news@norman, staffers honored for journalism excellence by NC Press Association
The North Carolina Press Association honored news@norman and three of its staffers during its annual ceremony for journalism excellence last week in Chapel Hill.
Stories, photos, special sections and editorials from 2011 were eligible in the contest. The awards ceremony honored the newspapers across North Carolina from weeklies to dailies and specialty publications in the 2011 News, Editorial and Photojournalism Contest.
John Fortenberry, in his first year working for a newspaper, received first place in the news enterprise reporting category for stories that focused on loopholes in state law that created a haven for sex offenders in North Carolina.
“The articles are strongly written and well researched, but it’s the subject of Fortenberry’s reporting that edges out the other top entries including news@norman’s other quality entry (the second place entry by Ken Fortenberry on the commissioner’s activities).”
Anna Fortenberry received a second place in news feature writing for her feature “I’m Gonna Die Here” – a 9/11 remembrance story.
The judges commented that the story was a “nice range of people that lend many different perspectives on a story that most Americans already know well. The writing style is compelling and kept the reader involved and interested throughout.”
Ken Fortenberry received a second place for editorial pages as well as second place in news enterprise reporting for his coverage about county commissioner Carrol Mitchem whose restaurant does business with the county.
The judges said that the “coverage of the county commissioner’s activities are well-documented, researched and concisely portrayed.”
The staff of news@norman received a third place in the Special Section category for the issue on Rock Springs Camp Meeting. Contributing to the success of this special section were Ken, Anna, and John Fortenberry, Leslie F. Thomas, Wendy Pavel, Doreen Sugierski, Joseph Brymer, and Angela Fortenberry Payne.
“History pieces can be dry as dust,” commented the judge, “but what made this special section sparkle was the idea of having the Faces and Places Facebook contest. Facebook doesn’t always translate well to print but this was fun to read. I especially liked the article explaining camp to novices. The cover design and photo (photo submitted by Kelli Hogue) were charming. Great job.”
Angela Fortenberry Payne conducted a reader-interactive project on Facebook in which readers submitted photos for the section.
The newspaper also received a second place in the prestigious Community Service category for its in-depth coverage of the Lincoln County Animal Shelter and its practice of euthanizing animals.
news@norman competed with all the non-daily newspapers across the state regardless of circulation size for this honore.
“Great ongoing coverage of what clearly proved to be a dismally and dishonestly run agency,” said the judge. “You brought awareness to the readers as well as forcing change in the way things were done.”
news@norman and its staffers are consistent top performers in the annual journalism excellence contest. The newspaper is the most-honored community newspaper in the region.
The newspaper competes in the Community Division for weeklies across the state in the 3,500 to 10,000 circulation division with much larger staffs.
Seth Mabry, formerly of the Lincoln Times-News, won the highest honor for photographers, the Hugh Morton Photographer of the Year for community newspapers. The judges commented that his portfolio “really shines!”
Frank Taylor and Karla Marsh of the Lincoln Times-News won third-place in community service for its “City Wards” story.