Cass County Democrat Missourian earns awards

February 21, 2014 

Cass County Democrat Missourian staff writer Bethany Bashioum recently won two prestigious awards from its parent corporation, The McClatchy Company.

Eight newspapers from across the country won nine McClatchy President’s Awards in the Community Newspaper Division, the company announced Feb. 12.

McClatchy owns 30 daily newspapers including the Kansas City Star and 45 community newspapers, plus websites and niche publications across the nation.

The Lee’s Summit Journal, a McClatchy newspaper also published by the suburban staff managed by Democrat Missourian Publisher John Beaudoin, won two McClatchy President’s awards as well.

“Bethany provides a range as a reporter and community journalist that this newspaper hasn't seen in quite some time,” Beaudoin said.

The Democrat Missourian won a second place award in the news category for coverage of a long-running dispute between Belton’s city council and the fire department over fundraising practices.

“It seemed simple enough: The city council in Belton was going to give firefighters permission to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, just like it always did. But then council announced the firefighters would have to raise money off the clock. Officials felt like they were being good stewards, and firefighters felt ambushed after a recent budget battle,” said the judges. “Reporter Bethany Bashioum followed this story for nearly two months, laying out both sides of the argument as well as the conclusion in a way that held readers' interest.”

Bashioum also won Honorable Mention in Visuals for a photograph of a “snow-encrusted” teen sliding in the snow.

Commentary announcing the awards said Bashioum made a compelling, front-page photo of a snow-crusted teen sliding in the snow.

“The expression on the young woman's face shows the terror - and fun - of her endeavor.”

“I am proud of Bethany for the news product she has helped build here,” Beaudoin said. “Covering all of Cass County is truly important to us and Bethany displays that understanding through her skills every day.”

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