RALEIGH — The Winston-Salem Journal collected a record 59 awards — including first place in General Excellence for the third time in four years — during the annual convention of the N.C. Press Association held Thursday.
The Journal's awards in the 2019 News, Editorial and Photojournalism Contest included a record 23 first-place awards, 15 second-place awards and 19 third-place awards.
Receiving awards are 17 current and two former individual staff members, as well as several full-staff recognitions.
The Journal competes with the state's major metro newspapers for General Excellence award and individual awards. The Journal also received first-place honors in General Excellence in 2016 and 2018.
Alton Brown, publisher of the Journal, said he’s not surprised that the news team again won first-place awards in general excellence and community coverage.
“In my 34 years in this industry with assignments across the country, this team of journalists at the Winston-Salem Journal is one of the best with whom I have worked,” Brown said.
“Their dedication and desire to report the news of our region is well deserving of the multitude of awards they received at the North Carolina Press Association.”
A total of 10 Journal photographers and reporters won individual first-place awards.
Photographer Andrew Dye received first-place honors in four categories: photo illustration, photo page or essay, feature photography and sports photography.
Separately, Allison Lee Isley won the 2019 AP photo of the year for North Carolina for her images in January 2019 from a Confederate statue rally.
Columnist Scott Sexton won two first-place awards in the categories of news feature writing (involving a Holocaust's survivor's cautionary tale) and serious columns.
Sexton also won a Media and the Law Award of Excellence, sponsored by the N.C. Bar Association.
Other first-place awards were received by: Lisa O'Donnell (arts and entertainment reporting); John Hinton (beat news reporting); Richard Craver (business writing); John Dell (email newsletter); Wesley Young (general news reporting); Mick Scott (lighter columns); Michael Hewlett (news enterprise reporting); and Walt Unks (general news photography).
Second-place awards were received by: Lynn Felder (lighter columns, features profile); Fran Daniel (education reporting); Patrick Ferlise (sports featuring writing); Ethan Joyce (email newsletter); Hewlett (beat news reporting); Hinton (breaking news coverage and general news reporting); Isley (sports feature photography); and Scott (serious columns).
Former staff members with second-place awards were Jenny Drabble (best feature reporting, general news reporting) and Sarah Newell (news feature reporting).
Third-place awards were received by: Cassandra Sherrill (illustration); Ragan Robinson (use of video); Felder (arts and entertainment reporting); Hewlett (best feature reporting, breaking news coverage, general news reporting); Hinton (beat news reporting, breaking news coverage, general news reporting); Scott (editorials); O'Donnell (feature writing, general news reporting, best lede); Sexton (lighter columns, news enterprise reporting); Isley (photo page or essay); Dye (spot photography); Joyce (sports enterprise reporting); and Dell (sports news reporting).
In addition to General Excellence, the Journal staff as a whole again won first place in the best community coverage, headline writing, special section and use of photographs categories.
The staff shared second-place awards for editorial page, general excellence for websites and special section, as well as third place in appearance and design, best multimedia project, and use of social media.
Managing editor Andy Morrissey praised the combined staff effort, saying “it is hard to describe how important this recognition is for the Journal. “
“This is an award judged by peers in the journalism world, and it is a high honor to see the Journal’s work held in such high regard. The work and dedication of our journalists is reflected in the breadth of awards won through the NCPA this year.
“The teamwork in the Journal newsroom is the best I’ve seen in my career.”