Inter Lake wins top awards for journalism and advertising


The Daily Inter Lake won 15 awards in the Montana Newspaper Association’s 2022 Better Newspaper competition, including top awards for investigative journalism, feature writing and advertising.

The awards were presented Saturday at the Montana Newspaper Association’s annual convention held in Glendive.

Inter Lake’s special report on domestic violence in the Flathead Valley ranked first for investigative journalism among daily newspapers. The judges hailed the work of Lynnette Hintze, Kianna Gardner, Bret Anne Serbin and Chad Sokol as thorough and valuable to the community.

“Journalists should be proud of the quality of writing these articles and of bringing this information to their readers,” commented the judges.

Community editor Carol Marino ranked first in column writing among daily newspapers for her bi-weekly “Good News” column, which has appeared in Inter Lake since 2003.

Educational journalist Hilary Matheson ranked second in Educational Reporting and News Writing for her extensive coverage of the suicide crisis facing young people in northwest Montana.

Creative specialist Heidi Gaiser won second place for her Montana Life page designs, as well as headline writing.

Sportswriter Katie Brown got the nod with a second-place finish for her coverage of women’s wrestling.

“Katie Brown does a tremendous job conveying the experiences and emotions of high school female wrestlers who are making history with the sport’s sudden rise in Montana,” the judges commented.

Inter Lake photographer Casey Kreider placed third for his sports images, while Sokol took third place for his reporting on the local housing crisis.

In commercials, Inter Lake won first place for promotional commercials and local photography. The newspaper also placed marketing campaigns, online advertisements and promotional advertisements. Inter Lake’s special “Destination” magazine ranked second for niche publication.

Weekly newspapers owned by Hagadone Montana Publishing have also racked up numerous awards.

Notably, Whitefish Pilot staff won the overall Excellence Award for Weekly Newspapers, winning 21 journalism and advertising awards.

Libby’s Western News won six awards, including first and second place in investigative journalism. The Hungry Horse News took first place in feature writing, news photography and video production, while the Lake County leader in Polson took home 14 awards, including first prize in sports photography and reporting, educational reporting and page design.

The Sam Gululy Award for Best Montana Daily went to Le Havre Daily News, while the Thomas Dimsdale Award for Best Montana Weekly went to the Boulder Monitor.

A full list of winners is online at


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