WNC community newspapers win state journalism awards

At a ceremony in Cary last night, the North Carolina Press Association announced the winners of its 2008 News, Editorial & Photojournalism Contest. Click here to see all of the winners in the daily newspaper and nondaily community-newspaper divisions.

Among nondaily newspapers, three WNC publications were recognized with awards, the Asheville-based Mountain Xpress, and the Smoky Mountain News and The Mountaineer, both based in Waynesville:

Smoky Mountain News

• 1st place for Community Service, for “Hospital in Crisis,” a series of reports on the woes at Haywood Regional Medical Center. Here’s what the judges wrote about SMN’s work on this front: “This coverage exemplifies the best qualities of journalist community service: dogged commitment to facts and fairness, inclusive voices from all stake holders, persistence despite obstacles from those in power. Strong reporting and writing. Great work!”

• 2nd place for General News Reporting, to reporters Becky Johnson and Julia Merchant, for one of their packages of stories on the HRMC crisis, “Tough Pill to Swallow.”

• 1st place for News Enterprise Reporting, to reporter Julia Merchant, for “WNC Confronts Crisis.”

• 3rd place for Investigative Reporting, to reporter Julia Merchant, for “Agency Director Questioned.”

Mountain Xpress

• 1st place for Best Special Section, to the Xpress staff, for the official 2008 Bele Chere Guide.

• 2nd place for Investigative Reporting, to Jon Elliston, for the series Cruel Summer: The Attack on Camp Summerlane.

• 2nd place for Serious Columns, to Mark Jamison, for his Xpress commentaries.

The Mountaineer

• 2nd place for General News Photography, to D.C. Buchanan.

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