Herald wins first place for general excellence

Mar. 22, 2013 @ 05:01 AM

The North Carolina Press Association has presented The Sanford Herald with 17 awards, recognizing the work of the newspaper's news and advertising staffs for 2012.

Among those distinctions is The Herald's first-place honor for general excellence in the annual news, editorial and photojournalism competition, setting The Herald apart among North Carolina newspapers with circulations of below 12,500. It marks the third consecutive year The Herald has been named the best newspaper in the small dailies division in North Carolina, following first-place finishes in 2010 and 2011.

The Herald ranks among the state's most-awarded newspapers over the past three years with 63 awards.

The newspaper's eight news, editorial and photography awards for 2012 were presented at the NCPA’s annual institute and awards ceremony Thursday at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina.

Reporter Anna Johnson won first place in the best video category for "Scenes from Day 1 of the Lee Regional Fair 2012," while Editor R.V. Hight, special contributor Chip Pate and photographer Wesley Beeson took top honors for best niche publication with the newspaper's "Chatham Living" magazine, a sister publication to The Herald’s “Lee County Living” magazine, which has previously won best niche publication recognition in the competition.

Johnson also won second place in arts and entertainment reporting for her story "Pottery Festival ends," while Herald special contributor and film critic Neil Morris won second place in criticism for his movie reviews. Two more second-place awards went to Herald staff — one in the category of multimedia project for the newspaper’s Lee Regional Fair blog, and the other for feature section design.

In the editorial page category, The Herald was awarded third-place among the more than 20 North Carolina newspapers in the division.

“To be recognized by our peers as being among the best newspapers in our division in the state of North Carolina is very gratifying, and a reflection of the compelling work Editor R.V. Hight and his staff do on daily basis,” said Herald Publisher Bill Horner III.

"Our newsroom staff works diligently to provide a top-quality product for our readers," said Hight. "I am proud of each member of our news team, which is dedicated to producing a great newspaper. We are grateful that our work has been recognized by our peers."