CANAAN VALLEY – Recognizing outstanding journalistic achievement, the West Virginia Press Association honored newspapers and journalists from around the state Saturday during its 2014 Convention.
The Coal Valley News in Madison, Boone County, won a total of five awards.
The paper earned two first place awards for outstanding journalism in “In-Depth Investigative Reporting” and “Best News Feature” in Division 4 for smaller weekly newspapers in West Virginia.
Coal Valley News Editor Fred Pace received the first place award for his new story called “Students help Hospice, while honoring one boy’s father. The story told of two Brookview Elementary students hand-making braclets to sell and donate the money to Hospice because the agency had helped his father so much when he had cancer. The son and one of his school friends that knew his dad decided on the idea to support Hospice as a way of honoring his father.
The other first place award for investigative reporting was on Debbie Rolen’s series of stories about a family filing suit to protect a cemetary that had mining operations all around it. The mine operators were also blocking the family’s access to the cemetery. The story also won a third place award for “Best Coverage of Legal Issues and Courts.”
The paper also received a second and third place awards for “Best Coverage of Legal Issues and Courts,” with stories by Fred Pace titled “Family shows mercy to murder suspect.” The story was about a family offering mercy to the young woman that allegedly killed their father, and the story by Rolen for her story “Family files suit to protect cemetery.”
Editor Fred Pace also earned a third place award for “Best Business and Labor Coverage” for his story about “Boone drops lawsuit against six pharmacies.” This story was about the Boone County Commission in a 2-1 vote deciding to drop a lawsuit against six local pharmacies its lawyers and law enforcement officials thought were giving out to many pain pill prescriptions. The commissioners decided they didn’t have enough evidence to proceed with the lawsuit. Law Enforcement and prosecutors were disappointed as they believed this was another way to fight the illegal drug epidemic in Boone County.
Coal Valley News earned 10 total points in the editorial portion of the contest.
“We are very honored to be recognized for the hard work and outstanding editorial contributions to our local community newspaper,” Pace said. “It’s always very exciting to be recognized and honored by the state Press Association for our efforts.”
Recognizing outstanding journalistic achievement, the West Virginia Press Association honored newspapers and journalists from around the state Saturday during its 2014 Convention.
The Inter-Mountain Newspaper of Elkins earned the “Newspaper of the Year” honor, recognizing top performance in both the WVPA’s editorial and advertising competitions.
The newspaper excelled in the editorial competition, earning first place in General Excellence in the WVPA’s Better Newspaper Competition. The Inter-Mountain earning second place in General Excellence in the Advertising Competition. Its combined high overall score in the two contests earned The The Inter-Mountain the 2014 Newspaper of the Year title.
Spencer Newspapers publisher David Hedges was honored with the Adam R. Kelly Premier Journalist Award by the West Virginia Press Association Saturday night during its annual convention at Canaan Valley Resort.
The award is the highest individual honor bestowed by the state’s oldest press organization. It is given in recognition of Hedges’ service to newspapers in the state, the West Virginia Press Association and to his local community.
Tom Hindman, photographer for the The Daily Mail of Charleston, won the “Photo of the Year” honor.
Four newspapers earned first-place General Excellence awards, which honor outstanding editorial achievement by circulation division, in the 2014 Better Newspaper Contest.
The General Excellence Award winners are Charleston Daily Mail in Division I, The Inter-Mountain of Elkins in Division II, Hampshire Review of Romney in Division III, and The Record Delta of Buckhannon in Division IV.
“This competition displays the quality of journalism in West Virginia. From the largest daily newspaper to the smallest weekly newspaper, West Virginian residents benefit from the outstanding and dedicated work of journalists working in the Mountain State,” said Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association. “Community journalism remains the centerpiece of the newspaper industry in West Virginia. The West Virginia Press Association is proud to recognize and honor these outstanding journalists and newspapers.”
The results of the annual competition, which honors excellence in newspaper journalism, were announced Saturday during a banquet at Canaan Valley Resort in Davis.
Newspapers across the state compete in four circulation groups, two each for daily and weekly newspapers. The contest has 25 categories, ranging from Coverage of Government Affairs to Best Sports Feature Writing and Best Editorial Page. In 2014, 40 newspapers entered 2,263 entries. The overall awards for General Excellence are based on awards won in the 25 individual categories.
For General Excellence, the West Virginia Press Association recognized three places in each division. The newspapers recognized for General Excellence in editorial coverage in 2014 were as follows:
Division I (Dailies over 16,000 circulation): First place, Charleston Daily Mail; second place, The Charleston Gazette; and third place, The Register-Herald, Beckley.
Division II (Dailies 16,000 and under): First place, The Inter-Mountain, Elkins; second place, The Exponent Telegram, Clarksburg; and third place, Times West Virginian, Fairmont.
Division III (Weeklies over 4,000): First place, Hampshire Review, Romney; second place, The Times Record, Spencer; third place, Spirit of Jefferson, Charles Town.
Division IV (Weeklies 4,000 and under): First place, The Record Delta, Buckhannon; second-place, The Princeton Times; and third-place (ties); The Montgomery Herald; Tyler Star News, Sistersville; and Glenville Democrat/Pathfinder.