The Whitefish Pilot took home 21 awards and was named the best weekly newspaper in Montana for its circulation size at the Montana Newspaper Association awards banquet Saturday in Big Sky.
In addition to winning the Division 2 General Excellence award, the Pilot’s awards haul included seven first-place honors.
Pilot Reporter Daniel McKay won first place for best sports story for a story he wrote about the Bulldog boys basketball team beating the Loggers in a buzzer-beater. He also earned first-place honors in the best sports page layout and design category.
He earned first place in the best portrait photo category for a photo he took of Bernice Ende to go with a story about her book “Lady Long Rider.”
McKay also earned second place honors for best sports feature story, for best education coverage, best outdoor writing, best news photo and best portrait photo.
Pilot Editor Heidi Desch won first place for headline writing. In addition, she earned first place for best graphic for a graphic she designed to accompany a story about trees in the city.
Desch won second place honors for best news story, best continuing news coverage, best front page design, and best page layout and design.
The Pilot staff earned first place honors for best website.
Ad designer Brenda Ritter earned first place in the category of best color ad to sell or promote services, and ad designer Shawn Withrow earned second place in the same category.
Withrow also earned third place in the best sponsor page ad category, and second place in best marketing campaign.
Ritter earned second place in the best newspaper promotional ad category.
Ad designer Anna Mahlen earned third place for best marketing campaign.
The Pilot competes in the Division 2 for weekly newspapers with a circulation of between 1,250 and 2,000.