Call Newspapers receives 2018 statewide education award


Call Newspapers was honored this spring with the statewide Horace Mann Friend of Education Award from the Missouri National Education Association, or MNEA, for the newspaper’s expansive education coverage.

The Call was the only newspaper in Missouri to receive the award and was nominated in the Journalism-Print category by the Special School District National Education Association, or SD NEA.

The nomination letter was submitted by SD NEA 1st Vice President Thomas Bamvakais, who lives in the Call’s circulation area.

“They are the protector of educators and the community,” the organization said in its nomination statement. “The South County Call editors and reporters have been friends to education and the community through their in-depth, constructive, positive and unbiased reporting on education and educators. It is an honor to put forth their nominations for the Horace Mann Friend to Education Award in Printed Journalism.”

The award was given to the newspaper’s entire staff.

The statement continued, “The Call has been a Friend to Education and educators through their positive and solution-focused approaches within their education reporting.”

The nomination referenced the Call’s mission statement, which states, “We dedicate ourselves to the public, holding its welfare in the highest regard and standing firmly in opposition to any who would oppose it.”

That mission “displays their firm and dedicated loyalty to its readers,” the NEA stated. “The Call paper stands by that purpose and uses the statement as a measure for reporting. It has consistently presented positive and meaningful stories on public education. These articles have been rigorous and compelling journalism that presents a fuller picture of truth while upholding journalism’s core functions and ethics. The Call newspaper is the area’s No. 1 source for news in south county.”

The NEA noted that the Call “has a dedicated and loyal fan base. The Call educational news has always been focused at the community level and reported the impact to students and classrooms when legislation bills are implemented.”

Call Publisher Debbie Baker said education coverage has been key for the Call since the newspaper began 29 years ago.

“Call Newspapers is honored to learn that we are a recipient of the annual Horace Mann ‘Friend of Education’ Award in the Journalism-Print category,” Baker said. “Education is such an important part of the Call’s community news coverage. We are truly grateful for the recognition by the Missouri National Education Association Board of Directors and for the nomination by the Special School District NEA Executive Board of Officers.”

Among the specific examples of articles cited by the SDNEA for the award was the Call’s annual Grad Salute honoring all the graduates of south county high schools. This year’s Grad Salute continues this week with Mehlville High School and other area high schools featured in the print edition starting on Page 12A and online here.