Winner: Jim Shaw

Jim Shaw has been named “Best Newspaper Columnist” before, but this year the award means a little more.

“This has been a crazy year,” Shaw says. “I’ve never had a year when I’ve had so many wonderful comments and so many nasty, horrible comments from readers.”

Shaw explains it’s been “a rocky transition” going from a TV news reporter and anchor who delivers the news, to being a columnist who shares his opinions on events.

“Once you give your opinion, it’s a whole different world,” he said. “It’s a real honor and privilege to have this platform and I try not to take advantage of that. It validates the work and effort I put in. It makes me want to write more.”

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Second Place: Tammy Swift

Third Place: Don Kinzler

Fourth Place: Mike McFeely

Fifth Place: Tony Bender