Perham Focus brings home four awards from state newspaper contest

General reporting, sports and "Rural Living" bring home the hardware.

Jared Rubado won two awards at the Minnesota Newspaper Association for his sports reporting.
Perham Focus

PERHAM — The Perham Focus won four awards at the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest held on Thursday, Jan. 26.

The Minnesota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest recognizes excellence in news writing, photography, design and advertising. Newspapers compete against others with a similar subscription base.

The Focus competes against other weekly newspapers with a subscription rate between 1,501 and 3,000.

Reporters collected a third place in the General Reporting category, to which the judge noted there was “great reporting” and “numerous local stories” that jettisoned the newspaper into the top three “among a very crowded field.”

From the left: Tris Anderson, Vicki Gerdes, Michael Achterling and Devlyn Brooks, representing the Perham Focus, Detroit Lakes Tribune and Wadena Pioneer Journal, smile with awards near the stage of the 156th Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Brooklyn Park, Minn., on Jan. 26, 2023.
Contributed / Nichole Seitz

The newspaper also shined in sports under the skillful hand of Sports Editor Jared Rubado. He collected awards in the sports feature category as well as for a sports story.


Rubado penned "'Let's Put On A Show' McCleary wins 1,600 title in dramatic fashion over future college teammate” to win a second - place award in the sports story category.

The judge commented the work done by the writer was “phenomenal” as he framed “the story around the rival runners” and “the riveting culmination of their storied prep careers!” The judge went on to say the “author impressively blended coverage and feature article elements en route to an immersive human interest story.”

Rubado also won third in the sports feature category with his piece titled, "'I'll cherish it forever:' Brian Ramos proud to bring state championship back to Perham." The judge remarked what a “really great piece” the story was, adding “I love the lede” it “makes readers feel like they are watching the story unfold in front of them. Great job.”

The Perham Focus also saw a second-place award in the special section category for its magazine, “Rural Living.” The judge noted the magazine offered “great stories” that told readers about “the ups and downs of rural living.”

"The MNA Better Newspaper Contest is a way to measure the work of our team in relation to other newspaper professionals across Minnesota," said Devlyn Brooks, Perham Focus publisher/advertising director. "While our team's dedication to community journalism isn't inspired by awards, these awards are well-deserved recognition of our people's professional growth each year. This is an exceptional team of journalists and sales professionals who are committed to telling our communities' stories. That means that our readers and clients are the true winners."

Perham Focus newsroom
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