First place: Staff, Journal Star

About this entry: The Journal Star’s special section about the Illinois River perfectly blends brilliant photographs with thoughtful articles to capture the spirit of the river.

Superb photography and use of infographics elevate this package of diverse and well-written stories that bring the Illinois River to life.

Second place: Staff, StarNews Media

About this entry: StarNews Media’s special food guide combines great layouts, delicious images and thoughtful articles into a wonderfully creative guide to all things merriment related.

Civil War: Loved the page design, illustrations and infographics, and the package on re-enactors. The entire section is very attractive.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry: This special section is right on trend with informative and entertaining food stories and appetizing layouts that provide a lot of energy and interest.

Third place: Staff, The Repository

About this entry: The Repository’s special sports section is both informative and fun to read with expert layouts, wonderful use of images and excellent sportswriting.

Well-executed, entertaining and unique packages on each of the HOF inductees. The reporting, editing, page design and graphics teams created a fine keepsake for football fans. Kudos for not underplaying the issues surrounding Junior Seau’s suicide.