April 10, 2011

Cherry on Top

Tony, Katie and I trekked out to Norfolk yesterday to attend the Virginia Press Association awards banquet. I think the trip re-energized us to think about reporting and ways to reach out to the community. The drive back to Waynesboro was filled with conversation about journalism and our roles in Waynesboro...or wherever this industry takes us.

I figured it'd be a good time to update other Sad Bears about some of our work here. I've now surpassed my one-and-a-half year mark at the paper...Tony and Katie have now been here for almost three.

The News Virginian performed extremely well in 2010, winning (for the second consecutive year) the VPA's top honor for The Borders Within series by myself and Tony.

We took home the VPA Public Service Award. Charlotte Hall, a retired editor of The Orlando Sentinel and former managing editor of Newsday, judged the community service competition:


Of “The Borders Within” Hall commented: “Tony Gonzalez and Chase Purdy spent more than a year … developing contacts, gaining the trust of newcomers and even learning Spanish to facilitate their reporting.

“The results were a series of stories that revealed the humanity of newcomers and contributed to greater community understanding.

“In one case, their reporting also righted a wrong, as they showed how immigration red tape had dangerously divided a family."

Read the rest of the review at The News Virginian.


Every member of our staff won a VPA award this year. I walked away with 10, including first-place honors in breaking news writing, multimedia feature and feature writing portfolio. Tony snagged 10 awards as well, including first-place finishes for investigative reporting and public safety writing. Katie brought home a war chest, including several first-place wins, for her work on the production end of the paper.

I'd be interested in hearing about some of our other accomplishments or what projects we've been working on at Purdue, The Effingham Daily News, Crain, Ohio University, University of Arizona, et al.

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Blogger Naomi said...

Good job, you three! I always enjoy hearing what my newspaper friends are up to.

April 11, 2011 at 3:53 PM 
Blogger JHitts said...

No huge projects here, but we did spend two weeks working on a spring sports preview that was little more than a picture book of all the teams. It had schedules in it, too, which was nice, but still a lot of work.

Other than that, we're just chronicling the Teutopolis Wooden Shoes' march to their second-consecutive state baseball title. They have one of the top baseball prospects in the state — at any level — who will probabaly be drafted this year. So that's exciting.

Our Illinois Press Association awards are in June. I submitted a few stories and photos, and we had a few other solid entries from the rest of the sports staff, so hopefully we win something.

April 14, 2011 at 11:57 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well-deserved recognition for the fine work you do. Congratulations!

April 17, 2011 at 10:08 PM 

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