The Alamance News and its reporters have been recognized with nine awards in the annual Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the National Newspaper Association, of which the newspaper is a long-time member.
In addition to the first place award for Freedom of Information (see separate story in this edition https://alamancenews.com/alamance-news-wins-national-freedom-of-information-award/), the newspaper itself was awarded a third place general excellence award among weekly newspapers its size (3,000 – 5,999 circulation).
Earlier this year, the newspaper was also recognized with a general excellence award in the North Carolina Press Association annual writing contest, for second place in its category, for community (non-daily) newspapers with circulations between 3,500 to 10,000.
Both contests require newspapers to submit copies of their editions from two (NCPA) or three (NNA) specified weeks during the contest year.
In this category, newspapers are required to submit two consecutive issues in either of two specified months (April & September) plus an additional week’s edition consecutive to either. The newspaper’s editions of April 21 and September 22 & 29 were submitted. (Different editions, for September 8 & 15, 2022 were the winners in the NCPA contest.)
Among the major stories in those editions were a comprehensive look at potential expansion of the J.B. Allen, Jr. Court House (April 21) by Murawski; the proposed expansion of the Paramount Theater (Murawski) as well as stories about two double homicides of teenagers in Graham and Mebane (the stories by Kristy Bailey and publisher Tom Boney, Jr. which won second place for Best Breaking News Story); and a follow-up story on interviews with family members about one set of the two teenagers’ murders, “Hanging out turns deadly; two teens accused of first degree murder of two other teenagers.”
Reporter Kristy Bailey and publisher Tom Boney, Jr. were recognized for their work with a second place award for Best Breaking News Story (among weekly newspapers with circulation between 3,000 to 5,999) for coverage of two separate double murders of teenagers – two each in Graham (in August) and Mebane (in September) – from the September 22, 2022 edition of the newspaper. [See stories HERE.]
Bailey won second place in the similar newspaper category (weeklies with circulation between 2,000-3,999) for best localized national story about the issue of the influx of immigrants into ABSS schools from the December 1, 2022 edition. [See copy of original story: https://alamancenews.com/influx-of-435-refugee-students-expected-within-next-year/]
Bailey was also recognized with a third place award in the category of Best Education/Literacy story for her stories in the June 30, 2022 edition about the controversy surrounding LGBTQ book displays in local public libraries and the objections of several parents to the availability of such books for young children in ABSS school libraries. [See original stories: https://alamancenews.com/lgbtq-book-displays-at-abss-and-public-libraries-draw-concerns-particularly-when-aimed-at-young-children/]
The newspaper’s reporters were also awarded four honorable mention recognitions in other categories:
• Tomas Murawski for Best Non-Profile Feature Story from a June 30, 2022 story about Mebane resident Maripi Wooldridge’s Lakeland Terrier, MM’s, honor as the top terrier in the annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City. [See original story: https://alamancenews.com/terrier-from-mebane-fetches-best-in-group-at-westminster/]
• Bailey was also honored for Best Business Story for a story in the December 1, 2022 edition about the legal problems facing Alamance Crossing shopping center and the fact it could face foreclosure or sale after its owners defaulted on a $51 million loan. [See original story: https://alamancenews.com/alamance-crossing-shopping-center-could-face-foreclosure-or-sale-after-owners-default-on-51-million-loan/]
• Bailey and Boney were recognized for Best Investigative/In-depth story/stories for their work on the proposed naming of the county’s seventh high school, which was ultimately named Southeast, and the secretive process by which a school system committee had originally handled the naming issue. The articles were included in the August 25 and September 1, 2022 editions of the newspaper.
[See original stories and editorial:
Naming of new high school delayed due to violation of N.C. Open Meetings Law (August 25, 2022): https://alamancenews.com/naming-of-new-high-school-on-hold-due-to-violation-of-states-open-meetings-law/
Editorial (August 25, 2022): https://alamancenews.com/geesh-who-knew-school-officials-cant-follow-basic-laws/
By 4-3 vote, Southeast is name of new high school (September 1, 2022): https://alamancenews.com/by-4-3-vote-southeast-is-name-of-new-high-school/]
• Lastly, Boney was recognized for Best Breaking News Photo for a picture taken during a Graham city council meeting in May 2022 (published on the front page of the May 12, 2022 edition) in which Mebane resident Jason Crazy Bear Keck, the husband of then-Democratic congressional candidate Crystal Cavalier, stood in the audience and shouted at the city council that they owed an apology to the family of a boy arrested when he interfered with a police arrest at the Pines Apartments. [See photo HERE.]
“It’s always encouraging to be recognized by your peers for the excellent news coverage that our reporters provide each week,” said Alamance News publisher Tom Boney, Jr.
“We consistently provide more comprehensive local news coverage than is available from any other source. In addition to having the quality of that effort recognized by these and other national and state awards, we’re also pleased by the growing confidence in our efforts as demonstrated by the increasing readership and circulation of the paper, both in print and online,” he added. [See separate story on circulation growth in this edition.]