Wednesday Journal is top weekly newspaper for 2nd straight year

In Illinois Press awards, Journal tops editorial, advertising and web categories

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For the second straight year, Wednesday Journal was named the state's best large weekly newspaper, winning the Will Loomis Memorial Trophy on Friday at the Illinois Press Association annual convention in Springfield.

In addition, for the first time, the four weeklies under Wednesday Journal's banner also earned the top prize for advertising and marketing, bringing home the Sam Zito Award of Excellence. 

Besides the Journal, the other papers published by Oak Park-based Wednesday Journal Inc. are the Austin Weekly News, the Forest Park Review and the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark. 

All four publications placed at or near the top for best websites in their circulation categories. 

The Journal's took first place among large weeklies. The IPA judge wrote, "An excellent website. … Very strong local content, including hard stories that generated conversation and comment — very thoughtful commenting."

In the sales and marketing competition, Journal publications won 44 honors for ad design, marketing, special sections, digital advertising, house ads, and general excellence. 

For the second year, the Journal's classified section was tops in the state. Maureen O'Boyle heads classified sales.

And Dawn Ferencak, associate publisher of the Austin Weekly News and a Journal salesperson, was named Illinois Weekly Salesperson of the Year. It is the second time Ferencak has been recognized for this award, a first in the award's history.  

In the editorial contest, the Journal's four newspapers earned 70 honors. Wednesday Journal was cited for best editorial section (Ken Trainor), best sports section (Marty Farmer), best features section (Trainor). Our photographer David Pierini was honored for best photo series, best feature photo (right) and best sports photo. The Journal also won best special section for our annual Community of Caring section, which focuses on social service agencies. 

Actually, the Journal took all four honors in that category with our annual Pride section, My Holiday Home and the Austin Weekly's West Side Community Guide being cited. The Journal took first, second and honorable mention for local editorials.

Among columnists, Farmer won best sports column honors. Trainor, Jack Crowe and Dan Haley took second, third and honorable mention, respectively, for local news columns. Editorial cartoonist Marc Stopeck placed second in a category where all the state newspapers compete together.

Reader Comments

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Garret Eakin from Oak Park  

Posted: June 19th, 2014 8:57 AM

It is an honor to be a small part of this fine Journal.

Peggy Coon from Oak Park  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 12:34 PM

Congratulations to all of the Wednesday Journal staff, we all love our local paper!

Bob Ray from River Forest  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 10:27 AM

We are truly lucky to have such a great newspaper and editorial staff serving our community. Congratulations to you all for this well-deserved honor.

Carrie Marling Bankes from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 9:47 AM

I think many of us take the Wednesday Journal publications for granted. These well deserved honors are a reminder of how lucky we are to have Dan, Andy and their staff making these papers happen every week. Thank you!

Teresa Powell  

Posted: June 18th, 2014 7:51 AM

Another great thing about Oak Park is that we have a great local newspaper! Congratulations on your great showing again this year! (And will you be riding with the trophy in the July 4th parade?)

Leonard Grossman from River Forest, Illinois  

Posted: June 17th, 2014 9:59 PM

Congratulations. Well deserved


Posted: June 17th, 2014 8:16 PM

people complain about our comments BUT the IPA judge wrote, "An excellent website. ? Very strong local content, including hard stories that generated conversation and comment ?" very thoughtful commenting."s the judge said. Could not have said it better myself... love them or hate them, the discourse on this board is superb..

Dan Burke from Oak Park  

Posted: June 17th, 2014 6:49 PM

Richly deserved The WJ is a true asset to our community.

Aging Disgracefully from Oak Park  

Posted: June 17th, 2014 6:30 PM

Great honor, very well-deserved. Let's all get behind this great local paper. Print is alive and well!

Jill O'Mahony Stewart from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 17th, 2014 6:11 PM

Congrats to our friend and neighbor, Dan Haley! Great job. We are so proud!

David Hammond from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: June 17th, 2014 6:05 PM

Well done. Proud to be a part of the team.

Andrea Ott  

Posted: June 17th, 2014 4:35 PM

Congratulations, WJ, for a well deserved award. I also appreciate the public's "thoughtful commenting." Keep up the good work.

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