The National Newspaper Association recently announced the winners in its Better Newspaper and Better Advertising contests, in which Moonshine Ink won three editorial and one advertising award. The Truckee monthly competed against U.S. newspapers of similar size and circulation.

Moonshine Ink took home first-place awards for Best Environmental Story and Best Serious Column, and third-place awards for Best Business Feature Story and Best Use of Ad Color, beating out both daily and non-daily newspapers. There were 1,862 entries in the Better Newspaper Contest and 383 entries in the Better Newspaper Advertising Contest for a total of 2,245 entries, according to the association. A total of 530 awards were won by 193 newspapers in 40 states. California had the most combined wins with 76.

David Bunker, a contributing editor for Moonshine Ink, was recognized for his article Saga of the Quagga, winning first place for best environmental story. The article, which was originally published in the newspaper’s May 10, 2013 edition, explores the conflicting science behind the quagga mussel and why agencies want to keep it out of local waters.


“Very nice overview of an issue that is clearly very important to Lake Tahoe area residents,” wrote a judge who commented on Bunker’s piece. “Includes both the science involved and the personalities who are key players in the problem and the research behind it. Good work!”

Contributing writer Eric Perlman received a first place award in the serious column category for his Wandering Native column Return of the Light, about restoring sight to the blind in Ethiopia. A judge commented that Perlman’s column, which was originally published Jan. 11, 2013, had “Great handling, facts, and story of a complex culture and consequences of civic-cultural collapse.”

Kara Fox, Moonshine Ink’s news editor, was also recognized for her article Shifting Into High Gear, winning third place for best business feature story. The article, which was published Nov. 8, 2013, featured Tal Fletcher and his business Tahoe Sierra Transportation. A judge said Fox’s story was an “Excellent approach to an unusual topic. Writing is clear and concise, while providing plenty of details for the reader.”

Judges were also impressed with Moonshine Ink’s creativity in the advertising and graphic design departments. Publisher Mayumi Elegado and graphic designer Lauren Shearer received third place for best use of ad color for a colorful Unique Boutique ad (see photo above) that ran in the May 2013 issue. “What makes this ad so good is the color choices,” a judge said of the ad. “The colors make the ad pop. Very well done.”

Elegado, who co-founded the independent newspaper 12 years ago, said the publication’s mission to provide “original, solid, and engaging reporting” is working, based on the fact that Moonshine Ink has placed first in important categories in a national newspaper competition two years in a row. Moonshine Ink won first-place awards in the best investigative and best feature story categories in 2013.

“In an industry that currently struggles to find its footing and a time when unverified opinions are passed off as news reporting, I believe it’s more important than ever to provide real, verifiable information presented in a fresh format, as well as to foster vibrant public community discourse,” Elegado said. “In addition to getting feedback from industry insiders, we also entreat our readers to help keep us on the right track.”


  • Kara Fox

    When she’s not writing or editing the news section for Moonshine Ink, Kara Fox can be seen hiking in the spring, paddle boarding in the summer, mushroom hunting in the fall, snowshoeing in the winter, and hanging out with her 7-year-old son year-round.

    Connect with Kara

    Call: (530) 587-3607 x4
    M-Tu, Th-Fr 9:30am - 6pm
    10317 Riverside Dr
    Truckee, CA 96161
    Email: kfox (at)

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