Southern Utah News wins big at Utah Press Association Better Newspaper Contest

Over 711 entries were submitted in the Utah Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, where the Southern Utah News (SUN) team brought home eight awards in various categories. A banquet celebrating the winners was held on Saturday, May 21, in conjunction with the Utah Press Association’s annual meeting. Entries were submitted based on certain criteria for stories, articles and photos taken in 2021.

Southern Utah News office staff include (from left to right) Samantha LeFevre, advertising and sales; Megan and Neal Brown, publishers and editors; Larry Sorensen, layout/printing and Brooke Knighton, operations manager. Photo by TJ LeFevre.

The SUN won six first-place awards, along with a second place award for Best Feature Story titled, “Mayhem Coming to Kanab” highlighting the band Mothers of Mayhem playing at Balloons and Tunes, and a third-place award for the sports article titled “The Shot”, recounting the Cowboys basketball team upsetting the 4A Canyon View Falcons in overtime when freshman Kale Glover hit the game winning three-point shot to give the Cowboys the win. Jeremy Houston’s photo of “The Shot” won first place for Best Sports Photograph.


Another first-place award highlighted the pleasing prose of the great Jerry Melrose, reporting on Valley High School, and Jeremy Houston’s in-action photography featuring KHS athletes, winning the Best Sports Page. The SUN took home a first-place award for their Stories of Hope feature for Best Lifestyle Page for stories from Dane Glazier entitled “A walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death”, and Brooke Knighton’s article on the R.A.W. Foundation, based on five-year-old Kanab local Rawkee Hunt who has endured multiple surgeries and skin grafts due to a burning accident. Dennis Brunner’s legacy lives on with his entertaining and award-winning Pigskin Predictions, winning first-place for Best In-House Advertising Idea. If you haven’t participated, you’re missing out. It will kick off again with the start-up of football season.

Brooke Knighton (right), operations manager at the Southern Utah News, receives one of many first-place awards at the Utah Press Association’s annual awards ceremony. Photo courtesy of UPA.

The SUN’s final first-place award was for their old-fashioned news team Christmas card for Best In-House Self Promotion, where Publisher Neal Brown wrangled the news team into dressing up for the photo-shoot. Some of the group admitted to being way more excited to dress up than others.

The SUN’s Operation Manager Brooke Knighton attended the event to accept the awards.


Members of the New Jersey Press Association provided judging for the contest and said, “It’s clear what a huge amount of work our collective newspapers are doing all over the state of Utah and their communities.”


Utah Press Association Executive Director Brian Allfrey stated, “Providing the news is work that supports each community we serve. These winners are excellent examples of the talent we have in Utah. During the last two strange years, you have had a positive impact on your readers.”


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