Onida Watchman
AT THE SDNA convention, just after being awarded first place for best weekly newspaper website in the state are, Marileen Tilberg, editor, Amanda Fanger and Curt Olson, site administrators, and Gary Sosniecki of TownNews.com, the company that hosts the Watchman’s website.

On April 16-17, the South Dakota Newspaper Association held their annual convention at The Lodge in Deadwood. The Onida Watchman won several awards at the Better Newspaper Contest.

The Watchman’s website won first place out of all the weekly newspapers in the state of South Dakota. Site administrators are Amanda Fanger and Curt Olson.

“Tons of information on front page,” the judge’s comments stated. “Good placement of ads and clean overall look; very professional.”

In the category of Best Special Issue for weekly newspapers under 1,151 circulation, the Onida Watchman had submitted the Blunt 125th Keepsake magazine and received third place.

The judge’s comments stated, “A great publication. Enjoyed seeing local faces throughout… Hope you all had fun collecting the items to put this together; it shows a great team effort!”

Staff members who had worked on the magazine were Marileen Tilberg, Amanda Fanger, and Sarah Ramirez.

Darell Tilberg received third place in Best Sports Series for his coverage of the 2009 State B boys and girls tournament in the category of weekly’s under 1,151 circulation.

“Great Charger teams, well represented,” the judge’s comments said. “Good background included.”

In Best Spot News Photo for weekly papers under 1,151 circulation, Amanda Fanger received third place for her photo “Mutton Buster takes a hit.”

The judge’s comments said, “Definitely a unique shot! Great action. Sharp quality that captures the quick motion of the sheep.”

The Watchman had also entered multiple advertisements and Random Reflection columns in the Better Newspaper Competition, but the results are unknown. The contest pieces had been judged by a newspaper in another state and mailed back to the SDNA, however, they never arrived.

(This article originally ran in the Onida Watchman on April, 21, 2010.)