First place: Thomas Boni, Crestview News Bulletin
About this entry: “The community newspaper’s Opinion section should be completely local to best serve its community. The Crestview News Bulletin ensures all the section’s text, then, originates from North Okaloosa County, and that it focuses on issues our readers care about. We mix an editor’s column with local guest columnists, letters to the editor, and featured Facebook comments, providing a robust section for a weekly newspaper.” — Thomas Boni
Read online: Crestview News Bulletin Opinion
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These are truly excellent pages. Not only are they entirely local, but they leverage the paper’s social media presence to more deeply engage the community in discussing the issues that matter to readers. Much larger papers could learn a thing or two from this approach.
Second place: Francis Mulligan, Wareham Courier
About this entry: The Wareham Courier’s Opinion section offers readers wonderful local commentary, informative articles and an excellent platform for community voices.
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These pages feature strong local voices, editorials on subjects important to the community and a touch of whimsy to keep readers engaged.
Third place: Eric Dundon, Hannibal Courier Post
About this entry: The Hannibal Courier Post’s Opinion section offers expert commentary on both local and national issues from staff and also gives community members a forum to have their voices heard.
Read online: Hannibal Courier Post Opinion
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These pages offer a nice mix of national political points of view and local voices. Including more of the paper’s staff editorials – which are a strong suit – would have made for an even more compelling entry.