Prairie Press earns four IPA award nominations


It is not often that I get to write something for the paper as myself, the woman behind one of the many desks at 101 N. Central, but this week I have the distinct honor of writing a letter not to the editor, but from the editor.

At the beginning of this year the paper’s incredible staff was invited to submit their favorite pieces from the year 2023, be it an ad or page design, an article or a photo to the Illinois Press Association for the 2023 IPA Advertising and Editorial Contest. 

While my time at the press has been short, the staff here has managed to make a great impact on me, whether they have already moved on, are planning to move on or are trapped here with me for the remainder of their lifetime. It is my honor and privilege to announce that four familiar Prairie Press bylines were nominated to receive awards for their work last year.

Robby Tucker, Aubrey Wilson, Linda Lane and Jennifer Macke each received a nomination for an award. Their placements, achievements and any awards they receive will be announced on June 6, at the official IPA/IPF Convention.

  • Our publisher, Robby Tucker, puts in more hours of work than any other person I know. He is a dedicated and compassionate leader who enjoys a good sour candy and cares deeply about our community. In 2023 he wrote a story about school safety in Paris and Edgar County, that story received a nomination for Best Localized National Story.
  • Former correspondent Linda Lane wrote a story in early 2023 about Tom Willett’s 50 years as a barber. Her story was full of heart and humor, highlighting the asset she is to our local community. Her article received a Personality Profile nomination.
  • Aubrey Wilson has been a student intern at the Press since August. She has been dedicated, positive, hard-working and a bright ray of sunshine in our newsroom. Her photograph “We Didn’t Start the Fire” detailing a high school chemistry club experiment won her a nomination for Best General Photography.
  • Jennifer Macke, the paper’s graphic design extraordinaire, designs 80 percent of the ads in our weekly paper. Her holiday design for Jones and Griffin law office in 2023 received a nomination for Best Holiday Ad. Jennifer has been at the paper since its beginning and has never failed to put her best foot forward, continually going above and beyond for its clients, customers and curious readers, always making the press look their best with customer service and graphic design.

Each one of these talented humans has put in hours of countless work, often without recognition, if you happen to see any of them over the next few weeks take a moment to congratulate them and thank them for their hard work, dedication and all of the ways they are highlighting our community with their various, extraordinary skills.

– Bethany Wagoner

Editor, The Prairie Press

IPA, Awards, Winners