The Inter-Mountain earns Newspaper of the Year honors

DAVIS – The Inter-Mountain captured 44 awards, including Newspaper of the Year honors, during the West Virginia Press Association’s 2014 Better Newspapers Contest, held Saturday at Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center.

The newspaper excelled in the editorial competition, earning 27 awards, including first place in General Excellence. The Inter-Mountain garnered 16 awards, including second place in General Excellence, in the Advertising Competition. Its combined overall score in the two contests earned The I-M the coveted Newspaper of the Year distinction.

“I am tremendously proud of the staff at The Inter-Mountain for their hard work and dedication,” I-M Publisher and General Manager Heather Goodwin Henline said. “To have it culminate in Newspaper of the Year is humbling and gives us a high standard of excellence to use as our personal benchmark going forward.”

“I see the results of the staff’s efforts every day,” Goodwin Henline added. “While neither The Inter-Mountain nor any paper ever will be perfect – and we know areas where we still can improve – we are ecstatic we could achieve this designation for our readers and the communities we serve.”

In the editorial contest, The Inter-Mountain earned nine first-place awards, six second-place honors and 11 third-place distinctions.

Editorial awards include: Philip Hawken, third place Best Cartoon Drawing/Graphic; staff, second place Best Sports Section; John Wickline, third place Best Photography-Feature; Beth Christian Broschart, Tim MacVean, Angie Pritt and Matthew Burdette, second place Best Photography-Photo Essay; staff, second place Best Single Issue; Matthew Burdette, first place Best Written News Story; Heather Goodwin Henline, second place Best Written News Story; Heather Goodwin Henline, first place Best Headline News; Brad Johnson, third place Best Headline News; Matthew Burdette, first place Best Lifestyle Page; Matthew Burdette, second place Best Lifestyles Page; staff, first place Best Special Section; Staff, first place Service to the Community; Staff, second place Service to the Community; Matthew Burdette, third place Best News Feature; Doug Comer, third place Best Sports Columnist; Matthew Burdette, first place Best Sports Feature Writing; Matthew Burdette, first place Best Sports Page or Pages; Bonnie K. Phares, third place Best Lifestyles Columnist; Melissa Toothman and Katie Kuba, third place Reporting of Governmental Affairs; Matthew Burdette, first place Best Editorial Page; Heather Goodwin Henline, third place Best Lifestyles Feature Writing; Brad Johnson, second place Best Columnist; Matthew Burdette, third place Best Columnist; Katie Kuba, first place Best Coverage of Legal Issues/Courts; and John Wickline, third place Best Coverage of Legal Issues/Courts.

“I am extremely proud and humbled by our showing in this year’s West Virginia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest,” I-M Executive Editor Matthew Burdette said. “I can’t thank my staff enough for their hard work and dedication. None of this would be possible without each and every member of the editorial department team. Their focus and determination are unrivaled, and it shows in each day’s edition.”

“Winning Newspaper of the Year has been a personal goal for many years,” Burdette added. “It’s a true privilege to receive this prestigious award, especially since it is presented by our peers in the newspaper industry. We strive each day to publish the best possible newspaper, and it is awe-inspiring to be deemed the best in the Mountain State. That said, we will not rest on our laurels. We will continue to build upon this to give our readers the absolute best.”

Overall, the editorial contest has 25 categories, ranging from Coverage of Government Affairs to Best Sports Feature Writing and Best Editorial Page. In 2014, 40 of the state’s 81 newspapers entered 2,263 entries. The overall awards for General Excellence are based on awards won in the 25 individual categories.

For General Excellence, the West Virginia Press Association recognized three places in each division. The newspapers recognized for General Excellence in editorial coverage in 2014 were as follows:

Division I (Dailies over 16,000 circulation): First place, Charleston Daily Mail; second place, The Charleston Gazette; and third place, The Register-Herald, Beckley.

Division II (Dailies 16,000 and under): First place, The Inter-Mountain, Elkins; second place, The Exponent Telegram, Clarksburg; and third place, Times West Virginian, Fairmont.

Division III (Weeklies over 4,000): First place, Hampshire Review, Romney; second place, The Times Record, Spencer; third place, Spirit of Jefferson, Charles Town.

Division IV (Weeklies 4,000 and under): First place, The Record Delta, Buckhannon; second-place, The Princeton Times; and third-place (ties); The Montgomery Herald; Tyler Star News, Sistersville; and Glenville Democrat/Pathfinder.

Other awards given during the BNC Editorial dinner on Saturday include:

  • Spencer Newspapers publisher David Spencer was honored with the Adam R. Kelly Premier Journalist Award.
  • Tom Hindman, photographer for the The Daily Mail of Charleston, won the Photo of the Year honor.

In the advertising contest, The Inter-Mountain earned seven first-place awards, three second-place honors and three third-place distinctions.

Advertising awards include: first place Best Website Ad; second place Best Website Ad; first place Best Classified Section; third place Best Process Color Ad Over Page; second place Best Theme Pages Retail; first place Best Process Color Ad Under Page; third place Best Theme Pages Classified; first place Best House Ad; first place Best Special Section-Sports; third place Best Small Ad Campaign; first place Best Newspaper Promo Campaign; third place Best Newspaper Promo Campaign; first place Best Single Ad Black and White under Page; second place Best Spot Color Ad Under Page; and third place Best Spot Color Ad Under Page.

“I am very proud of the entire advertising staff and the hard work they invest on a daily basis,” I-M Advertising Director Michelle Hammonds said. “We take a lot of pride in what we do. We strive every day to give our advertising clients the best service possible, and none of this would be possible without our clients and dedicated staff.”

Overall, the advertising contest has 17 categories, ranging from Best Small Ad Campaign to Best Process Color Ad and Best Progress Edition. In 2014, 28 of the state’s 81 newspapers entered 1,416 entries. The overall awards for General Excellence are based on awards won in the basic categories.

For General Excellence, the West Virginia Press Association recognized three places in each division. The newspapers recognized for General Excellence in advertising in 2014 were as follows:

Division I (Dailies over 16,000 circulation): First place, The Dominion Post, Morgantown; second place, The Register-Herald, Beckley; and third place, Charleston Newspapers.

Division II (Dailies 16,000 and under): First place, The Exponent Telegram, Clarksburg; second place, The Inter-Mountain, Elkins; and third place, Times West Virginian, Fairmont.

Division III (Weeklies over 4,000): First place, Spirit of Jefferson, Charles Town; second place, Weston Democrat; and third place, Moorefield Examiner.

Division IV (Weeklies 4,000 and under): First place, The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill; second place, Shepherdstown Chronicle, Charles Town; and third place, Princeton Times.

“This competition displays the quality of journalism in West Virginia. From the largest daily newspaper to the smallest weekly newspaper, West Virginia residents benefit from the outstanding and dedicated work of journalists working in the Mountain State,” said Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association. “Community journalism remains the centerpiece of the newspaper industry in West Virginia. The West Virginia Press Association is proud to recognize and honor these outstanding journalists and newspapers.”