entry).

This means there are eight major metro photos to compete with (just counting the Star and the Dispatch alone), each with hardcore veteran shooters with more than 20 years experience who have covered pretty much everything under the sun and have won many major awards that make the Missouri Press Association awards seem meek in comparison. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the MPA and its contest is possibly the best state competition in the Midwest.

Throw in the Springfield News-Leader, Columbia Daily Tribune, St. Joseph News-Press and possibly one other (I think Cape Girardeau floats back and forth) -- and you have many shooters vying for just three places and a possible honorable mention.

Even a lowly honorable mention against the metro competition means your work beat out several of the top photographers in the state -- which in, of itself, is an accomplishment.