The Daily Times Herald earned the 2013 Newspaper of the Year award at the Iowa Newspaper Association annual convention Friday night.
The Daily Times Herald earned the 2013 Newspaper of the Year award at the Iowa Newspaper Association annual convention Friday night.
February 11, 2013

The Carroll Daily Times Herald earned on Friday the Iowa Newspaper Association's Newspaper of the Year award, the most-prestigious honor the organization presents at its annual convention-and-trade show.

The Daily Times Herald edged out The Des Moines Register for the award, based on an accumulation of points for performance in news, advertising, photography and community leadership. The Register, Iowa's largest newspaper, captured the Newspaper of the Year honors eight of the last 10 years. The 2013 award marks the first time in 15 years that either the Register or Sheldon N'West Iowa Review, a well-respected weekly newspaper, have not won the award.

"A great newspaper has to be owned and run by people who understand the community, who have an affection for that community, and - most of all - who tell it the truth. And that defines the Times Herald." said Michael Gartner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the former editor of The Register and The Daily Tribune in Ames. "Congratulations for being named the Newspaper of the Year. You deserve it."

Members of the South Dakota Newspaper Association judged the contests of Iowa newspaper work in the past year.

The Daily Times Herald earned 93 points to the Register's 86 points. The Daily Times Herald won 34 Iowa Newspaper Association Awards, including 21 in writing categories and nine in advertising. Staff writer Jared Strong earned six awards, and co-owner/writer Douglas Burns collected four awards in editorial and writing categories. Production manager Beckham Miller earned the Best Ad Designer Award for small- and medium-size dailies in Iowa.

The Daily Times Herald collected the Best in Class award for small- and medium-size dailies.

The Iowa Newspaper Association presented the awards at the downtown Des Moines Marriott Hotel in what is billed as the largest single gathering of newspaper people in the United States. There are 300 members, including daily and weekly newspapers, in the Iowa Newspaper Association.

This is the first time The Daily Times Herald has received Newspaper of the Year honors.

Gov. Terry Branstad, who attended a Friday Iowa Newspaper Association luncheon, this morning said he understands the hard work associated with publishing a vibrant rural Iowa daily newspaper.

"I am pleased to congratulate The Carroll Daily Times Herald on receiving this honor from the Iowa Newspaper Association," Branstad said. "Having served on the board of directors of the Iowa Newspaper Foundation, I have had a long-standing relationship with the Iowa Newspaper Association. I know that this is a significant honor, and is one that oftentimes goes to larger newspapers, so it is of special significance that the Carroll Daily Times Herald earned this award. The people of Carroll are fortunate to have such a great resource in their community."

Brian Cooper, the executive editor of the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald and the longtime chairman of the Iowa Newspaper Association Contest Committee, said he was "thrilled" with The Daily Times Herald's win.

"It is a testament to local ownership, to commitment to the Carroll area and to investment in solid journalism and quality products," Cooper said. "The Daily Times Herald has a small-but-talented staff. Clearly, they go above and beyond to serve their readers, their customers and their community overall."

The Daily Times Herald has been operated by the Wilson family for 84 years.

James Rhodes of Newton purchased the Herald on May 1, 1929. James W. Wilson, then advertising manager for the Newton Daily News, was named the Herald's business manager and acting head of the Carroll property.

A banner headline on Nov. 7, 1929 announced the "Carroll Herald Goes Daily," and the newspaper adopted the slogan "The Only Daily Newspaper in an Inland Empire of Eight Counties."

The daily Herald won the circulation battle with the weekly Times, and in 1936 the Herald Publishing Company purchased the Times and the mechanical plants of the two newspapers were combined. They continued as separate publications for some five years before they were combined into the Daily Times Herald.

Mr. Rhodes died in January 1944 and James W. Wilson purchased the Rhodes estate interest later that year. He owned and operated the paper until his death in 1977.

James B. Wilson joined the newspaper operation in 1967 and became publisher after the death of his father. Ann Wilson became general manager of the paper in 1984.

The third generation of the family, Douglas Burns and Tom Burns, are now involved in the newspaper, Douglas in the news department and Tom in advertising sales. Their great-grandfather, Silas Wilson, served as editor and co-publisher of the Albia Union Republican, making the family four generations deep in Iowa journalism.

The Daily Times Herald earned the following Iowa Newspaper Association Awards:


Best Sports Page: First place

Best Feature Page: Second place

Best Front Page: Second place

Coverage of Government and Politics: Second place

Coverage of Agriculture: First place

Coverage of Business: Second place

Best Special Section: Second place, "Iowa Caucuses 2012"

Total Newspaper Design: First place

Best Use of Graphics: Third place

Community Leadership: Third place

Best Headline Writing: Third place

Best Blog: First place, Douglas Burns, Iowa Political Alert

Best News Story: Second Place, Douglas Burns, "There's a touch of madness about his eyes"; Third place, Jared Strong, "Dawn is gone"

Best Breaking News Story: First place, Jared Strong, "Attorney General botches kidnapping case, charges dropped"; Second place, Jared Strong, "Body found near Vail"; Third place, Douglas Burns, "Wall Lake icon passes"

Best Personality Feature Story: First place, Jared Strong, "Kenzie's crash, finding herself"

Best Series: First place, Jared Strong, "Kenzie's Crash"; Third place, Jared Strong, "Wade's Silent War"

Excellence In Editorial Writing: Second place, Douglas Burns


Best Sports Photo: Third place, Jeff Storjohann, "Carroll swimmers diving for success at state"

Best Feature Photo: First place, Jeff Storjohann, "Front-row seats for the celebration"


Best Newspaper Marketing: First place, Allison Sporrer, "Leap year subscription sale"

Best Ad Featuring Grocery, Food and Entertainment: First place, Marcia Jensen, Ike Auen Distributing Company

Best Ad Featuring Financial, Insurance or Other Professional: Second place, Jessica Rohe, Carroll County State Bank

Best Ad Series or Campaign Featuring Any Service of Merchandise Category: Third place, Marcia Jensen, Room Service

Best Ad Featuring Agriculture: Second place, Jessica Rohe, Carroll County State Bank

Best Web Advertising: Third place

Best of Class: First place, Marcia Jensen, Ike Auen Distributing Company

Best Ad Designer: First place, Beckham Miller; Second place, former Daily Times Herald staff member John Sigler