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Four newspapers earn West Virginia Press Association Editorial Honors

Sandy Buzzerd of the Morgan Messenger wins Adam R. Kelly Award

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Four West Virginia newspapers earned first-place General Excellence awards, which honor outstanding achievement by circulation division, in the 2019 West Virginia Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.

West Virginia Press Association past president Jim Spanner, at left, presents the Newspaper of the Year Award to The Charleston Gazette-Mail representatives.

The General Excellence Award winners are Charleston Gazette-Mail in Division 1, Bluefield Daily Telegraph in Division 2, Hampshire Review in Division 3, and The Moorefield Examiner in Division 4.

With the top point total in both editorial and advertising of newspapers in West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette-Mail earned the Newspaper of the Year honors.

West Virginia Press Association General Excellence Award winners for editorial work in 2019 include four first-place recipients: from left Samantha Perry of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph in Division 2, Hannah Heishman of the Moorefield Examiner in Division 4, Sallie See of the Hampshire Review in Division 3 and Greg Moore of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in Division 1. Jim Spanner, WVPA past president and publisher of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, presented the awards. WVPA Photo by Dalton Walker.

Sandy Buzzerd, publisher of the of Morgan Messenger in Berkeley Springs won the WVPA’s highest honor — The Adam R. Kelly Award — for his outstanding dedicate to the newspaper industry, the West Virginia Press Association and her local community.

A photo by Craig Hudson for the Charleston Gazette-Mail received the honor for best photo of the year. 

The results of the annual competition, which honors excellence in newspaper journalism, were announced Saturday, Aug. 3, during a banquet at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown.

“Our annual newspaper competition always brings out the best of our state’s newspapers and journalists have to offer,” said Don Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Press Association. “From the largest daily newspaper to the smallest weekly newspaper, West Virginia residents benefit from the outstanding and dedicated work of journalists throughout the state. Community journalism remains the centerpiece of the newspaper industry in the Mountain State. The West Virginia Press Association is proud to recognize and honor the excellent work produced by West Virginia’s terrific newspapers and journalists.”

Newspapers across the state compete in four circulation groups, two each for daily and weekly newspapers. The contest has 29 categories, ranging from Coverage of Government Affairs to Reporting Generated from Public Notices and Best Editorial Page. In 2019, 32 newspapers submitted nearly 1,451 entries. The overall awards for General Excellence are based on total points earned in the basic categories. 

For General Excellence, the West Virginia Press Association recognized three places in each division. The newspapers recognized for General Excellence in editorial coverage in 2019 were as follows:

Division I (Dailies over 16,000 circulations):

1stPlace: Charleston Gazette-Mail

2ndPlace: Beckley Register-Herald

3rdPlace: Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Division II (Dailies 16,000 and under):

1stPlace: Bluefield Daily Telegraph

2ndPlace: The Exponent Telegram

3rdPlace: The Inter-Mountain

Division III (Weeklies over 4,000):

1stPlace: Hampshire Review

2ndPlace: The Times Record and Roane County Reporter

3rdPlace: The Spirit of Jefferson

Division IV (Weeklies 4,000 and under):

1stPlace: Moorefield Examiner

2ndPlace: The Record Delta

3rdPlace: Grant County Press

For more information, contact Smith at 304-550-0454.

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