Tony Baranowski and Becky Schipper accepted the General Excellence award on behalf of the Ackley World Journal during the 2019 INA Convention and Trade Show Awards Banquet took place Friday, February 8. (Photo by Michael Watson.)

We love contest time! Another deadline is tough to add in the early fall when literally everything about running a newspaper feels full bore. But it offers an opportunity to review our work, take pride in it, and consider all we can be doing better for the next time around. Something we just can’t do enough of. Newspaper people, the best ones, anyway, are competitive. Because of that, we love to stand out in the incredible field of entrants in Iowa. So much quality work is being done here on a daily basis- to place in the top three in any category in the INA’s annual contest is a real achievement. And, as we all know, 2019-2020 has been an especially wild year in Iowa headlines.

My personal feeling is involving young and less experienced staff in the process of reviewing and submitting the best work of the year for your publication will inspire them to become better journalists, copy writers and designers. Sure, it comes with a price tag, but that’s nothing compared to the benefits the Iowa Newspaper Association provides to us every year. Supporting INA while competing for honors in the best newspaper state in the county is a no-brainer.

– Tony Baranowski,  Iowa Falls Times Citizen