Pilot Wins 11 Awards in Annual Press Contest
By Tom Embrey
For the third time in four years, The Pilot brought home more than 10 awards in the annual North Carolina Press Association News, Editorial and Photojournalism contest.
The Pilot racked up 11 awards, including first place for news coverage, in the nondaily community category with circulation of more than 10,000. The Durham Independent was the top winner in the category with 12 awards.
The 2011 awards were present ed during a banquet Thursday night at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In all, The Pilot earned three first-place awards, three for second and five for third. The banquet is part of the NCPA's Winter Institute.
"We're honored that our peers recognized the investment we've made in our newspaper," said David Woronoff, publisher of The Pilot. "We believe The Pilot exists to serve our great community, and the best service we can render is to consistently put out a great newspaper."
Steve Bouser, editor of The Pilot, praised the newspaper staff for its success.
"The staff works so hard," he said. "I am so proud of them for doing so well in the contest."
The judge said The Pilot's news coverage entry "stood out as the No. 1 pick ... because the coverage is there throughout the paper. The front has a nice mix of -government, feature and -education stories, and the inside stories follow suit. Great job."
Staff writer Ted Natt Jr. and the late columnist Allan Jefferys also earned first-place awards. Natt earned his award in News Enterprise Reporting for his story on fracking. The judges called Natt's story a "detailed examination of an issue that will affect the paper's readership."
Jefferys, who died Sept. 29, won for his lighter column, "Old Movies a Joy to Watch: Memories of Other Christmases."
Staff writer/photographer Hannah Sharpe, who took home three awards last year, won three awards and shared another this year. She earned second place in Best Video for her coverage of the United Way of Moore County's Tour de Trike. She also took third in that category for "An Everyday Remembrance and third in Photo Page.
Of the winning photo page entry "Fireworks Fun and Freedom in Moore County," the judges wrote, "Gorgeous colorful photos that tell stories of the many aspects of the event."
Sharpe shared a third-place award with Senior Writer Tom Embrey for Best Multimedia Coverage for coverage of the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Special Sections Editor Martha Henderson won second place in Special Sections for her Robbins Farmers Day section. The judges said the section was very well organized and called it "a standout among many."
"The writing is crisp. The photos are great, as is the design," the judge wrote.
Jim Dodson, Sunday essayist for The Pilot and editor of PineStraw magazine, won a third-place award in Lighter Columns for his entry, "Saint Billy Joe Was One of a Kind."
The Pilot staff also garnered second place for Editorial Page, and third place for Sports Coverage.
Regarding the sports coverage, the judge wrote, "Interesting sports columns to mix things up from the usual game reports. The Golf section was A-1 along with the unique Hoof Beat(s). These sports pages are very creative."
About 125 newspapers submitted more than 4,000 entries for the contest. Members of the Maryland and Delaware Press Association judged contest entries.
Frank Daniels Jr., majority owner of The Pilot, earned the biggest award of the night.
The former president and publisher of The News & Observer of Raleigh was named North Carolinian of the Year during the banquet.
He is the second newspaperman to receive this honor. Past winners include Dean Smith, the Rev. Billy Graham, Hugh Morton, Gen. Hugh Shelton, Richard Petty and Elizabeth Dole.
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
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