By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: A different year for honors and awards

People love awards. We like to give them, receive them, read and talk about them. We memorialize them in photos, videos, scrapbooks and wall plaques.

In fact, for all the comment we receive about coverage of politics, our reporting of awards, honors, achievements and other milestones is a more dominant source of regular community newspaper content.


Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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The word “award” appears in hundreds of annual News-Register articles. Browsing our archives from just the past 12 months, I find articles about honors given for athletics, music, economic development, quilting, poetry, hospitality, volunteering, gardening, design, leadership, scholarship, charity, teaching, farming, historic preservation, writing, film-making, business excellence, food preparation, health care, law enforcement, journalism, real estate and animal husbandry — just to name a few!

Recipients sometimes are honored in public with applause and toasts; sometimes in private gatherings of like-minded people; sometimes in solitary reading of a personal message of recognition. The rewards range from money to public recognition to quiet feelings of personal satisfaction.

This small piece of public recognition is the best we can offer this year for News-Register reporters/photographers Starla Pointer, Nicole Montesano, Paul Daquilante, Rusty Rae and Marcus Larson … or for editors Ossie Bladine, Jodie DeJonge, Steve Bagwell, Racheal Winter and Logan Brandon.

None of them will win honors from contests sponsored by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers and National Newspaper associations for their 2019 work. However, that’s only because the time-consuming and somewhat expensive task of entering those contests was cancelled this year during the throes of 2020’s national pandemic and general assault on community newspaper business operations.

Those journalists — and others from years past — earned about 110 NNA awards and more than 200 ONPA honors over the past decade.

Instead of plaques and certificates, those editors, reporters and photographers will have to settle for the knowledge that their 2019 work would have been recognized by their peers ... and some personal satisfaction for their high quality work through the most difficult of times in 2020.

By the way, I also notice that while we briefly mentioned the winners of this year’s McMinnville Distinguished Service Awards, there was not the usual set of major feature stories in the newspaper. We can make good on that oversight, since their recognition banquet was delayed until spring 2021, but meanwhile, it’s worth one more 2020 mention of those community-minded honorees:

Harold Washington and Teresa Smith, man and woman of the year; Remy Drabkin, junior citizen; Jarod Harney, outstanding educator; and outstanding farmers Beth Satterwhite and Erik Grimsted of Even Pull Farms.

Kudos to all.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.


Don Dix

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