Each year, the North Carolina Press Association holds a competition to select the best journalism in the state. At a ceremony last Thursday in Cary, N.C., the latest slate of winners was announced, and two independent newsweeklies in our neck of the woods garnered awards in the competition’s division of the largest-circulation community newspapers.
Here at Mountain Xpress, contributing editor Rebecca Bowe won second place for investigative reporting, for her exposé on the CTS hazardous-waste site in south Asheville. In the wake of her series of reports on the pollution there, local, state and federal authorities have turned new attention toward remediating the site. And Jon Teeple, our tireless Webmaster, scored a third-place award for general excellence in a newspaper Web site — a testament to just how much work he’s done to bring MountainX.com to its full potential.
Just down the road, Waynesville’s Smoky Mountain News also came home with bragging rights. The newspaper’s Michael Beadle won second place for best profile feature, and writer Becky Johnson scored second for best news-enterprise reporting for her early, in-depth report on problems at the Haywood Regional Medical Center. Perhaps the biggest honor of all, however, was winning first place in the coveted community-service category: The News garnered that award for its wide-ranging coverage and pointed editorials regarding development issues in the WNC mountains.
— Jon Elliston, managing editor
Pictured are Smoky Mountain News staffers at the awards ceremony. From left to right: writers Julia Merchant, Becky Johnson, Michael Beadle and Jennifer Garlesky, and editor/publisher Scott McCloud