Austin Heinen

Austin Heinen

ATLANTIC - Austin Heinen, former sports reporter for the Atlantic News Telegraph and Audubon County Advocate Journal was among the top three Sports Columnists among weekly newspapers in the Iowa Newspaper Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest.

Austin's column, Heinen's Highlights, ran in the Audubon County Advocate Journal, and placed third place in Best Sports Columnist, in the Weekly 2 category. Comments on his work included, "Author has a distinct voice, and approaches column writing like a sports-radio rant."

Austin was with the Atlantic and Audubon papers since August, 2018, and recently took a position with The Bellevue Leader in Bellevue, Nebraska.

Scott Spurgeon of the Bloomfield Democrat and Morgan McMullen of the Vinton Newspapers were the first and second place winners.

The 2020 Better Newspaper Contest recently announced winners in categories for editorial material, the internet, marketing, writing, photography and advertising. The awards were presented during the Iowa Newspaper Association's convention.

"The annual Better Newspaper Contests foster excellence through competition among like-sized newspapers. Member newspaper submit thousands of entries in news, writing, advertising and digital categories. Judging is performed by other state newspaper associations, with winners announced during the annual convention. Points awarded to the winners of select categories are used to determine the newspaper awarded the coveted title of Newspaper of the Year," officials said in the publication listing the contest winners.

This year's Newspaper of the Year was the Iowa City Daily Iowan, beating out the Des Moines Register which had taken the title in 2014-2019.