MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Four West Virginia newspapers earned first-place General Excellence awards, which honor outstanding achievement by circulation division, in the 2016 West Virginia Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.
The General Excellence Award winners are The Charleston Gazette-Mail in Division I, The Journal of Martinsburg in Division II, The Hampshire Review of Romney in Division III, and The Record Delta of Buckhannon in Division IV.
The results of the annual competition, which honors excellence in newspaper journalism, were announced Aug. 6 during a banquet at Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa in Morgantown.
The Point Pleasant Register earned one award during the annual Better Newspapers Contest, as Michael Johnson, editor of Ohio Valley Publishing, earned second place in the Feature Photo category with his photo of the State Capitol building framed by tulips growing in the median of Kanawha Boulevard. The photo was used as part of a preview for the 2015 Mason County Chamber of Commerce spring dinner at which keynote speaker Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced plans to expand the remaining 14-mile, two-lane section of U.S. 35.
During the evening, David Corcoran Sr., editor and publisher of the Glenville Democrat, won the Adam R. Kelly Premier Journalist Award, the WVPA’s top individual honor.
For the second year in a row, The Times Record & Roane County Reporter, owned by the Hedges family of Spencer Newspapers, won the West Virginia Press Association’s top newspaper honor: Newspaper of the Year.
David Corcoran Sr., editor and publisher of the Glenville Democrat, won the Adam R. Kelly Premier Journalist Award, the West Virginia Press Association’s top individual honor during the WVPA Convention at Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa in Morgantown. WVPA Photo by Dalton Walker.
“Our annual newspaper competition always brings out the best our state’s newspapers and journalists have to offer,” said Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association. “From the largest daily newspaper to the smallest weekly newspaper, West Virginia residents benefit from the outstanding and dedicated work of journalists throughout the state. Community journalism remains the centerpiece of the newspaper industry in the Mountain State. The West Virginia Press Association is proud to recognize and honor the excellent work produced by West Virginia’s terrific newspapers and journalists.”
“I also want to extend congratulations to Dave Corcoran of the Glenville Democrat and Pathfinder and the David and Starr Hedges and family for success of The Times Record & Roane County Reporter,” Smith said. “There are two great examples of family newspaper operations.”
Newspapers across the state compete in four circulation groups, two each for daily and weekly newspapers. The contest has 28 categories, ranging from Coverage of Government Affairs to Best Sports Feature Writing and Best Editorial Page. In 2016, 35 newspapers submitted more than 2,000 entries. The overall awards for General Excellence are based on total points earned in the basic 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 2016 were as follows:
Division I (Dailies over 16,000 circulations): First place, The Charleston Gazette-Mail; second place, The Herald Dispatch, Huntington; third place, Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
Division II (Dailies 16,000 and under): First place, The Journal of Martinsburg; second place, The Bluefield Daily Telegraph; and third place, Times West Virginian of Fairmont.
Division III (Weeklies over 4,000): First place, Hampshire Review, Romney; second place, The Times Record & Roane County Reporter, Spencer; and third place, The Spirit of Jefferson, Charles Town.
Division IV (Weeklies 4,000 and under): First place, The Record Delta, Buckhannon; second place, The Moorefield Examiner; and third place, The Shepherdstown Chronicle.
The Point Pleasant Register competes in Division II Dailies.