The Chinook Observer was again named best newspaper of its size in Washington state during a virtual awards presentation Friday night.

This is the second time in four years the Observer has earned the top spot for General Excellence. It has usually placed in the top three for the past decade, in addition to winning Washington’s coveted Community Service Award across all circulation categories three years ago.

This year’s winning team members — including staff, columnists, contributors and designers — include Marlene Quillin, Ashley Nerbovig, Alyssa Evans, Aaron Mead, Luke Whittaker, Brandon Cline, Patrick Webb, Don Jenkins, Cate Gable, Ron Baldwin, Cory McKeown, Nick Nikkila, Jeff Clemens, Matt Winters, Lucy Kleiner, Allie Bair, David Campiche, John Wilkins, Wayne Downing, Madeline Kalbach, Sydney Stevens, Jane Webb, Bonnie Cozby, Lynda Layne, Randy Wrighthouse, Adam Drey, Martha Allen, Matt Vann, Andrew Renwick, John Bruijn, Kevin Weidow and all of our advertisers, letter writers and readers.

The award is based on an assessment by out-of-state journalists of two random issues during the year plus one selected by the newspaper. See links below to sample or download the issues that were judged.

Due to the covid-19 crisis, Observer staff did not enter individual award categories this year.

Earlier this month, several of the Observer’s sister newspapers in EO Media Group were recognized as best in their circulation categories in Oregon. The Wallowa County Chieftain, Hermiston Herald and the East Oregonian in Pendleton all won outright, and The Astorian took a second place in General Excellence. Our specialized agriculture publication, Capital Press in Salem, swept Oregon’s Associate Member contest.