2018 NCPA Editorial and Advertising Awards


For immediate release:
Contact: Philip Lucey, NCPA Executive Director. phil@ncpress.com
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Raleigh, NC

(Raleigh, NC) North Carolina Press Association members were honored during the 146th annual convention held at the Raleigh Marriott Crabtree Valley. Awards were handed out during an advertising luncheon and editorial banquet on March 21, 2019. NCPA’s editorial and advertising contest is one of the largest in the nation with over 4,500 entries submitted by more than 100 newspapers and news organizations. Judging was completed by members of the New Jersey Press Association. Awards cover a contest period of October 2017-September 2018. A list of categories and rules can be found at www.ncpress.com.

Special recognition:
Eric Millsaps, Hickory Daily Record, introduced Rep. Mitchell Setzer as the William C Lassiter First Amendment winner

NC Bar Association president Jacqueline Grant presented the Media & Law awards.
Best Daily Article Winston-Salem Journal Scott Sexton
Best Non-daily Article The State Port Pilot Renee Spencer
Keith Lawrence, executive director of news and communication at Duke University, presented the Duke University/Green-Rossiter Award for Distinguished Newspaper Work in Higher Education.
Community Division: Smoky Mountain News Holly Kays
Online Division EducationNC Staff
Daily Division: News & Observer Jane Stancill and staff
Hugh Morton Photographer of the year award.
This award honors Hugh Morton, the owner of Grandfather Mountain who is best known for his passion for photography. Hugh Morton helped start the NC Photographers Association, and his pictures have appeared in Time, Life and National Geographic magazine as well as in countless newspapers.
The award, sponsored by Mountain Times Publications in Boone, recognizes a photographer’s body of work for the contest year. It is the most prestigious photography award we give.
Hugh Morton Photographer of the Year in the Community Newspaper Division from the Cherokee Scout is Ben Katz
Our Hugh Morton Photographer of the Year in the Daily Newspaper Division from the Fayetteville Observer is Melissa Sue Gerrits

The Henry Lee Weathers Freedom of Information Award honors journalists or newspapers for exceptional work in advancing or upholding the cause of Freedom of Information. It also recognizes excellence in reporting about access to government-held information and the First Amendment. Awards are given in two newspaper divisions – newspapers with circulation below 20,000 and newspapers with circulation over 20,000.
Newspapers with circulation below 20,000.
The Carolina Public Press’ investigation into the quality of care provided by adult care homes in North Carolina revealed troubling patterns of inconsistent and unreliable oversight and regulation of these facilities across the state. For their work and an analysis of over three years of public records please congratulate Frank Taylor and Michael Gebelein of the Carolina Public Press.

Newspapers with circulation over 20,000.
A traffic stop in Winston-Salem turned deadly when a police officer shot a man. And residents rightfully demanded answers. In addition to comprehensive, detailed reporting on the shooting itself, it was evident that body camera footage would be
the clearest way to provide readers with those vital answers.
Despite public demands and near daily protests, the newspaper met with resistance. Thankfully they did not give up. Please congratulate Michael Hewlett, Sarah Newell and Wesley Young of the Winston-Salem Journal for their pursuit of body cam footage to provide the community of Winston-Salem the answers they needed

This year we have renamed the award for best story based on a public notice in honor of Mark Binker - a devoted journalist who knew how important public notice is. In fact one of Mark’s last pieces was on a damaging public notice bill introduced at the time and wrote ‘taking notices out of the local newspaper is bad for journalism and bad for democracy’. We remember all of Mark’s work with this award.
For coverage on Methyl bromide our community winner is Diana B Matthews and Grant Merritt of the News Reporter
For coverage on Home health sale our daily winner is Olivia Neeley of the Wilson Times
And for coverage on congested interchange plans our daily winner is Richard Stradling of the News & Observer.

Community Service Awards

In third place Cherokee Scout for Celebrate Cherokee County
In second place the Sylva Herald and Ruralite for fighting for transparency
In first place the State Port Pilot for Animal Rights and wrongs

Public Service Awards,

newspapers with circulation of less than 25,000.
In third place the Gaston Gazette for Hard-time hotel closes
In second place Asheville Citizen-Times for age of addiction: Opioids endanger a generation
In first place the Hickory Daily Record for SBI investigates sheriff candidate

newspapers with a circulation exceeding 25,000.
In third StarNews for Hurricane Florence coverage
In second place News & Observer for Birthing Center deaths
In first place Charlotte Observer for Inside NC Prisons


General Excellence in print and online.
community newspapers in Division A.
General Excellence for websites
3rd place Hendersonville Lightning
2nd place Crossroads Chronicle
1st place Cherokee One Feather
General Excellence for Newspapers only
3rd placeDuplin Times
2nd place Cherokee One Feather
1st place North State Journal

In the Community newspapers division B
General Excellence for websites
3rd placeWatauga Democrat
2nd place Bladen Journal
1st place Outer Banks Sentinel
General Excellence for Newspapers only
3rd placeWatauga Democrat
2nd place Cherokee Scout
1st place State Port Pilot

In Community Division C
General Excellence for websites
3rd placeSmoky Mountain News
2nd place News Reporter
1st place Mountaineer
General Excellence for Newspapers only
3rd placeThe Pilot
2nd place Wilkes Journal-Patriot
1st place News Reporter

general excellence in online-only publications:
3rd placeCarolina Public Press
2nd place N.C. Policy Watch
1st place Coastal Review Online

In Division D,
General Excellence for websites
3rd place Hendersonville Times-News
2nd place Daily Advance
1st place Wilson Times
General Excellence for Newspapers only
3rd placeGaston Gazette
2nd place News Herald
1st place Wilson Times
In Division E
General Excellence for websites
3rd placeHerald-Sun
2nd place Daily Reflector
1st place StarNews
General Excellence for Newspapers only
3rd placeStarNews
2nd place High Point Enterprise
1st placeFayetteville Observer

In the largest daily division F,
General Excellence for websites
3rd placeNews & Record
2nd place Charlotte Observer
1st place Winston-Salem Journal
General Excellence for Newspapers only
3rd placeCharlotte Observer
2nd place News & Observer
1st place Winston-Salem Journal

For a full list of award winners please click HERE