September 22, 2021

Kane County Chronicle wins top award in 2017 NINA contest

The Kane County Chronicle took the highest honor in the non-daily category during the annual Northern Illinois Newspaper Association contest banquet Oct. 26 in DeKalb.

By earning the most points in the NINA contest categories for a non-daily newspaper group, the Chronicle was honored with the sweepstakes award, the top prize in the competition.

Overall, the Chronicle won six first-place awards in the contest. Those awards were for best website (staff), best special section (staff), best technology/medical story (reporter Brenda Schory), best online photo gallery (photo editor Sandy Bressner), best headline writing (copy editor/page designer Joe Zenkel) and best niche publication (Neighborhood Tourist staff).

The paper won eight second-place awards, which were for best meeting coverage (Schory), best online photo gallery (Bressner), best feature photo (Bressner), best columnist (Pam Otto), best sports columnist (Chris Rollin Walker), best technology/medical story (former reporter and current digital marketing manager Ben Draper), best design (dayside copy desk) and best niche publication (Kane County Magazine staff).

And the Chronicle won four third-place awards, which were for best personality profile (Schory), best sports story (former sports editor Jason Rossi), best video (Bressner) and best education reporting (Walker).

I am super proud of our team and am looking forward to displaying our awards in the office. It is great to have hard work recognized by an established organization such as NINA.

In conjunction with the Northern Illinois University Department of Communication, NINA has been serving journalists and educators in northern Illinois for 55 years.

To read more about the contest and all of the award-winners, visit

Kathy Balcazar is weekly group editor for the Kane County Chronicle, Elburn Herald, Sugar Grove Herald and Suburban Life Media, and is a member of the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association Board. Contact her at or 630-845-5368.