First place: Kathie Ragsdale, The Concord Journal
About this entry: Kathie Ragsdale’s columns wonderfully celebrate the changing landscape of our country and the people in it without being overly sentimental or trite.
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Elegant, observant writing that informs and uplifts without pandering to readers.
Second place: Thomas Boni, Crestview News Bulletin
About this entry: “The Crestview News Bulletin doesn’t shy away from controversial issues on A1 or the Opinion page. In From the Editor’s Desk, I add fair-minded perspective to issues we cover. The column is fact-based, addresses the division and aims to find common ground, which should always be the goal in newspapers serving small communities.” — Thomas Boni
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Boni writes in a calm, reasonable voice on hot-button issues — and they are no hotter than in a small town. His columns provide a sense of place and enlighten readers further by explaining how social media impacts public discourse and influences media coverage.
Third place: Kent Bush, The Shawnee News-Star
About this entry: Kent Bush’s columns are a great blend of commentary on American society, his thoughts on local issues and touching personal anecdotes and provide an entertaining and informative read for all types of audiences.
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Written in a clear-headed, folksy style with a good dollop of humanity and common sense. Judge was especially moved by the personal column about going to the movie with his adopted son.