Democrat editor wins award from Missouri Press Association

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Troutman named ‘Outstanding Young Journalist’

In just over three months, Cassville Democrat Editor Kyle Troutman will accept one of the most prestigious state-wide awards from the Missouri Press Association (MPA) — a 2017 William E. James/Missouri Outstanding Young Journalist Award.

Troutman is one of two recipients, receiving the award in the daily category for his work at the Cassville Democrat and The Monett Times. He and Andrew Sheeley, of The Salem News, will receive their awards on Sept. 30, in Springfield during MPA’s 151st annual convention awards luncheon.

“I am beyond honored to have received this award, especially in the daily category,” Troutman said. “Without the support of my staff, family and friends, and the people of Barry County, this would not have been possible. Even in such a small community, there are great news, feature and sports stories to cover, and I am proud to be covering them and proud to be recognized for that work.”

Troutman came to the Cassville Democrat in 2014 after three years as a news reporter, sports editor and news clerk for The Daily Citizen in Searcy, Ark., under former editor Jacob Brower. In January 2014, Troutman became editor of the Democrat, and in July 2014, he assumed editor duties at The Times as well. Growing up in Little Rock, Ark., Troutman graduated from Little Rock Central High School, where he was managing editor of The Tiger school newspaper in his senior year. He went on to attend the University of Central Arkansas, where he was sports editor of The Echo; Central Baptist College, where he was a founding staffer and editor in chief of The Tower Times; and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he served as a reporter and news editor of The Forum and earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in print journalism.

Troutman also serves as the editor of Connection Magazine and Trout Times magazine.

“Kyle’s success in his three years in Missouri, coupled with the growing success of the Cassville Democrat and The Monett Times publications, is a testament to his dedication, work ethic and passion to bring local news and sports to a county of 35,000 residents and beyond,” Brower said.

Troutman’s duties include: editing stories; budgeting five papers, four daily and one weekly, and one shopper a week; managing a staff of three reporters, one sports editor and one designer; writing news and sports content; taking news and sports photography; uploading web content; managing all social media accounts, six total; and providing content for up to 8 special sections per year.

In 2016, Troutman embarked on covering a seven-man Barry County sheriff’s race, publishing 24 stories or questionnaires, sometimes three a week, on a wide range of issues during the primary and general election process. He also continued during this time his normal covering of crime stories, features, Cassville High School football and various state legislature stories.

Troutman’s impact on the publications has been proven over a few short years, as when he started in 2014, the Cassville Democrat’s website had just come off a 2013 with 349,511 total page views. In 2014, online readership increased by 36 percent, and it went up again by 23 percent in 2015. In 2016, page views ballooned to 655,155, 87 percent more than in 2013. Also in that time period, 42.2 percent of the page views were from new visitors to the website. Top-viewed stories show a similar trend, with the highest in 2014 getting 7,716 views, and the highest in 2016 getting 28,270, a 266 percent increase.

These numbers were achieve through Troutman’s redesign of the website, use of social media, Facebook and Twitter, as well as posting breaking news at any time, despite being only a weekly newspaper. Followers on the Cassville Democrat’s Facebook page have quadrupled from the about 1,000 when Kyle began, and the paper’s Twitter account has grown to more than 1,000 from only a few hundred.

Kyle’s work at the Cassville Democrat and The Monett Times since coming to Missouri has also not gone unnoticed by his peers. In the Associated Press Managing Editors weekly divisions contest for the years 2015 and 2016, he earned a total of 29 awards, including 7 first places.

In the Missouri Press Association contest for the same years, he earned 24 awards, including 9 first places and sweeping the investigative reporting category in both years for the Democrat. In those four contests, the Cassville Democrat has earned three Best Website designations, and has in each contest won the highest honors, two General Excellence and two Gold Cups.

The Monett Times has also won numerous best website designations, and a general excellence award in 2015. Troutman’s individualawards span news, sports, features, photography, agriculture, outdoors, column writing, business and government.

Winners of the William E. James/Outstanding Young Journalist Award have demonstrated excellence in the field of journalism and maintained the quality, ethics and standards of The Journalist’s Creed, written by Walter Williams, founding dean of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Editors or publishers submitted nominations for the awards, and the nominees must have been younger than 30 years old on Jan. 1, 2017. Troutman turned 29 in May.

The aim of the award is to reinforce the importance of a journalist’s role by recognizing and nurturing talent to further promote quality journalism.

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