Xpress collects 12 awards at N.C. Press Association gala

#WINNING: Mountain Xpress takes third place in the general excellence category for North Carolina community newspapers with circulation of more than 10,000. The award of excellence was one of 12 Xpress received at this year's N.C. Press Association awards, held on Feb. 22 in Raleigh. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Raleigh’s a fair distance from our mountain home, but the drive to the North Carolina Press Association’s annual conference was worth the gas money for Xpress this year. The paper snagged 12 awards, including third place for general excellence among community newspapers with a circulation of over 10,000 in North Carolina.

The judges wrote: “At first glance, Asheville’s Mountain Xpress has the look of a flashy niche publication. But once you get into it, the punchy tab-style layout lends way to thoughtful, issue-based news reporting and enjoyable feature stories. The extensive voter guide was particularly well done, as is the community calendar. Obviously, this is not your traditional community newspaper (no sports coverage or local editorial), but it is certainly fun to read.”

Xpress managing editor Virginia Daffron attended the awards ceremony on Feb. 22, where she received first place in the education reporting category for her look at the wide gap in academic achievement between white and black students in the Asheville City Schools, Changing course: Asheville City Schools take aim at racial disparities. Daffron and staff writer Max Hunt shared second place in the beat feature reporting category for their writing on the French Broad River:

Arts & Entertainment editor and writer Alli Marshall scored three prizes:

Former county government reporter Dan Hesse received second place for The 1.5 percent: Past pay increases present puzzles for city county government reporting.

Staff writer Able Allen (who also manages Xpress‘ administrative operations) netted third place in news enterprise reporting for his look at how county fire services are structured and funded, Where there’s smoke: How local fire departments keep residents safe in changing times.

Xpress‘ pullout guide to Beer Week received third place in the special section category.

And Xpress‘ design staff — Norn Cutson, Scott Southwick and Olivia Urban — were honored with three awards for ads on behalf of Rezaz Mediterranean Restaurant & Wine Bar (first place), Isa’s Bistro (third place) and Hot Yoga Asheville (third place).




Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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