Times-Mirror wins sweepstakes, 35 other awards in annual state news competition

The Loudoun Times-Mirror on April 9 was honored by the Virginia Press Association with its top recognition for a nondaily publication, the 2010 “sweepstakes” award for best newspaper in the state.

In addition, the Times-Mirror was awarded the “Best in Show” honor for news photography by Photo Editor Beverly Denny.

In all, the Times-Mirror and The Indie were given 36 awards for excellence in news and photo journalism.

The annual journalism contest is a competitive and long-standing tradition involving 122 daily and weekly newspapers from across Virginia, with a total of 3,664 entries spanning multiple categories of news, photography, and advertising and production.

The Times-Mirror won a total of 31 separate statewide news and photo awards, while The Indie won a total of five awards from the VPA. The awards span the Times-Mirror’s news offerings in its print editions, as well as its robust online content at loudountimes.com. Within its category, the Times-Mirror one a total of one-third of the 107 overall awards for news and photography.

A total of 15 first place, seven second place and eight third place news and photo awards were given to the Times-Mirror staff. The Indie received a first place award and four third place awards.

There were 10 news categories where the Times-Mirror had multiple winners within a single news contest category.

In the category of “Government Writing,”the Times-Mirror swept all three top spots – first, second and third place – in the state.

The Times-Mirror also took two of the top three slots for Headline Writing, Feature Photo, Online Video, Combination-Picture-and-Story, General News Writing, Multimedia News Report, Feature Series or Continuing Story and Personal Service Writing.

“The Virginia Press Association is amongst the strongest in the country. This is quite an honor,” remarked Peter Arundel, Publisher of the Times-Mirror. “This validates our commitment to journalistic integrity. The people at the Times-Mirror are the best in the business and I am privileged to work with them.”

“The number of news awards for the Times-Mirror is truly amazing, but tell only half the story,” said Executive Editor Nicholas Graham.“Our news staff is the hardest working, most passionate and most committed in the field – and that comes through in the stories they write. Further, the recognitions we received speak volumes about the kind of news organization we have become in the past year. Not only the best in print, but the best online as well – with more stories, more topics, more video, more photos and more reader engagement through web comments, traffic and social networking.”

Here is a breakdown by Times-Mirror staff:

Beverly Denny, photo editor:

“Best in Show” – top state honors for photography
First place – Feature Photo
First place – General News Photo
First place – Personality/Portrait Photo
First place – Sports Feature Photo
First place – Sports Pages
Second place – Multimedia News Report
Third place – Feature Photo
Third place – Sports News Photo
Third place – Combination-Picture-And-Story

Nicholas Graham, executive editor:

First place – Government Writing
First place – General News Writing
Second place – Headline Writing
Second place – Multimedia News Report
Third place – Editorial Writing
Third place – Breaking News Writing
Third place – Combination Picture & Story

Hannah Hager, business editor

First place – Multimedia News Report
First place – General News Writing
Second place – Multimedia News Report
Second place – Business & Financial Writing
Second place – Feature Series/Continuing Story
Second place – Health, Science & Environmental Writing
Third place – Combination-Picture-and-Story

Crystal Owens, county government reporter

First place – Combination-Picture-and-Story
First place – General News Writing
Second place – Government Writing
Second place – Multimedia News Report
Second place – Feature Series/Continuing Story
Third place – Combination Picture & Story
Third place – Feature Series/Continuing Story
Third place – Government Writing (The Indie)

Jana Wagoner, public safety reporter

First place – Multimedia Feature Report
First place – General News Writing
Second place – Personal Service Writing
Third place – Combination Picture & Story

Matt Vecchio, features/video reporter

First place – Online Video
Second place – Multimedia News Report
Third place – Online Video

Carl Lukat, sports editor

First place – Headline Writing
First place – Sports Pages

The Indie

First place – Feature Writing Portfolio
Third place – Education Writing
Third place – Government Writing
Third place – In-Depth/Investigative Reporting
Third place – Personal Service Writing: “Dr. Indie”

The Times-Mirror also took home other news awards for: Health, Science and Environmental Writing (First Place); Informational Graphics (First Place); and General News Writing (Third Place).

In the VPA’s separate Advertising category, the Times-Mirror also collected eighteen awards for its creative and production services, including eight First Place awards.

The only other Loudoun publication, Leesburg Today, earned a single award for special sections/special editions.

For a full list of statewide VPA award winners in all categories, visit http://www.vpa.net.

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