Six North Carolina Press Association awards earned by Blowing Rock News

Six North Carolina Press Association awards earned by Blowing Rock News
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By D.X.D. Hall. March 24, 2019. RALEIGH, NC — Good journalists — whether the editorial or photographic kind — don’t do the things they do to win awards, but because they care about their craft and professionalism. Nonetheless, some 300 journalists and photojournalists were on hand Thursday night at the Marriott Hotel – Crabtree Mall to pick up hardware — recognized by the North Carolina Press Association for excellence in journalism last year.

COVER IMAGE: A sports photographer for Blowing Rock News, Dr. Brad Batchelor, D.C., won first place in Division O’s Sports Photography category for an image of App State QB Zac Thomas racing downfield against Gardner-Webb during the 2018 season. Blowing Rock News swept the category, with 2nd place earned by David Scearce covering NASCAR and David Rogers covering UNC-Charlotte football vs. Old Dominion.

David Scearce’s 2nd place sports photography image for Blowing Rock News.

Each U.S. state has its own press association. To help eliminate in-state bias, the nominated candidates for consideration are evaluated and judged by a panel of volunteer journalists from another state. For 2018, the NCPA contracted with the New Jersey Press Association to conduct the judging and determine the winners from among more than 4,000 stories, features, editorials, photographic images, and multimedia projects nominated.

The High Country and western North Carolina were well represented, including six awards recognizing the 2018 work of Blowing Rock News in Division “O”.

“I thought it was a pretty good showing for our first year in the North Carolina Press Association and the relatively few nominations that were submitted,” noted Blowing Rock News editor and publisher, David Rogers. “Being new to the organization, the process, and its mechanics, I really didn’t know what to expect. So we only nibbled at it this year, to see how we stacked up in key areas of our editorial model.

“While we have a tiny full-time staff — me — I have been able to assemble a very talented group of freelance reporters, writers and photographers,” Rogers continued. “Their contributions in helping take us to the proverbial ‘next level’ are beyond measure. We nominated four of those freelancers’ work from last year and all four were recognized.”

Rogers indicated that his team’s attendance at the NCPA convention, what amounts to a journalism industry “trade show,” means much more than picking up trophies and certificates. He said he was all about ideas.

“Our attending this NCPA annual meeting has been a great networking opportunity and a terrific way to see what other publications are doing in terms of producing high quality work. This gives us an idea on where we can improve in how we serve our primary markets. As in any industry, competitors push each other to excellence, and they learn from each other, so we also applaud the achievements of other publications in our area, including the Avery County and Ashe County publications, as well as the Watauga Democrat and the Blowing Rocket. In the end, it is all about better serving our readers, as well as our marketing partners, sponsors, and advertisers.”


LINK TO: David Rogers’ 1st place recognition in Sports News Reporting, about the App State @ Penn State football game. CLICK HERE


The recognition process of the NCPA divides the many publications into several groupings, or “divisions”: Division A (print newspapers serving communities of less than 3,500); Division B (less than 10,000); Division C (less than 25,000); Division D (25,000 to 35,000); Division E (35,000 to 50,000); Division F (over 50,000); and Division O (digital only publications of all sizes of communities and all special types, including newsletters).

As a digital-only news publication, Blowing Rock News’ nominations were judged vs. entries from all size markets, including publications serving only a specific editorial theme, such as law or healthcare.

Awards in Division “O” (Online, all size news organizations)

Photography, Sports

  • 1st Place — Blowing Rock News: Brad Batchelor
  • 2nd Place — Blowing Rock News: David Scearce
  • 3rd Place — Blowing Rock News: David Rogers

Sports News Reporting

  • 1st Place — Blowing Rock News: David Rogers and Braxton Critcher
  • 2nd Place — Blowing Rock News: David Coulson and David Rogers

Arts & Entertainment Reporting

  • 1st Place — Blowing Rock News: David Coulson
  • 2nd Place — Coastal Review Online: Jennifer Allen
  • 3rd Place — Ocracoke Observer: Connie Leinbach

Beat Feature Reporting

  • 1st Place — Carolina Public Press: Jack Igelman
  • 2nd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Melissa Boughton
  • 3rd Place — Coastal Review Online: Kathleen Onorevole

Beat News Reporting

  • 1st Place — NC Health News: Taylor Knopf
  • 2nd Place — NC Health News: Catherine Clabby
  • 3rd Place — Carolina Journal: Kari Travis

Education Reporting

  • 1st Place — NC Health News: Rose Hoban, Thomas Goldsmith, Jareb Weber
  • 2nd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Billy Ball
  • 3rd Place — EducationNC: Liz Bell, Analisa Sorrells

News Coverage – Community Only

  • 1st Place — Coastal Review Online: Staff

News Enterprise Reporting

  • 1st Place — Coastal Review Online: Catherine Kozak
  • 2nd Place — Coastal Review Online: Kirk Ross
  • 3rd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Joe Killian

News Feature Writing

  • 1st Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Lisa Sorg
  • 2nd Place — Carolina Public Press: Jack Igelman
  • 3rd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Lisa Sorg

Online Breaking News Coverage

  • 1st Place — Coastal Review Online: Kirk Ross
  • 2nd Place — Coastal Review Online: Jennifer Allen
  • 3rd Place — Coastal Review Online: Catherine Kozak

Best Lede

  • 1st Place — Coastal Review Online: Kathleen Onorevole
  • 2nd Place — Ocracoke Observer: Connie Leinbach
  • 3rd Place — Coastal Review Online: Catherine Kozak

Best Multimedia Project

  • 1st Place — EducationNC: Liz Bell
  • 2nd Place — Coastal Review Online: Kathleen Onorevole
  • 3rd Place — Coastal Review Online: Allison Ballard

City-County Government Reporting

  • 1st Place — Carolina Public Press: Frank Taylor
  • 2nd Place — Coastal Review Online: Allison Ballard
  • 3rd Place — Coastal Review Online: Jennifer Allen

Editorials

  • 1st Place — Carolina Journal: Rick Henderson
  • 2nd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Rob Schofield
  • 3rd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Billy Ball

Election/Political Reporting

  • 1st Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Billy Ball
  • 2nd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Melissa Boughton
  • 3rd Place — The Insider: Colin Campbell

Feature Writing

  • 1st Place — Coastal Review Online: Jennifer Allen
  • 2nd Place — Coastal Review Online: Kip Tabb
  • 3rd Place — NC Health News: Rose Hoban

General News Reporting

  • 1st Place — NC Health News: Taylor Knopf
  • 2nd Place — Coastal Review Online: Catherine Kozak
  • 3rd Place — Carolina Public Press: Vaughn Hagerty

Headline Writing

  • 1st Place — Ocracoke Observer: Staff
  • 2nd Place — Coastal Review Online: Mark Hibbs

Investigative Reporting

  • 1st Place — NC Health News: Taylor Knopf
  • 2nd Place — Carolina Journal: Kari Travis
  • 3rd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Billy Ball

Lighter Columns

  • 1st Place — Coastal Review Online: Sam Bland
  • 2nd Place — Coastal Review Online: Liz Biro
  • 3rd Place — Coastal Review Online: Jared Lloyd

Photography, Feature

  • 1st Place — Coastal Review Online: Mark Hibbs
  • 2nd Place — EducationNC : Yasmin Bendaas
  • 3rd Place — Coastal Review Online: Mark Hibbs

Photography, General News

  • 1st Place — Carolina Public Press: Melissa Sue Gerrits
  • 2nd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Lisa Sorg
  • 3rd Place — Ocracoke Observer: Staff

Photography, Spot

  • 1st Place — Ocracoke Observer: Peter Vankevich
  • 2nd Place — Ocracoke Observer: Peter Vankevich

Profile Feature

  • 1st Place — Coastal Review Onlihe: Jennifer Allen
  • 2nd Place — NC Health News: Taylor Knopf
  • 3rd Place — Coastal Review Online: Kip Tabb

Religion & Faith Reporting

  • 1st Place — The Insider: Colin Campbell

Serious Columns

  • 1st Place — The Insider: Colin Campbell
  • 2nd Place — N.C. Policy Watch: Rob Schofield
  • 3rd Place — Carolina Journal: John Trump

In Division A (print newspapers under 3,500 circulation), several area publications were recognized.

The Highlander (Highlands, NC)

  • 1st Place — Arts & Entertainment Reporting
  • 1st Place — News Enterprise Reporting
  • 1st Place — News Feature Writing
  • 1st Place — Editorials
  • 3rd Place — Photography, General News

Hendersonville Lighting (Hendersonville, NC)

  • 1st Place — Beat Feature Reporting
  • 2nd Place — Education Reporting
  • 2nd Place — News Coverage-Community Only
  • 2nd Place — News Enterprise Reporting
  • 1st Place — Feature Writing
  • 3rd Place — General Excellence for Websites
  • 1st Place — Serious Columns
  • 3rd Place — Special Section-Newspapers Only

Smoky Mountain Times (Waynesville, NC)

  • 1st Place — News Coverage-Community Only
  • 3rd Place — Feature Writing
  • 2nd Place — Photography, Spot
  • 1st Place — Special Section-Newspapers Only

Ashe Post & Times (Ashe County, NC)

  • 3rd Place — Online Breaking News Coverage
  • 3rd Place — City County Government Reporting
  • 2nd Place — Election/Political Reporting
  • 3rd Place — Ashe Post & Times

Blowing Rocket

  • 1st Place — Religion & Faith Reporting

Cherokee One Feather (Cherokee, NC)

  • 3rd Place — Appearance & Design
  • 1st Place — General Excellence for Websites
  • 1st Place — Headline Writing
  • 1st Place — Photo Page or Essay
  • 3rd Place — Photography, Sports
  • 2nd Place — Sports Coverage-Newspapers Only
  • 1st Place — Sports Feature Photo
  • 3rd Place — Sports Feature Photo
  • 1st Place — Use of Photographs-Community/Specialty/Online

Avery Journal Times

  • 3rd Place — Photography, Feature
  • 1st Place — Sports Coverage-Newspapers Only

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