Newspaper Association recognizes its best in editorial and advertising in 2021
1st Place General Excellence Awards to Charleston Gazette-Mail, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Hampshire Review, The Record Delta, The Times Record and Roane County Reporter, and The Tyler Star News
WV Press Sharing
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Bluefield Daily Telegraph is once again the West Virginia Press Association’s Newspaper of the Year.
The southern West Virginia newspaper repeated last year’s success as the newspaper with the most total points in the WVPA’s 2021 editorial and advertising competitions. Bluefield also won the First-Place General Excellence award in both Editorial and Advertising for Division II.
General Excellence Awards honor the newspapers with the most points earned by their staff members in either the editorial or advertising competition. The winners for 2021 are as follows:
1st – Charleston Gazette-Mail
2nd – The Weirton Daily Times
1st – Hampshire Review
3rd – The Spirit of Jefferson
3rd – The Wayne County News
1st – Charleston Gazette-Mail
3rd – The Weirton Daily Times
2nd – The Spirit of Jefferson
3rd – Hampshire Review
1st – The Tyler Star News
2nd – The Record Delta
NOTE: Due to technical difficulties, the video for the advertising awards is not available. We hope to have it up soon. The Individual winners by newspaper are listed below. WV Press is sorry for this issue.
In-Person Convention Canceled
And for the second year in a row, COVID-19 has forced the WVPA to cancel its in-person convention in Charleston and go with a website-only celebration.
“We are so proud of our newspapers and staff members and thrilled to announce these editorial and advertising honors,” WVPA Executive Director Don Smith said. “Unfortunately, the dangers related to COVID-19 forced us to cancel our convention. Back in January, the WVPA Board of Directors voted to go virtual this year. When the numbers dropped in late spring and early summer, we looked at possibly having a smaller in-person event; however, the Delta Variant’s growth made it clear we needed to protect our membership and stay virtual.”
“It’s sadly ironic that COVID has forced the cancelation of our convention for two years. Our newspapers did an excellent job with COVID-19 editorial coverage and advertising information. Every community in West Virginia benefitted from the information featured in their local newspaper,” Smith said. “Each of our newspapers earned outstanding recognition for its COVID coverage.”
“We are together in spirit and purpose. Our theme – The press is a watchdog – outlines the importance of our industry. The WVPA decision to go virtual again this year outlines the importance of the people working in our industry. We want to keep our people safe. We have lost too many coworkers, family members and friends,” Smith said. “Our goal is to have a full slate of in-person events in 2022. Let’s hope that is possible.”
“We are very happy and, at the same time, very disappointed for the staff at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. For two years in a row, they have won Newspaper of the Year and have not gotten to celebrate at convention. We owe those folks one helluva of a party,” Smith said. “The same is true of our other winners. Winning is great but doing it with your peers makes it special.”
“We thank our sponsors for their continuing support during this COVID period. Without our partnership with AARP WV, West Virginia University, and the West Virginia Press Association Foundation, we would not be able to recognize and reward each winner. We would not be able to present this information without the assistance of HepCatz Design and PaywallProject.com,” Smith said.
Advertisement of the Year
The Advertisement of the Year goes to the staff of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel for the advertisement “Seven Springs – Remember that feeling.”
Photo of the Year
The Photo of the Year goes to Rick Barbero of The Register-Herald for the photo “Cooling off on a hot day.”
The list of all other individual winners by division is below. Each newspaper winner receives a plaque, and each individual winner receives a plaque or certificate depending on the award. The awards will be shipped to each newspaper.
The Adam R. Kelly Award
The Adam R. Kelly Award, the WVPA’s highest individual honor, will be announced on Sept. 3.
National Newspaper Week
Sunday, Oct. 3, to Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021
West Virginia Press Association
The 2021 West Virginia Press Association Board of Directors includes:
— Sandy Buzzerd, Morgan Messenger, president
— Jim Spanner, Parkersburg News and Sentinel, immediate past president
— Hannah Heishman, Moorefield Examiner, vice president of Weeklies
— Jim McGoldrick, St. Marys Oracle
— Dave Hedges, Times Record and Roane County Reporter
— Perry Nardo, The Intelligencer & Wheeling News-Register, president of Press Services
— Doug Skaff, Charleston Gazette-Mail
— Adam Raese, The Dominion Post
West Virginia Press Association Foundation
West Virginia Press Association Foundation trustees includes:
— Ed Given, Braxton County Citizens News, president
— Frank Wood, The Register-Herald of Beckley, retired, trustee
— Nanya Friend, Charleston Gazette-Mail, retired, trustee
— Pam Pritt, The Pocahontas Times, former owner, trustee
In 2021, the WVPA Foundation awarded five $1,000 college scholarships.
With student safety the primary issue in 2021, the Foundation focused on assisting students with their education in the form of $1,000 scholarships instead of paid internships. The Foundation’s trustees hope to reinstate paid internships in 2022.
The scholarship winners include:
1 – Emma Hanlon, Huntington, W.Va. — Marshall University
2 – Mason Harp, Fayetteville, W.Va. — West Virginia University
3 – Mark Webb, Fairmont, W.Va. — West Virginia University
4 – Kelly Pyne, Marlinton, W.Va. — Berea College
5 – Xena Bunton, Oak Hill, Ohio — Marshall University
Newspaper ownership, community journalism, online news opportunities, college scholarships and fellowships based at West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media. Contact NewStart Director Jim Iovino or West Virginia Press Association Executive Director Don Smith for more information.
What is NewStart:
NewStart is a local news ownership initiative, created by West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media in collaboration with the West Virginia Press Association, that has a mission to recruit, train and support the next generation of community newspaper owners and publishers across the country.
Who are these new owners? They could be current college students who have an entrepreneurial flair. They could be current journalists who want to run their own publication. They could be journalists who have been caught up in the downsizing of newsrooms that has occurred across the country and want to start anew. Or they could be entrepreneurs with no journalism background who know how important journalism is for a healthy democracy and a strong community.
All West Virginia newspapers and more than 90 percent of newspapers in the U.S. are considered “small market,” with a circulation of 50,000 or less. These newspapers are often family-owned and remain trusted sources of news and information in the communities they serve. They also remain economically viable because of the continued demand for their exclusive hyper-local coverage and their commitment to improving their local communities.
However, many of these media outlets have reached a crossroads. The individuals and families who nurtured these publications for decades are looking for new owners who will continue to publish news that holds the powerful accountable and maintain a strong community presence.
This one-of-a-kind fellowship program provides a comprehensive ownership transition plan that matches potential buyers with publications that want to sell, and offers extensive training for the new owners on how to manage, operate and grow their media properties. NewStart also is establishing a collaborative community of media entrepreneurs, who can share best practices and work together to create a sustainable model for local journalism.