The Pilot Wins Most Press Awards Ever
The news staff of The Pilot capped a record-breaking night by capturing a first-place General Excellence award at the 2009 North Carolina Press Association awards banquet Thursday night at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill.
The Pilot won the top General Excellence Award in the nondaily community category with circulation more than 10,000. It is the top award presented each year by the press association.
“I am pleased and proud of the great work this staff does every day,” said David Woronoff, publisher of The Pilot. “While we are flattered with the recognition from our peers, it is the opinion of our readers that matters most to us.”
The judges praised The Pilot for its complete and comprehensive coverage in the General Excellence category.
“What’s not to like and appreciate about The Pilot?” the judge said. “This is an excellent paper, from general news coverage and community impact and input as measured by reader involvement in letters to the editor, to visual appeal throughout.”
The Pilot also earned 12 individual awards — two more than last year and more than it has ever won in the past.
Deborah Salomon earned two first-place awards, one for news feature writing and another for serious columns.
Other first-place winners included John Krahnert III for lighter columns and Gordon White for sports columns.
Other winners included Glenn M. Sides, second place for general news photography and third place for sports photography; John Chappell, third place for general news reporting; Krahnert, third place for profile features; and Steve Bouser, third place for editorials and third for serious columns.
The Pilot staff earned a pair of second-place awards for appearance and design and editorial page quality.
The judge said of the paper’s editorial page: “This is a nice op-ed page complete with editorial cartoons.”
“I am very proud of our entire staff,” said Bouser, editor of The Pilot. “We work hard to serve our readers, not to win awards, but it never hurts to have our work recognized by our colleagues in the business — especially in North Carolina, which is widely recognized as one of the best newspaper states in the nation.”
About 125 newspapers submitted more than 4,000 entries for the contest. Members of the Alabama Press Association judged contest entries.
The evening was especially satisfying for Woronoff, who is the current president of the North Carolina Press Association and the fourth generation of his family to serve in that capacity. He is the second Pilot publisher to serve as president of the association.
The late Sam Ragan, former editor and publisher of The Pilot, served as president in 1973-1974.
“It is particularly gratifying to be able to present awards to our staff,” he said.
Before the awards ceremony, Woronoff reminded those attending that their enthusiasm and their passion is contagious and that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
“What you do each and every day,” he said, “makes your community a better place.”
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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