First place: Staff, Hannibal Courier-Post
About this entry: “Hannibal suffered some major blows in a few short months including a surge in the homicide rate, expanded drug activity, etc. A general malaise had settled over the town, so the staff at the Courier-Post embarked on an innovative project throughout the month of December that combined audience interaction, print stories, digital work and more to drive a sense of home and belonging in a community that sorely needed it.” — Eric Dundon
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The staff of the Hannibal Courier-Post should be rewarded for their innovative use of both social and print media to connect with readers during a time of otherwise difficult news.
Second place: Staff, Lake Sun Leader
About this entry: “The Community Impact Awards were held to recognize five individuals from Lake of the Ozarks for their business and civic contributions. Over the course of about 3 months we solicited nominations from the community, and put together a panel of independent judges who selected the five recipients. Each individual was featured in Lake Lifestyles magazine and a party (open to the public) was held to honor the CIA winners. Throughout the process we promoted the awards through all of our print and online products (including website and social media). We also did a video about each recipient. We feel the project is innovative because we have given the community a platform to recognize these individuals for their contributions. It also shines a light on the charities they volunteer for helping inform the public about some very worthwhile causes within our community.” — Charis Patires
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The staff of the Lake News should be commended for using their role as a gathering place for community ideas to honor “movers and shakers.” Celebrating them at a party organized by the news organization helped this project really stand out.