By News-Register staff • 

Local editorial wins international honor

Each year, the society names 12 editorial writers to its Golden Dozen, then singles out one for the Golden Quill. Bagwell had been named to the Golden Dozen five times, but had not previously claimed the top prize.

The winning editorial, published on Dec. 9, 2022, was headlined, “What happened to concern over the heavy hand of government?”

It recalled pledges by County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer to ease the governmental burden on rural, working-class families and help them address “mental health, suicide prevention and addiction issues.” It contrasted that with her actions in office, notably rejection on anti-vax grounds of state aid to battle substance abuse and enhance rural health care.

The editorial went on to express agreement with a pre-inauguration observation of Berschauer’s from 2020: “Too often, those in government operate in a bubble. They fail to understand the impact of their decisions on working families, and that erodes taxpayer trust.” It suggested she had fallen into that trap herself.

The award was presented at the conclusion of the society’s 2023 international conference, held in Reno. Judge Brian Duggan, former executive editor of the Reno Gazette Journal, termed the winning editorial “a primal scream about the ravages of misinformation and conspiracy theories on our democracy.”

The society, which is slated to hold next year’s conference in Toronto, represents the global community of weekly newspapers published in English. There are 86 countries recognizing English as their official language, and a number of others hosting at least one English-language paper, but membership has historically been concentrated in the U.S., Canada, the British Isles and Australia.

Bagwell has been involved in the editorial process at Northwest weeklies and dailies for several decades.

Early in his career, he helped write editorials and set editorial policy at Oregon’s capital city daily, the Salem Statesman Journal. He later served as city editor and editorial page editor at Idaho’s capital city daily, The Idaho Statesman, then managing editor at Central Oregon’s Bend Bulletin.

He joined the News-Register in 1997 as managing editor. He continued in that capacity until 2018, when he narrowed his focus to the paper’s weekly editorial section, Viewpoints.



Wonderful! Well deserved honor for a smart, thoughtful and diligent writer.


Congratulations Steve, you have earned the recognition. We’re lucky to have you land here.


Thanks, all, for the kind words. They are greatly appreciated.


Bill B

I often do not agree with your position on issues outside of Yamhill County, however, I can not dispute the quality of your writing. Wish I could put my thoughts into words as well as you.


A great honor, well-deserved! Congratulations - long may you publish!!


Steve Bagwell would teach other local journalists about public records and storytelling each year. I attended one of those classes and we are so lucky to have someone of his quality sharing his skill in Yamhill County. Award was very deserved.


Congratulations Steve! As past editorials that you have penned were well written, this one definitely stood out. Our burb and its paper is lucky to have you!



I'm not very good at taking bows. Usually its more brickbats that come with the turf, when you put your opinions out there for all to see. But the kind words are greatly appreciated.




This is great news Steve and well deserved. IIn this time of local newspapers dying you have given life to McMinnville's local newspaper. The best to you Steve.
Mike S

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