The Graphic-Advocate wins 10 awards at state newspaper contest

Urbandale Police Officer Brady Farrington hugs his parents, Tina Meth Farrington and Rusty Farrington, in front of Palmer & Swank Funeral Home in Rockwell City. Brady Farrington’s friend and co-worker, Officer Justin Martin, was killed in the line of duty Nov. 2. This photo won the Best News Photo for Weekly Class II at the Iowa Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest award ceremony Friday night.

The Graphic-Advocate collected 10 awards at Friday’s Iowa Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest awards ceremony. All awards were in Weekly Class II, for weekly newspapers with circulation between 1,002 and 1,550.

Editor Erin Sommers won first place in two categories: best news photo and best slideshow. Her winning photo showed Urbandale Police Officer Brady Farrington, a Rockwell City native, hugging his parents, Rusty Farrington and Tina Meth Farrington, after helping to escort the body of his friend, high school classmate and fellow officer Justin Martin to Rockwell City in November 2016.

“(The photo) captured the awful sense of loss in the aftermath of the shooting of two police officers,” a judge from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association said of the photo. “I felt like I knew the expressions on these faces even though they weren’t visible.”

Sommers also won first place for a slideshow of photos from Martin’s funeral she curated and posted to the newspaper’s website. Sommers and other staff members from The Graphic- Advocate, as well as two Mid-America Publishing Company employees from the Ida County Courier, took the photos. Sommers edited the shots and selected which to include in the slideshow.

Read the full story in the February 7 edition.