ONTARIO — The Argus Observer brought home some awards for the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association Advertising and Editorial Contests for newspaper content in 2020. The awards were announced virtually in September.

Managing Editor Leslie Thompson and her newsroom team brought home four honors in the group competing against the second-largest newspaper circulations across the state.

Thompson won third place for Best Editorial for her opinion piece about how it appeared the city of Ontario was letting a local recreational marijuana dispensary buy its way out of trouble while at the same time enforcing residency rules for one of its police officers. 

The newsroom squad also pulled two second-place awards.

The first was for Best News Photo. Former reporter Nik Streng earned that award for a photo of a jam-packed crowd in the bleachers at the Payette Rodeo in the summer of 2020. Although it was amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of attendees did not wear masks.

The other second-place win was Streng's timely experiment on bacteria grown on Redbox DVDs that was published in the first couple weeks of the quarantine. 

This included a follow up article on April 10 about how Redbox would take steps to protect its customers. 

Our newsroom (with an assist from Wick Digital) also earned another second place for Best Overall Website

“We all know how important our website presence is for the future of our company, so this honor is particularly impressive,” said Publisher Brad Bailey.

On the advertising side, the Argus Observer came away with first place for our special section, Creative Kids. 

“Overall it was a good showing for our newspaper,” Bailey wrote. “The faces and the bylines can change from year to year, but Leslie and her team produce quality work for our community, and it's impressive to be recognized in the top few of the whole state.”

Bailey expressed gratitude to the Argus Observer’s award-winning newsroom and ad department, and to all who help with production and delivery of our product into the hands of readers.

“It takes a team to win these awards, and I appreciate the effort that goes into every product we create for our readers,” Bailey said.

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