News-Herald wins VPA awards

Published 12:23 pm Monday, April 11, 2011

The Suffolk News-Herald took home 12 awards from the Virginia Press Association conference Saturday.

The association’s annual awards for writing, photography, design and multimedia were presented at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.

The News-Herald earned three first-place awards, seven second-places and two third-places. The awards year spanned 13 months, from December 2009 through December 2010.

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The newspaper competes against 10 other daily newspapers in the state with less than 20,000 circulation.

Page designer Troy Cooper collected a first-place award in the informational graphics category for an April 14 graphic that depicted where different cuts of pork come from on the pig. The illustration ran on the Food and Beverage page.

The judges said Cooper’s graphic was “eye-catching” and “well-executed.”

In addition, News-Herald editor Res Spears and news editor Tracy Agnew, along with former editor Tim Reeves and former reporter Leila Roche, received a first-place award for their work on business pages throughout the year. Judges commented on the use of graphics, bold headers and the use of the feature story to anchor the page.

Agnew received a first-place and second-place award in the general news writing category. The first-place award was for her ongoing coverage of problems within Macedonia Baptist Church that caused the court system to have to oversee elections of church officials. The second-place award came from ongoing coverage of a scandal that involved a salacious email sent by an Electoral Board member to the then-voter registrar.

Spears won a second-place award in the pictorial photo category for a photograph he took at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall brought to the city last fall by R.W. Baker Funeral Home. Judges said the photo of boots and a rifle stuck in the ground in front of the wall “captures the heart.”

Agnew earned a second-place award in the education writing category for stories on King’s Fork High School student Lindsey Crews, the current state of Rosenwald schools in the city and the school system’s performance in adequate yearly progress.

Roche won a second-place award in the feature series or continuing story category for a series of stories she did on a service learning class at Lakeland High School.

Other second-place awards given to the paper included staff awards for the F.Y.I. section in the special sections or special editions category and for editorial pages throughout the year.

Finally, Reeves won a third-place award for editorial writing done throughout the year, and Agnew and Spears won a third-place award together for headline writing.