The Forum wins top prizes in North Dakota Newspaper Association contest

The awards were given out during NDNA's annual convention in Bismarck.

Forum building exterior.jpg
Forum file photo

FARGO — The Forum took home the Sweepstakes Award for cumulative wins in the 2022 North Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspaper Contest, winning 24 first-place, 27 second-place and 17 third-place awards, as well as 17 honorable mentions.

The awards were given out during NDNA's annual convention May 6 in Bismarck. The awards were for work done in 2021.

Photographer David Samson won Photo of the Year for his photo of the West Fargo Packers cutting the net after the North Dakota Class A boys basketball tournament championship game.

West Fargo's Carter Birrenkott cuts the final strand of net to the delight of his teammates after the North Dakota Class A boys basketball tournament championship game at the Bismarck Events Center on Sunday, March 14, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

The Forum was also named the North SCAN Top Seller for ad sales.

Also at the convention, Forum reporter Barry Amundson was inducted into the NDNA 50-Year Club . Amundson began working for newspapers at age 16 and plans to retire this summer.


Steve Andrist, former owner of Journal Publishing and former NDNA executive director, was inducted into the NDNA Hall of Fame, marking the first time three generations of a family have been given such an honor. His father, John Andrist, and grandfather, Calvin Andrist, were inducted in 2000 and 1978, respectively.

Jack McDonald, longtime NDNA counsel, received the first-ever Jack McDonald Freedom Award, an honor named after him that recognizes a person or organization that demonstrates extraordinary efforts to preserve or enhance government transparency.

First-place winners

Reporting: April Baumgarten, " Not a mistake you're allowed to make "

Headline: Archie Ingersoll, " Burying the bayonet, Zip to Zap participant forgives soldier "

Government reporting: Jeremy Turley, " Lawmakers, observers say Peace Garden politics becoming toxic "

Feature reporting: Jeremy Turley and Adam Willis, " Baby's nearly fatal fight with COVID-19 signals new risk "

Editorial page: Forum staff.

Sports reporting: Carissa Wigginton, " ‘He always had a smile’: Former Bruins basketball player killed in crash touched many lives "


Sports column: Mike McFeely, "Gopher state great"

Picture story: Alyssa Goelzer, "FM Pride wraps up with a loud and proud parade"

Sports photo and portrait photo: David Samson, "Birrenkott cuts the final strands of net" and "Monarch Mama"

Gwen Erickson has a laugh as a female monarch butterfly lands on her cheek at her home in Moorhead on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. David Samson / The Forum

News photo and outdoor recreation photo: Michael Vosburg, "Larry Evans sentencing" and "Dancing in the fountain"

Laina Gunderson, 7, dances through the water fountains June 24 in Broadway Square, Fargo.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Informational graphics: Troy Becker, Tokyo 2020

Front page design: Emily Beaman

Standing news front and Section/feature front design: Marcy Nickel

Promo of community ad: Brenda Lawrence and Tim Couchman, Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity


Best digital ad: Dan Young and Tim Couchman, Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks

Small space ad: Jenn Phillips and Jamie Dettling, Fargo Public Library Tails and Tales

Ad series: Keith Harriger, Branda Lawrence, Andy Goble and Bethany Loida, Blow's Sew-n-Vac

Use of color in ads: Luanna Lake and Tim Couchman, Outlet Recreation Fall into Spring Sale

Apparel ad: Tammy Doyle and Tim Couchman, Kappy Shack promotion

Second-place winners

Feature reporting, government series and agricultural coverage: Adam Willis, " The last place on earth ," Watchdog coverage of ND's newly formed Energy Authority, and " Midwest pipeline: Test for ND's carbon capture goals hits snags "

Sports feature: Jeff Kolpack, " Amy's Army "

Reporting and reporting series: Patrick Springer, " Questionable business plans " and " System under stress "


Feature series, Business reporting and Personal column - serious: Tammy Swift, " Redefining women's work " and " 'A mini-Walmart' with a heart ."

Headline: Kaity Young and Dave Olson, "No gripes about grapes"

Best use of social media: Eric Peterson and Mike McFeely, NFL draft

Editorial: Forum staff, " Jupiter Paulson died because the criminal justice system failed "

Best website: Forum staff

Online coverage of breaking news: Forum staff, " 14-year-old girl stabbed more than 20 times during attack "

Best website, overall design excellence and general excellence: Forum staff

News photo, feature photo and pictorial photo: David Samson, "Bidding farewell to a friend," "Paying homage to the fallen" and "Rainy reprieve"


Front page design: Thayer Tessar

Standing news front and Section/feature front design: Becca Clemmens

Ag ad: Anne Malvin and the Creative Team, R.D. Offutt Farms

Outdoor/sports ad: Carli Greninger, WDAY Sports livestream

Signature ad page: Creative team

Single ad: Katie Hastings and Keith Harriger, Blow's Sew-n-Vac

Vehicle ad: Rachel Poser and Keith Harriger, Muscatell Subaru

Third-place winners

Feature reporting: C.S. Hagen, " It's about softballs ."


Spot news: Helmut Schmidt, " Lutheran Social Services of ND to close its doors "

Ag coverage: Tammy Swift, " Moorhead couple leaps at chance to raise crickets to make flour "

Personal column - serious: Tracy Briggs

Online coverage of breaking news: Tracy Briggs and Matt Henson, " Police say 7 dead in incident at south Moorhead home "

Sports page and special news section: Forum staff

Sports photo and ag photo: Alyssa Goelzer, "Cup claimed" and "How to start flower and vegetable seeds indoors"

Spot news photo: David Samson, "Officers take aim"

Feature photo and picture story: Michael Vosburg, "Ice-cold beats" and "End of an era"

Section/feature front design: Cindy Gilster, "Dishing out drag"

Signature ad page: Anne Malvin and Creative team, Fargo-Moorhead Christmas Church Serivces

Food ad: Katie Hastings and Keith Harriger, Dairy Queen $7 Buck Lunch

Single ad: Rebekah Ness and Keith Harriger, Muscatell Pre-Owned

Vehicle ad: Tasha Kenyon and Kevin Bauer, Northwest Truck & Trailer

Honorable mentions

Spot news: C.S. Hagen, "Mosque vandalized with hate speech"

Headline: Helmut Schmidt, " Having a ruff day? "

Government series: Jeremy Turley, " ND jails refuse to offer COVID-19 shots to inmates "

Feature reporting: Eric Peterson, "Ole hangs up the overalls"

Personal column - humorous: Tammy Swift

Reporting series: Tammy Swift, Laura Butterbrodt, Sam Easter, Mark Wasson, Keff Kiger, Alex Derosier and Matthew Stolle, "Great resignation" series

Feature series and sports feature: Tracy Briggs, "Where are they now?" and " Former Fargo elite skater reflects on loss of '61 skating team "

Sports reporting: Jeff Kolpack, "Night I'll never forget"

Outdoor recreation photo: David Samson, "Cross country skier"

Spot news photo and sports photo: Michael Vosburg, "Man drives burning van" and "Carter Zink"

Section/feature front design: Jason Magstadt, "Pixar's soul"

Front page design: Paula Chhetri, Jessica Gaden and Mark Merck

Small space ad: Tammy Doyle and Jen Strand, Bruggeman's SuperValu

Use of ad color: Tasha Kenyon and Jamie Dettling, Sunset Memorial Gardens

Angie Wieck is the business editor for The Forum. Email her at
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