The Inter-Mountain earns top honors at WVPA convention

Members of The Inter-Mountain’s editorial department gather to celebrate their finish in the 2017 West Virginia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The newspaper finished in first place in Division II. Department members are, from left, Anthony Gaynor, Thomas Barr, Bayli Helmick, Jane Howell, Matt Burdette, Beth Henry-Vance, Angelea Goodwin, Brooke Binns and Brad Johnson.

Members of The Inter-Mountain’s editorial department gather to celebrate their finish in the 2017 West Virginia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The newspaper finished in first place in Division II. Department members are, from left, Anthony Gaynor, Thomas Barr, Bayli Helmick, Jane Howell, Matt Burdette, Beth Henry-Vance, Angelea Goodwin, Brooke Binns and Brad Johnson.

ELKINS — For the fourth time in five years, The Inter-Mountain’s editorial department has been recognized by the West Virginia Press Association as tops in its division.

The Association’s annual conference concluded Saturday at Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center with the editorial awards banquet. The Inter-Mountain earned first place General Excellence in Division II, for daily newspapers under 16,000 in circulation.

The newspaper’s advertising department was recognized on Friday with third-place General Excellence honors.

In the editorial portion of the Better Newspaper Contest, The I-M received 25 total awards, including eight first-place awards, eight second-place honors, eight third-place nods and General Excellence.

First place individual and group awards are: Kevin Hostetler for Best Sports Photography; Matt Burdette for Best Illustration, Cartoon or Graphic; Burdette for Best Editorial Page; the staff for Best Special Section; the staff for Best Lifestyles Columnist; Burdette for Best Lifestyles Feature; the staff for Best New Feature; and Brooke Binns for Best Governmental Affairs Reporting.

Second place individual and group awards are: the staff for Best Photo Essay; the staff for Best Illustration, Cartoon or Graphic; Burdette for Best Editorial; Burdette for Best Sports Page or Pages; Shannon Bennett Campbell for Best Lifestyles Columnist; the staff for Lifestyles Feature; the staff for Service to the Community; and Burdette for Best In-Depth or Investigative Reporting.

Third place individual and group awards are: the staff for Best Sports Special Section; the staff for Best Newspaper Design; Burdette for Best Lifestyles Page; Brad Johnson for Best Sports Column; Dr. Heather Biola for Best News Columnist; Bonnie K. Phares for Best Lifestyles Columnist; Burdette for Best Lifestyles Feature and the staff for Best Business, Economic or Labor Reporting.

On the advertising side, The Inter-Mountain earned 15 total awards.

First place individual and group awards are: the staff for Best Spot Color Ad — Half Page or Less; Davis Medical Center for Best Agency Advertisement; Destiny Judy for Best Recruitment ad; and Joyce Becker for Best Newspaper Promotional Campaign.

Second place individual and group awards are: Elkins Main Street for Best Agency Advertisement.

Third place individual and group awards are: Becker for Best Single Black and White Ad — Quarter Page or Less; the staff for Best Single Black and White Ad — Larger Than a Half Page; the staff for Best Political Ad; Becker for Best House Ad; Becker for Best Classified Display Ad; Anthony Gaynor and Judy for Best Classified Section; Becker for Best Theme Pages – Retail; Judy for Best Online Motion Ad; and Judy for Best Single Newspapeer Online Promotional Ad.

Burdette was the top individual award winner in Division II at convention this year, earning nine total awards.

“The Inter-Mountain has been very fortunate to have had many talented people throughout the years in both the newsroom and the advertising department, and it is great to witness how well everyone works together as a team,” Inter-Mountain Publisher Steve Herron said. “Matt Burdette, executive editor of The Inter-Mountain, took top honors at the Press Association, and for good reason. Matt’s talent is contagious. He has done a great job raising the bar and challenging the rest of the staff to achieve at a higher level.”