Heinrichs wins 12 newspaper awards
Matt Heinrichs, an adjunct instructor in the Digital, Social and Broadcast Productions program at Iowa Lakes Community College, won 12 awards at an awards banquet held Friday, Feb. 3 at the 2017 Iowa Newspaper Association Convention and Trade Show in Des Moines.
In addition to teaching at Iowa Lakes, Heinrichs is also the Sports Editor of the Dickinson County News in Spirit Lake. His 12 Iowa Better Newspaper Contest awards were the most won by any writer in the state.
Heinrichs brought home four first-place awards, including: Best Sports Story, Best Sports Feature Story, Best Personality Feature Story and Best News Feature Photo.
His two-part series titled 'The Power to Stand' about former Luther College football player Chris Norton's journey back from an injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down to walking across the graduation stage won for Best Sports Feature Story and Best Personality Feature Story, and finished third for Best Series.
Judges were impressed with Heinrichs' storytelling.
"Great writer recounting a powerful story," one judge said. "Gripping lead followed by well-researched detail, further enhanced by excellent storytelling. Having a young man's personality, shaped by conviction, come through so strongly is a beautiful thing to read."
Heinrichs' coverage of the 2016-17 Okoboji girls basketball team's state semifinal loss to Western Christian this past March earned him the Best Sports Story award.
Judge's said the story was the, "Best of the bunch. Hands down. The lead was terrific. The writer painted a picture with his words and descriptions."
Heinrichs' photo of a little girl being pulled on a dogsled taken at the 2016 University of Okoboji Winter Games was the cover photo of the Better Newspaper Contest's winners tab and earned a Best News Feature Photo award.
Judges loved that both the girl and her furry companion were smiling while racing across the snow and ice.
"This is every single thing a feature photo should be," a judge said. "I don't know whether the dog or the kid has a bigger smile, and that's what makes this photo so much fun."
The former Iowa Lakes and Estherville Lincoln Central student also won second place awards for Best News Feature Photo, Best Blog, Best Slideshow, Best Sports Feature Photo and Best Video. He brought home additional third place awards for Best Sports Feature Story and Best Sports Story.