By CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Bluefield Daily Telegraph Editor Samantha Perry has been named “Columnist of the Year” in the national Best of CNHI 2016 editorial contest for the third consecutive year.
The contest recognizes the individual and collective achievements of the company’s journalists in both print and digital categories. The competition was judged by a panel of eight CNHI editors and news executives.
“I do not know if anyone has ever won this award three times … but three consecutive years is unheard of,” Daily Telegraph Publisher Randy Mooney said of Perry’s “Columnist of the Year” award. “The Bluefield Daily Telegraph competes against the largest newspapers in CNHI which makes Samantha the best of the very best. We are all very proud of her for representing Bluefield in such a positive way.”
“I am humbled to be recognized by my peers with this honor,” Perry said. “I enjoy writing columns because I believe they allow me to communicate more directly with readers, and provide additional, behind-the-scenes information on stories, events and cases.”
Perry’s winning entry included columns about convicted Mercer County child molestor Timothy Probert, the need for West Virginia lawmakers to act on providing additional funding for the state’s crime lab, a peaceful Black Lives Matter march in Bluefield, and a sentimental feature on gardening with her grandfather as a child.
A graduate of Montcalm High School and Bluefield State College, Perry began her career as a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in 1989. The following year, she was promoted to Lifestyles editor and remained in that role for a decade. In 2000, she was promoted to city editor, and less than two years later promoted again to managing editor. Today, she holds the highest position in the newsroom and is the first female to hold the editor’s role in the Telegraph’s 121-year history.
CNHI (Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.) is the parent company of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. CNHI is based in Montgomery, Ala., and publishes newspapers, websites and specialty publications in more than 130 communities in 23 states. Division 1 in the Best of CNHI contest is composed of the company’s largest newspapers.
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