The Idaho Mountain Express has been recognized by one of the top newspaper associations in the country as the No. 1 high-circulation, non-daily newspaper in the United States.

    The Express was awarded first place in its classification of the General Excellence category in the National Newspaper Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest. The NNA made the announcement July 19. The Express will receive a trophy for the award on Sept. 29 at the NNA’s 132nd annual convention in Norfolk, Va.

    The 2018 Better Newspaper Contest judged work done in 2017. There were 1,405 entries from across the nation in the contest, the NNA stated.

    “This newspaper sets the benchmark for all others,” the judges’ comments stated. “Perfect!”

    The General Excellence award came in the classification for non-daily newspapers nationwide with a circulation of 10,000 or more. In the General Excellence category, judges reviewed three entire editions of competing newspapers. The dates of the issues reviewed are determined by the NNA. In evaluating the newspapers, judges look at all aspects of the publications, including news content, photos, editorial pages, page design, legal notices and classifieds.

    Other General Excellence winners in the classification of non-dailies with a circulation of 10,000 or more were Philadelphia Gay News, in Philadelphia, Pa. (second place); the Park Cities People, in Dallas, Texas (third place); and the St. Louis American, in St. Louis, Mo. (honorable mention).

    Judging was performed primarily by active community newspaper editors and publishers, as well as retired university journalism professors and retired or former newspaper professionals, the NNA said.

“We’re very honored to receive the top award from the NNA,” said Express Editor Greg Foley. “We believe in the importance of strong journalism. Our staff works hard every day to produce quality newspapers and a website that tell the stories of our community, and it’s satisfying to see their work recognized.”

    In 2016 and 2017, the Express won the second-place award for overall excellence in its classification in the NNA contest. The newspaper placed in the top three in several other years in the last decade.

    Established in 1885, the NNA represents owners, publishers and editors of more than 2,300 community newspapers in the United States.

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