On February 19, 2020

VT publications honored by New England Press Association

Staff report

BOSTON — Addison Press made a very good showing in the Better Newspaper Contest at the New England Newspaper and Press Association annual convention in Boston this past weekend. The Middlebury newspaper and magazine group (sister publications to the Mountain Times) boasted 30 awards — including nine first-place honors — in a contest that encompassed NENPA’s more than 450 daily, weekly and specialty newspapers throughout the six-state region.

(The Mountain Times did not participate in the Boston convention this year, but in the past has also won dozens of awards for its advertising, reporting and design.)

The Saturday evening awards banquet included two highlights: Vermont Ski + Ride magazine won the top award, General Excellence in the Specialty Publication category and Addison Independent reporter Christopher Ross was named Rookie of the Year for his work with the newspaper in the year ending July 31, 2019 — his first full year as a news reporter.

“There are so many great specialty publications in New England, ranging from regional lifestyle magazines to niche-focused business publications,” said Ski + Ride Editor and Co-publisher Lisa Lynn. “To be singled out as the best specialty publication in the region and honored for not only Vermont Ski + Ride’s magazine but also our website and our ability to please both readers and advertisers is a huge honor.”

Vermont Ski + Ride is the largest outdoor publication in New England. In addition to website traffic, 25,000 copies of each print edition of the glossy magazine of 80+ pages is distributed in seven states.

Beyond General Excellence, Lisa Lynn and Assistant Editor Abagael Giles won other awards for their work, which includes Vermont Sports, a second outdoors magazine. Lynn won first for a Vermont Sports personality profile, and Giles won first for best sports story. A pair of Ski + Ride freelance photographers — Pat Ryan and Mike Dawsy — won first place for Best Photo Story.

The judges’ citation for Ski + Ride reads: “This amazing publication is loaded with compelling stories, excellent writing and wonderful photography. The print quality is in a league of its own. The website is graphically pleasing and easy to use. Businesses must be very happy with the high-end treatment their ads receive.”

Addison Independent

Ross truly earned the Rookie of the Year award, News Editor John McCright said.

“Christopher has a knack for storytelling and a commitment to the communities he covers,” McCright said. “He brings a little more life experience to his journalism career than a 22-year-old, and he uses that to his best advantage. The readers of the Addison Independent and the people in our community are all the better for Christopher’s reporting and writing.”

The “Addy Indy” is proud to also have garnered two other first-place awards for news and two for advertising. The staff and community won first place for Best Local Election Coverage. The submission for this award included 54 pages of coverage of the November 2018 general election, which encompassed election stories by each of the reporters, editorials, columns by outside writers, photos, candidate Q&As and lots and lots of letters to the editor — that’s why the award was given to staff and community. The judges’ comment: “This paper was all in!”

Its other first place award came in the History Reporting category for intern Nick Garber’s two-part series on the 1980s Middlebury College program that brought students from the Soviet Union to Middlebury.

On the advertising front, Senior Ad Representative Melissa Strong earned first place in Best Holiday Ad for an ad on behalf of Vergennes Green. The judges include praise for the production department saying the “upscale image frames a well-designed ad [and] creates a festive, holiday feel.”

The ad department also won first place in Best Sponsored Content for “The Home,” a page in the Arts + Leisure section that sells houses.

In addition to the first-place showings, the Addison Independent also garnered a bushel of seconds and thirds; taken together they show the depth of the media organization’s products. In no specific order, here they are:

  • Sports photo, 3rd, Trent Campbell
  • Crime reporting, 2nd, John Flowers, on a voyeur
  • Religious reporting, 3rd, John Flowers, on Muslim teen
  • Spot News, 3rd, John Flowers, on student gun violence
  • Feature Video, 2nd, Megan James, rug hooking
  • Feature Video, 3rd, Megan James, jack o’lantern
  • Sports story, 3rd, Andy Kirkaldy, outhouse race.Sports feature, 3rd, Andy Kirkaldy, Cornwall boxer
  • Sports feature, 2nd, Abagael Giles, hunting story
  • Sports feature, 3rd, Lisa Lynn, athlete profile
  • Humor column, 2nd, Karl Lindholm, retirement
  • Science/Technology Reporting, 3rd, Middlebury College chemistry students on CRISPR.
  • Arts & Entertainment Section, 3rd, Arts +Leisure
  • Excellence in Revenue Collaboration and Partnerships, 2nds, ACORN Local Foods and Farms
  • Special Section/Advertising Supplement, 3rd place, Worship Directory
  • Event Special Section, 3rd, Field Days Program
  • Food Page or Section, 3rd, Abagael Giles.
  • Front Page, 3rd, VT Ski + Ride, Lisa Lynn and David Pollard
  • Pictoral Photo, 2nd, Tyler Wilkinson-Ray for VT Ski+Ride
  • Best Niche Publication, 2nd, VT Ski+Ride
  • Local Display Ad (color), 2nd place, Lisa Woronzoff for insurance ad with silhouetted firefighter

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