News-Herald wins big

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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The Suffolk News-Herald won 39 awards, including 11 first-place honors, in the Virginia Press Association’s 2022 News and Advertising Contest. The newspaper received the Advertising Sweepstakes award and the Grand Sweepstakes (news and advertising combined) award for Non-Daily Group 4, comprising the state’s largest non-daily newspapers.

The awards were announced at the 2023 VPA Awards Banquet, held Saturday, May 6 at the Hilton in Henrico. The program was held in person for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I can’t say enough good things about this team,” said publisher Betty Ramsey. “They never cease to amaze me with their can-do attitude and let’s get it done mentality. Designer Jen Jaqua is top notch and has been recognized not only for her work at the Suffolk News-Herald but also as the best of the best for her design work at affiliate The Smithfield Times. Jaqua received Best in Show at the VPA awards! Our advertising team, led by regional advertising director Lindsay Richardson, has proven once again that advertisers can have full confidence when marketing with us that they are getting the very best in the market. Our award winning news team goes above and beyond to capture and chronicle the history of Suffolk. It’s a pleasure to work with such a great group of professionals.”

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The annual photo calendar was recognized as the best slick publication in the advertising division. Richardson, newspaper designer Jaqua and affiliate The Tidewater News advertising director, Mitzi Lusk all contributed to the success. Richardson also received first place advertising awards in the digital, lifestyles and member self-promotion categories. In the news competition Richardson received a first place in illustrations for the inaugural “Staycation” edition. 

Jaqua received first place awards for slideshow or gallery, and shared a first with staff in the Special Sections category for “Made in Suffolk.” The competition judges noted, “Took a circular concept to design and kept it simple and incredibly effective with superb selection of the photos. Carried design from table of contents through all the features and played it well consistently. Writing was engaging and directed to the intended audience. Given the novel approach it would have been easy to fall over to designing for other designers rather than to serve the readers but Made in Suffolk avoids the pitfall with simple elegance.”

Staff reporter James Robinson and editor Jeff Moore won a first-place award in the general news writing division. Staff reporter Rachel Austin received first place in education writing, former editor Tracy Agnew won first place in feature story writing and former staff reporter Jimmy LaRoue received first place in feature profile writing. 

Richardson won second place awards for digital advertising, lifestyles, member self-promotion and professional services excluding medical/healthcare. The sales staff, including Richardson, Dana Snow, Hope Rose, Earl Jones and Lusk won second place for special section, non-slick cover. Jaqua won second-place awards for newspaper illustrations, front page, breaking news photo and feature photo. Jaqua and LaRoue won second place in the video category. LaRoue also placed second in business and financial writing; education writing; headline writing, health, science and environmental writing and public safety writing.

Affiliate The Smithfield Times publisher and former Suffolk News-Herald publisher Steve Stewart placed second in the editorial writing category. 

Jaqua won third-place news honors for  informational graphics, feature photo and personality or portrait photo. Richardson won third-place advertising honors for lifestyles, professional services (medical and healthcare-related only) and real estate. The advertising staff and Jaqua won third place for special section, stand alone, non-slick cover.

Robinson won third-place for a feature series or continuing story. LaRoue won third place for sports news photo, government writing, and headline writing. Stewart also received a third in editorial writing.  

Awards were also received in the specialty division, Troy Cooper, Robinson, LaRoue, and contributing writers Faith Redd and Greg Goldberg won second-place  for Suffolk Living Magazine. Cooper also won second-place in page design, LaRoue won second-place for feature photo and feature story writing, Richardson won a second-place advertising award in the education, churches and organizations category.