Fab 5: Democrat wins 5th straight Gold Cup
Newspaper wins 29 state-wide awards in annual contest
The Cassville Democrat won a total of 29 awards, including 12 first place, en route to earning its fifth straight Gold Cup, the Missouri Press Association announced Saturday.
Staff awards dominated the first place wins with four, in Best Headline Writing; Best Coverage of Rural Life or Agriculture; Best News or Feature Special Section, for the Shell Knob tab; and Community Service, for the Democrat’s breast cancer issue and donation to the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks.
Editor Kyle Troutman won four individual first-place awards. He took top honors in Best Video, for video taken of the Drake Reese field goal and ensuing celebration at the Cassville football team’s win over Lamar in 2018; Best Story About the Outdoors, for his story on finding the source of Roaring River’s spring; Best investigative reporting, for his coverage of the events surrounding the three dogs shot in Eagle Rock in March 2018; Best Feature Story for his piece on Damien “Superbubba” Tarr’s battle with third-degree burns; and Best Photo Illustration, for his illustration in print ahead of the Cassville-Lamar contest.
Reporter Melonie Roberts earned a first-place award for Best Military Story for her coverage of letters sent to local veterans concerning a VA pathologist found to be impaired and who had misdiagnosed some patients. Troutman and Sports Editor Jared Lankford also earned a first-place award in Multi-Media Reporting for their coverage of the Wildcats’ win over Lamar.
The Democrat staff earned five second-place awards in the following categories: General Excellence; Magazine/Alternative Publication, for Connection Magazine; Best Online Newspaper or Website; Best News or Feature Special Section, for the Community Reflections tab; and Best Front Page.
Troutman earned one second-place award for Best Sports News Story or Package for his story on the Cassville football team’s singing of John Denver’s “Country Roads, Take Me Home” after each win in 2018. Troutman and reporter Murray Bishoff also combined to earn second place for Best Breaking News Story for their coverage of the rash of severe storms in the early morning hours of Dec. 2, 2018.
Reporter Jordan Privett earned a second-place award in the Best Story About History for her piece on the 144-year-old jail cell that was moved to the Barry County Museum in October 2018.
Privett also earned three third-place awards. She earned honors in Best Health Story, for her point-counterpoint coverage of medical marijuana proposals in the November 2018 election; Best Military Story, for her coverage of Veterans Day ceremonies at local schools; and Best Story About Rural Life or Agriculture, for her story on Bear Hollow Ranch and Rockford Grange property.
Troutman earned third place in Best Page Design, for his two-page design involving the Superbubba comic in the Aug. 29, 2018 edition; Best Story About the Outdoors, for his piece on Roaring River State Park Natural Resources Manager Joel Topham’s hiring; Best Sports Photograph; and Best Breaking News Story, for his work covering action taken by Cassville schools following threats made at the district and the Day of Kindness in April 2018.
An additional third-place award went to the staff in the Best Sports Pages category.
Privett earned the lone honorable mention award in the Best Health Story category for her coverage of the telemedicine program in its second year at Cassville schools.
The Democrat submitted 70 total entries in the state-wide contest, placing in 41 percent of all entries. Points are given for each award, and the Gold Cup is awarded to the newspaper which garners the most points in each division, which for the Democrat is the small weeklies division.
The Democrat’s Gold Cup win in 2015 is believed to be the first in the newspaper’s 148-year existence.
“It is an unbelievable honor to continue our streak as being named the best small weekly newspaper in Missouri year after year,” Troutman said. “We strive every day to bring informative, quality and entertaining news to our readers, and it’s always exciting to see our work rewarded. This honor would not be possible without operating in such an amazing community and the pride it takes in having the Democrat here.”