In 2020, the Fillmore County Journal won awards in contests coordinated by the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA), Midwest Free Community Papers (MFCP), and Association of Free Community Publications (AFCP).
MNA is an organization representing all daily and weekly newspapers in 87 counties in the State of Minnesota. MFCP consists of weekly and monthly free and paid circulation papers throughout 11 states in the Midwest. AFCP includes daily and weekly newspapers and shoppers from all over the United States.
In late January of 2020, Journal reporter Rich Wicks attended the 153rd annual MNA Convention in Bloomington, Minn.
Wicks represented the Journal, bringing back five awards.
•1st Place – Classified Ad Section
•1st Place – Columnist
•2nd Place – Advertising Excellence
•2nd Place – Website
•3rd Place – Self-Promotion or House Ad
Midwest Free Community Papers awards
Before the coronavirus shut down events throughout the world, MFCP held their annual spring conference in early March of 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sara Schultz, an advertising sales representative with the Fillmore County Journal, attended the conference, bringing home 16 awards.
•1st Place – Best Grocery Ad (Rushford Foods, Preston Foods, Harmony Foods)
•1st Place – Best News/Editorial – Best Original News Story (Jason Sethre)
•1st Place – Best News/Editorial – Best Feature Story (Rich Wicks)
•2nd Place – Best Grocery Ad (Rushford Foods, Preston Foods, Harmony Foods)
•2nd Place – Best Cover Page – Glossy Publications
•2nd Place – Best News/Editorial – Best Original Feature Story (Hannah Wingert)
•2nd Place – Best Original Sports Story (Pailey Gordon)
•2nd Place – Best Original Editorial (Jason Sethre)
•2nd Place – Internet Site – Best Digital Ad Design/Banner Ad or Digital Ad
•2nd Place – General Excellence – For Papers That Carry News
•3rd Place – Best Grocery Ad – Separate Section (Rushford Foods, Preston Foods, Harmony Foods)
•3rd Place – Best Holiday Ad – Christmas
•3rd Place – Best Advertising Promotion or Special Section
•3rd Place – Best Cover Page – Newsprint Publications
•3rd Place – Best News/Editorial – Best Original News Story (Julie Little)
•3rd Place – Internet Website – Overall Website
Association of Free
Community Publications awards
The annual AFCP convention was originally scheduled for the third week in April of 2020 in Orlando, Fla., but was cancelled due to the coronavirus.
An ambassador of AFCP, enrolled in their Rising Star program, Taylor Case was scheduled to make that trip to Florida to represent the Fillmore County Journal.
Instead, AFCP made the annual awards ceremony presentation with an online video for all members to view.
Virtually speaking, Creative Director Taylor Case brought back 11 awards from the annual AFCP convention.
•1st Place – Single Ad/Grocery/Liquor
•2nd Place – Best Original Writing/Opinion
•2nd Place – Best Rate Card/Media Kit
•2nd Place – Reader Contests
•2nd Place – Best Original Writing/Column
•2nd Place – Best Website/Mobile
•3rd Place – Best Self Promotion
•3rd Place – Community Service
•3rd Place – Andrew E. Shapiro Cancer Awareness Promotion
•Honorable Mention – Insert Included Separately within Full Run
•Honorable Mention – Best Original Writing/Feature Article
In 2020, the FCJ team added 32 more awards to the wall, earning recognition in the areas of advertising, news and online presence. Since 2018, the team at the Fillmore County Journal has earned 94 awards from MNA, MFCP, and AFCP.
It takes a team to publish this newspaper every single week, and every member of the team plays an important role in that process.