West River publisher elected to lead state's newspaper association


   Beau Ravellette, general
manager and vice president of
The Ravellette Publications, Inc.,
in Philip, was elected the 134th
president of the South Dakota
Newspaper Association during
the association’s annual meeting
May 21.

    The membership meeting was
conducted by video teleconference
because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

   Ravellette, who was born and
raised in Philip, joined the family
business in 2007. He is the third
generation of Ravellettes to be
involved in the newspaper and printing business.

   “It means a lot to me to follow in the footsteps of my dad, Don, and my grandpa, Les, and to continue the legacy they have built,” Ravellette said. Don Ravellette was president of SDNA in 2000-2001.

   Ravellette Publications Inc., with 24 employees, has weekly newspapers in six western South Dakota communities, including Philip, Wall, Kadoka, Murdo, Faith and Bison.

   Ravellette started out in advertising sales and then began learning the printing side of the business. Through the years he has been involved in many aspects of the company.

   In 2016, Ravellette was named general manager and vice president of Ravellette Publications. The company includes the six newspapers, a total market coverage shopper publication, a regional agricultural publication and a commercial printing operation. “We have a lot of 'irons in the fire’ it seems, but we have a great staff on board who make it all happen fairly smooth,” he said.

   Ravellette, and his wife, Mary, have two children, Gage, 15, and Taryn, 13. Mary also works at Ravellette Publications as a graphic designer and in the special publications departments. “It is truly a blessing to have Mary on board with us at the paper. She mainly focuses on our livestock printing work, but when needed she fills in on the newspaper side. She is huge asset to us here." 

   Ravellette is involved in the Philip Masonic Lodge #153 and the Philip Volunteer Fire Department. He has served on the board of the United Church, Philip Arena Association and Philip Masonic Cemetery. 

   “It is an honor to serve as president of this great association.” Ravellette said. “Community newspapers are a very important component in every community. From covering community events and area sports to keeping our elected official accountable and transparent, we are there to provide our readers with information they need.

   “The past few months have demonstrated just how vital the local newspaper is to a community. Not even a virus can stop us from providing readers and community with the information they have relied on for decades. I look forward to working with member newspapers and publishers around the state to keep this industry thriving.”

   Also elected to the SDNA Board of Directors were: first vice president Robert Slocum of the Timber Lake Topic; second vice president Garrick Moritz of the Garretson Gazette; third vice president Kristi Hine of the Wessington Springs True Dakotan; director Cory Myers of the Argus Leader at Sioux Falls; director LeeAnne Dufek of Hamlin County Publishing at Castlewood; and immediate past president Letitia Lister of the Black Hills Pioneer at Spearfish. 

   South Dakota Newspaper Association, founded in 1882 and based in Brookings, represents the state's 122 weekly and daily newspapers.

SDNA contest awards newspapers with top prizes


   Results from South Dakota Newspaper Association’s contest to spotlight some of the best work done by newspapers across the state last year were announced Thursday, May 14.

   The results were announced during an online virtual meeting with SDNA members because the association’s annual convention was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

   Awards were given for both advertising and news/editorial categories.

    The contest’s top awards were given for General Excellence, a measure of the newspaper overall – reporting, writing, photography, opinion, design, advertising. The SDNA General Excellence Awards are recognized as the measure of a newspaper’s overall quality and commitment to journalism.

   The 2019 General Excellence winners included:

  • Weekly newspapers under 900 circulation: Brandon Valley Journal

  • Weekly newspapers 901-1,300 circulation: Fall River County Herald Star, Edgemont

  • Weekly newspapers over 1,300 circulation: Freeman Courier

  • Daily newspapers under 7,000 circulation: Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan

  • Daily newspapers over 7,000 circulation: Argus Leader, Sioux Falls

   Also presented were the 2019 Sweepstakes Awards. The Sweepstakes Awards are given to the newspaper in each circulation category that accumulates the most points based on individual awards earned. First-place awards are worth 100 points, second place 70 points and third place 40 points. The points are tallied for awards won in both news/editorial and advertising portions of the Better Newspapers Contest.

    The 2019 Sweepstakes winners included:

  • Weekly newspapers under 900 circulation: Brandon Valley Journal

  • Weekly newspapers 901 to 1,300 circulation: Fall River County Herald Star

  • Weekly newspapers over 1,300 circulation: Freeman Courier

  • Daily newspapers under 7,000 circulation: Black Hills Pioneer, Spearfish

  • Daily newspapers over 7,000 circulation: Argus Leader, Sioux Falls

   Awards for Outstanding Young Journalists (age 29 and under) also were announced. Argus Leader reporter Brian Haenchen was awarded in the dailies category and Beth Fennel of the Dakota Dunes-North Sioux City Times was awarded in the weeklies category.

   For a full list of results, click here.

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