The 131st Annual Convention of the Montana Newspaper Association was held June 9-11 in Whitefish, Montana.

At the Montana Newspaper Association annual meeting, Darla Downs, The Herald-News was elected 1st Vice President; Kyle Rickhoff, Billings Gazette, was elected 2nd Vice President and Scott Squillace, Livingston Enterprise, was elected 3rd Vice President.

Erin Leonard, The Madisonian, was elected to the Montana Newspaper Advertising Service board of directors

Matt Gibson, President, Independent Publishing was honored with the Master Editor/Publisher Award for his significant contributions to the Montana newspaper industry and the Montana Newspaper Association.

Charles Harwood Allan, 1871-1938 was inducted into the Montana Newspaper Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was established by the Montana Newspaper Association and the University of Montana School of Journalism, and honors Montana journalists who have made outstanding contributions to the profession, the arts, and their community.


The top awards were presented to:

Billing Gazette – The Sam Gilluly Award for Best Daily Newspaper in Montana

Flathead Beacon – The Thomas Dimsdale Award for Best Weekly Newspaper in Montana

Tom Bauer, Missoulian – Mel Ruder Photograph of the Year Award

The Big Timber Pioneer – Division 1 Newspaper General Excellence

West Yellowstone News – Division 2 Newspaper General Excellence

Whitefish Pilot – Division 3 Newspaper General Excellence

Flathead Beacon – Division 4 Newspaper General Excellence

Billings Gazette – Division 5 Newspaper General Excellence

The full presentation of all awards can be found online at

The mission of the Montana Newspaper Association is to advance and sustain the news publishing industry in Montana. The association has 83 professional member newspapers and was established in 1885.