Thankful for even greater honors

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, April 27, 2013

It’s hard for journalists to get excited about much. But on April 20, the staff members of the Suffolk News-Herald sat on the edges of their seats as they listened for the newspaper’s name during the annual news and advertising awards ceremony for the Virginia Press Association.

By the end of the evening, the paper had been mentioned 23 times, as awards went to news editor Tracy Agnew, staff writer Matthew A. Ward, sports reporter Titus Mohler, page designer Beth Land and editor Res Spears in a variety of reporting, feature writing, page design and photography categories. The newspaper came within two points of earning the sweepstakes award for small Virginia dailies. Even without the sweepstakes honor, this was the best showing for the Suffolk News-Herald in anyone’s recent memory.

As a bonus, Suffolk Living magazine earned three design and photography awards, including a second Best-in-Show honor in as many years for Troy Cooper, who is tasked with designing and producing that publication every other month.


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I am incredibly blessed to have such a talented group of devoted and conscientious journalists to work with each day. Despite the fact that most of them are young enough to be my children, I often leave the office thinking about the lessons they’ve taught me, and they deserve more praise than I can give them here for all their hard work.

But we could never have earned the honors without our readers, the wonderful people of Suffolk who support the newspaper by picking it up on newsstands every day, by calling us with news tips and by cooperating with our reporters and photographers when they go out into the community on assignment.

It’s nice to win awards and receive the accolades of people in one’s own industry, but we think it’s even better to hear the compliments — and sometimes, even the complaints — from the people in this community and to know that they care enough about their hometown newspaper to comment on it at all. It’s even better when we know they care enough about the Suffolk News-Herald to ask that reporters cover their events, investigate possible stories or write about the accomplishments of their friends and loved ones.

Think of these awards as a measure of our commitment to providing this fine city with a fine daily newspaper that it can call its own. And rest assured that we’ll continue to strive for a high level of quality in everything we do.

We are right at home in Suffolk. Whether we had been honored with one award or with 100, the true honor is in working with the people of this community and in publishing a newspaper in this city that I have called home since I was a teenager. Thank you all for making it such a rewarding experience.