Indiana newspaper professionals gather to honor excellence in news, advertising work


Indiana advertising and news professionals gathered in September to celebrate the outstanding work produced at newspapers across the state.

The Sept .13 Advertising Conference had a football theme and participants were invited to represent their favorite teams.. Dustin Brenton, Erik Bauber, and Kelsey Hardmen from the Daily Journal (Franklin) arrived in their jerseys.

HSPA’s annual Advertising Conference and Awards Gala took place on Friday, Sept. 13 at The Nest Event Center in Greenwood, Indiana.Presenters included the 2018 Distinguished Service Award honoree Pete Van Baalen and top ad sales coach and motivational speaker Ryan Dohrn who encouraged attendees to be focused and efficient in their relationships with clients.

After a day of workshops, conference goers attended the annual awards dinner which included recognition for the state’s top advertising designers: Matthew Haycraft of The Press-Dispatch (Petersburg) for Nondaily and Amanda Waltz of AIM Media Indiana for Daily Newspapers.

Indiana’s Top Sales Professional is Jane Barton of AIM Media Indiana. Barton and Julie Daiker of the Daily Reporter (Greenfield) shared top honors for Best Use of Graphics while Best of Show Publication honors went to Chad Sisk and Amanda Waltz also from the Daily Reporter (Greenfield).

After the Advertising Conference, attendees gather for the awards dinner at the Nest Event Center.

Kelly Nelson of the Parke County Sentinel (Rockville) was awarded Best of Show Ad for work titled, “Family Health and Help.”Former HSPA President Chuck Wells was given the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding service to the newspaper industry.

On Saturday, Sept. 14, news professionals arrived at the Nest Event Center for their annual awards lunch.Hundreds of certificates and plaques were distributed in recognition of excellence in writing, photography, design and multimedia.

A number of special awards were given including The Ray Moscowitz Award which was presented to Jeff Parrott of the South Bend Tribune in recognition for fostering the advancement of the First Amendment through his dogged coverage of the city’s public transportation system, Transpo

Suzannah Couch and Sara Clifford with their Story of the Year Award. The duo was honored Sept. 14 for “Addicted and Dying” published in the Brown County Democrat (Nashville).

Christopher Stephens of the Herald-Bulletin (Anderson) received the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Environmental Journalist Award

Gene D’Amado, president and CEO of the Trust presented the award to Stephens for his wide-ranging monthly series on environmental issues.

Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott received the Frank O’Bannon Sunshine Award. The honor, named for the late Indiana governor, recognizes outstanding efforts to protect and enhance the concept of open government.

The state’s Story of the Year award was presented to the Brown County Democrat’s team of Sara Clifford and Suzannah Couch for their work on the “Addicted and Dying” series. And the Photo of the Year honors went to Glen Werling of the News Banner (Bluffton) for “Children rescued from fire.”

Chuck Wells was honored with the HSPA Board of Directors Distinguished Service Award.
Jon O’Bannon presents Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott with the Frank O’Bannon Sunshine Award.









Nondaily Blue Ribbon Newspaper honors were given to the Brown County Democrat (Nashville). A judge noted the Democrat’s quality and variety of reporting. In the daily category the Herald-Bulletin (Anderson) took home top honors with a judge remarking on its great in-depth coverage and nice local sports and features.

Attendees watch as winners are announced during the 2019 Advertising Awards Gala Sept. 13 at the Nest Event Center in Greenwood.