Association honors newspaper for excellence in journalism

The Havelock News was recognized as the best community newspaper in the state in its circulation division during the N.C. Press Association Winter Institute March 9 in Raleigh.

The paper received first place in the general excellence category, which rates the overall quality of the newspaper to include news stories, feature stories, photographs, sports, opinion page, news coverage and community coverage.

The Havelock News is rated against all other community newspapers in the state with a circulation of 3,500 subscribers or less. The paper won 27 awards in the association’s News, Editorial and Photojournalism contest, which is judged by peer papers from other states. It was the most awards of any newspaper in its circulation division.

The contest covered newspaper editions, stories and photographs from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016.

Former Havelock News reporter and photographer Drew C. Wilson, who left the paper in January for a new job with The Wilson Daily Times, won 14 individual awards. He received first-place awards for general news photography, sports feature photo, best video and spot news photography; second place awards in profile feature writing, sports feature photo, sports photography and spot news photography; and third-place awards for sports feature writing, general news photography, feature photography, best video, education reporting and best multimedia project.

Editor and General Manager Ken Buday won five individual awards, including first place for feature photography, sports photography and sports columns; and second place for sports news reporting and photo page or essay.

Contributing columnist Barry Fetzer received second-place honors for serious columns and third-place honors for lighter columns.

The paper also received five staff awards, including first place for general excellence for newspaper websites, appearance and design, and best community coverage; and second place for sports coverage and news coverage.

The N.C. Press Association, which formed in 1843, supports state newspapers, works to protect the public’s right to know through the defense of open government and the First Amendment, and maintains the public’s access to local, state and federal government. It serves as a resource for state newspapers, offering training for journalists as well as industry news and trends.

The association’s Winter Institute included a series of workshops and educational classes for journalists as well as meetings with legislators and collaboration among newspapers to share ideas to build readership both in print and online.