The award was the most prestigious of seven earned by the Courier-Post in the annual Best of GateHouse contest, which evaluated work published in 2016.

The Hannibal Courier-Post, for the second year in a row, has been named a GateHouse Media Newspaper of the Year.

The award was the most prestigious of seven earned by the Courier-Post in the annual Best of GateHouse contest, which evaluated work published in 2016.

GateHouse Senior Vice President of News Bill Church announced the Best of GateHouse winners on Thursday, June 15.

About the Courier-Post, judges said, “This may be a small newsroom but it shows focus and grit, executing on impactful journalism and using analytics to increase its reach across platforms.”

Judges noted several multi-day series produced by Courier-Post Staff, a noticeable increase in digital traffic, and efforts to reach out to the community more — specifically through social media and reader engagement activities like last summer's “Finest in the Field” program.

“Earning the Newspaper of the Year Award is a huge achievement in itself,” Managing Editor Eric Dundon said. “To do so in back-to-back years is almost unheard-of. We have a hard-working team in Hannibal that is focused and collaborative. I hope by earning this award, the community recognizes this.”

Other newspapers of the year are the Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, Fla.), The Herald News (Fall River, Mass.), and Wareham Courier (Wareham, Mass.).

GateHouse Media owns hundreds of daily and weekly newspapers throughout the country. The Best of GateHouse contest is divided into four divisions based on circulation size. Church noted this year's contest received more entries than any other previous contests.

Dundon also won one of three coveted Editor of the Year Awards.

Reporter Trevor McDonald won first place in the Newswriter of the Year category, largely for his efforts to produce “Hannibal's Heroin Homefront” — a four-day series exploring the heroin epidemic in Hannibal. The series produced eight stories and a total of more than 8,500 words.

Dundon won first place in the Features Writer of the Year and Editorial Writer of the Year categories. Dundon has took top honors in both categories for two consecutive years.

Other awards that went to the paper include:

• Second place in the Digital Newsroom of the Year category

• Third place for Designer of the Year to Dundon

The Associated Press Media Editors organization helped to judge the competition. The Courier-Post came under the umbrella of GateHouse Media in 2007 when Morris Communications sold the paper.