News Monitor Editor Karen Speidel was elected president of the North Dakota Newspaper Association, the 126th person to lead the association in its 133-year history.
Speidel was elected Friday, May 30 at the association’s 133rd annual convention in Medora. The News Monitor covers rural communities in the southeastern corner of the state. She succeeds Paul Erdelt, publisher of the Steele Ozone and Kidder County Press.
“Newspapers in North Dakota have both a long history and a bright future,” Speidel said. “Despite a changing media landscape, they are the most trusted source of local news and information, and in our state newspapers are read every week in nearly 83 percent of households.”
North Dakota’s top newspapers by circulation class are Bismarck Tribune, Dickinson Press, Walsh County Record of Grafton, News Monitor in Hankinson and Walsh County Press of Park River.
They were the first-place winners in the general excellence category of the North Dakota Newspaper Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.
Judging of general excellence covers all aspects of the newspaper, including news and advertising, layout and design, and even headline writing.
The awards were handed out Friday, May 31, 2019 during NDNA’s 133rd annual convention, held in Medora.
For medium-sized weeklies, judges said the News Monitor “excels in news reporting, photography and local opinion.”
Winning sweepstakes were Grand Forks Herald, Daily News of Wahpeton-Breckenridge, Minnesota, Walsh County Record, Hillsboro Banner and Walsh County Press.
This year’s joint North Dakota Newspaper Association & South Dakota Newspaper Association was extra special for the News Monitor and Daily News, said Publisher Tara Klostreich. Along with many individual awards, the News Monitor won general excellence and the Daily News won sweepstakes award, plus our very own Karen Speidel was inducted to president of the NDNA board.
“I am impressed with our staff and the number of awards show the quality of work being produced,” Klostreich said.
Matt Von Pinnon, editor of The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, was elected first vice president of NDNA and Cecile Wehrman of Journal Publishing in Crosby and Tioga was elected second vice president.
Speidel, a graduate of St. Mary’s High School and the University of Mary, both in Bismarck, started her newspaper career at the Williston Herald. She subsequently worked as a reporter, news editor and managing editor at the Daily News of Wahpeton-Breckenridge.
Von Pinnon is a graduate of Minnesota State University-Moorhead and has worked at The Forum for 25 years, half of them as editor.
Wehrman started her news career in television, before becoming editor of The Journal in Crosby and eventually purchasing Journal Publishing, operator of the Crosby and Tioga papers.
NDNA members also elected two new directors during the annual meeting. They are:
-- Amy Wobbema, publisher of the New Rockford Transcript. She is a graduate of Minnesota State University-Moorhead and has owned Transcript Publishing since 2015.
-- Amy Dalrymple, editor of the Bismarck Tribune. She has been a reporter for 16 years, working for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Forum News Service and the Bismarck Tribune, where she was recently promoted to editor.