County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Cleaver’s 3-Story Entry Makes Mark Among Peers

Just in Case You Missed These Prize-Winning Stories the First Time ’Round…



Cleaver Staff Writer

HARRISON – The Clare County Cleaver has been serving its readership for just a few months shy of 143 years – a long time by any business standard. Yet, without peer review, a newspaper’s efforts can seem truly ephemeral: here today, a memory tomorrow.

In 2023, Cleaver Owner/Managing Editor Angela Kellogg-Henry became intrigued with the idea of entering the Michigan Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. And anyone who knows Angela also knows she is not only a person of vision, but also a person of action. Thus, the hunt was on to dig out stories which fit into some of that competition’s categories. One of those was Government/Education News, awards for which would go to a writer or team for entries covering a government or education issue. Judging was to be based on news value, writing clarity and style, and depth of reporting. The stories submitted ran April 20, May 18 and June 22. (See links below)

Angela encouraged the submission of some Harrison Community Schools Board of Education articles, and she then submitted the Cleaver’s entries by the Oct. 6, 2023, deadline. Deadline…how very newspaper.

Then the wait began. The MPA farms out its contest entries to another state for review, and this year sent 2,849 entries from 89 Michigan newspapers and individual members to Pennsylvania Press Association members. So, it is understandable that completing the task takes considerable time.

Despite never having been through the MPA Better Newspaper Contest process before, Angela managed to wait with a mind packed full of positive possibility. Then – finally – the evening of Thursday, March 14 arrived, bringing with it the MPA Salute to Journalism Banquet followed by announcement of winners.

And, boy, were there a lot of winners! The contest includes various special award categories, along with more general topical categories: news, sports, photos, design, advertising, and more. These fall under Daily Newspapers or Weekly Newspapers in classes A, B, C and D, based on circulation volumes. Within each category are first, second and third place, as well as honorable mention.

That high volume of winners [23 double-column pages of them] wasn’t daunting for Angela, as she quickly homed in on the Weekly D Government/Education News winners [chosen from among 16 submissions]. And there it was! Third Place: Clare County Cleaver: “Despite Parental Outrage, Schools Persevere, Maintain Reasoned Discourse” Dianne Alward-Biery.

HUZZAH! First time out of the gate, and the Cleaver placed!

While it has been a joyful time in the office, it is lost on no one at the Cleaver that the newspaper’s success depends wholly on the diverse, invested community it serves. The Cleaver is grateful, and will continue its best efforts to serve its community for…well, who knows…maybe for another 143 years?

Articles in the series are linked below.

© Clare County Cleaver


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