Chieftain claims 10 awards in ONPA Better Newspaper Contest

This roping photo taken on July 18, 2020, was the winner of the Best Feature Photo award in the ONPA Better Newspaper Contest.

ENTERPRISE — Current and former staff members of the Wallowa County Chieftain received recognition in the annual Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

In all, the Chieftain won 10 awards, including four first-place nods, in the 2021 contest for material produced in 2020. The submissions were judged in Arizona.

Leading out the winners was reporter Bill Bradshaw for his piece “Dialysis: A necessary fact of life for many.” The article earned first place for Best Lifestyle Coverage.

Former reporter, editor and current WCC freelancer Ellen Morris Bishop won first place for Best Feature Photo for her roping photo taken July 18, 2020, during Mel Coleman’s annual round-robin rodeo. It was one of four awards won by Bishop.

Also getting first place was former reporter Steve Tool, garnering the top sports story of the year with his article “Coach of the year builds character and winners,” about Joseph boys basketball coach Olan Fulfer.

The final first-place award was for Best Page-One Design, highlighting layout work by former WCC designer Andy Nicolais.

Bishop, in addition to the first-place photo, earned second in Best Feature Photo for a shot she took of the comet NEOWISE as it toured the skies in July 2020. She also took third place for Best Feature Story on her piece “Enterprise students spark Holocaust, hate speech awareness.” An adjoining editorial by Bishop, “Battling the other pestilence that besets us,” won third place for Best Editorial.

“Discover Wallowa County,” the visitor guide put out by the Chieftain, won second place for Best Special Section or Issue. The Chieftain staff won second place for Best Editorial Page. And Bradshaw and Ronald Bond earned third place in Best Coverage of Business or Economic Issues with the article “Feeling the ‘freeze.’”

The Chieftain was placed in Group E for weekly newspapers.