In the 2011 North Carolina Press Association awards, Mountain Xpress was honored in six different categories for various stories, projects and publications produced last year:
• 1st place: News Feature Writing — In “Turf War: Democrats, Republicans Square Off Over Congressional Districts” (July 19, 2011), one of a series of political analyses by Xpress news staff, Jake Frankel examined the political maneuvering that led to big changes in Western North Carolina’s election districts — such as moving most of the city of Asheville, a Democratic stronghold, out of the 11th Congressional District and into the 10th. The full election series includes Intro: What Redistricting Means for You, Turf War: Democrats, Republicans square off over congressional districts, A House Divided: Statehouse, commissioner districts spell big changes ahead, and Déjà vu all over again: History looms large in redistricting fight.
• 1st place: Best Multimedia Project — To accompany the print story “Mountain Shame” (March 29, 2011), a tale of the 1929 Marion Massacre, reporter Jake Frankel put together a multimedia collection that included a scrapbook, audio documentary by Kim Clark and a slide show, with photos by Jonathan Welch, technical contributions by reprography specialist Will Rice, and assistance from a group of avid local historians, including Mike Blankenship, Patti Holda and Anne Swann.
• 2nd place: Online Breaking News — “The Big Deal: Linamar Will Bring Almost 400 Jobs to Asheville” (June 30, 2011), by David Forbes, Jake Frankel and Margaret Williams, caps up-to-the-minute reporting on an economic-development announcement.
• 2nd place: News Enterprise Reporting — In “Hidden Hazards” (Jan. 11, 2011), reporter Susan Andrew reviewed the more than 50 inactive hazardous-waste sites in Buncombe County.
• 2nd place: Best Niche Publication — Published each March, the WNC Green Building Directory is a collaboration between Mountain Xpress and the WNC Green Building Council; the directory includes about 30 articles, how-to guides and resource listings, such as a roundup of green-building specialists.
• 3rd place: Profile Feature — In “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (June 14, 2011), Mackensy Lunsford profiled up-and-coming chef Katie Button of Cúrate, who is a semifinalist in this year’s James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year Award.